What I discovered in the tenth step is that dictionaries are incredibly helpful in understanding what the Big Book is trying to say, and the word “watch” is a good word. So in my tenth step, and in my meditations, I’m going to take different practices like “watch” and “ask” and “turn.” I write them out on three by five cards, or four by six cards, and I’ll put them in my car. I’ll carry them with me and I will take that one word or phrase and work with it for the day. For example, the word, “watch.” The first time I worked with “watch” was somewhere between three and six months in to one particular tenth step practice. I would really focus, watching myself and seeing if I get resentful or dishonest. I watch as I become and afraid, and I practice watching myself possibly slip in to character defects, then being able to “turn” out of that, and act on the word “ask.”
It is always beneficial to look up the definition so I’m clear on what the word means. Working with one word at a time is one of the things that I heard Frank say. He was raised on a farm in Iowa and was a farmer, he would say “”I don’t care what you’re going to do for a living but it takes a lot of years to do it well.” Well the same is true of steps ten and eleven. These are practices and that will take years before they are incorporated inside you at a deep level. So hence the need to practice steps ten and eleven. So this is what I do, I take different words. By doing this exercise and taking one word at a time in the tenth step, pretty soon it started to become an automatic response.
In other words, I’d get in a situation where I would be fearful, and I would automatically ask God to remove the fear. I would have Him remind me what God would have me be that day. This is what I had to practice. I love it particularly when people will talk to me about meditation. It will sound like this, “Well, I tried it for three days, and it didn’t work so I quit.” No, there has to be just a little bit more of a commitment than that! So yes… This is why staying current and doing this work is so critical. The cleaner we are, the more power we move. We must become a hollow vessels so God can use us. The Creator, when we get all those things that have been blocking us out of the way, can use us to do what He wants us to do with us. My Creator removed my resentment, my anger, my fear, my guilt and my selfishness. God will not let our weaknesses stand in the way of our usefulness, so we get these things out of the way, and God’s power can flow through us.
This program as far as I can tell, requires that you and I have a direct experience with the power of God with nothing in between. No ministers, no rabbis, no priests, no men, no women, no children, just a disease so horrific in nature it requires a direct experience with a God to overcome; a spiritual experience.
Mark H.’s legacy continues to live on to this day through his talks and the thousands of people a year who are impacted by them. The legacy of recovery and service he has left behind is an honor to see and hear.