Types of Inventory
To complete a spot-check inventory, we will take a pause from the current troubling situation. In the moment, we will ask ourselves what we are feeling, what we are thinking, what stories we might be making up in our mind, and how we are acting. We will ask ourselves if some of our character defects are cropping up again. We will ask ourselves if we are being selfish, dishonest, self-centered or afraid. We will ask ourselves what our real motives are for doing whatever it is we are doing. We will call our sponsors and/or pray for the next right thought or action. When we do this, we are essentially re-aligning ourselves to our Higher Power’s will for us and those around us. This always equates to us acting with more love, kindness and tolerance.
“The quick inventory is used for our daily ups and downs, especially those where people or new events throw us off balance and tempt us to make mistakes. In all these situations we need self-restraint, honest analysis of what is involved, a willingness to admit when the fault is ours, and an equal willingness to forgive when the fault is elsewhere. We need not be discouraged when we fall into the error of our old ways, for these disciplines are not easy. We shall look for progress, not perfection.” — A.A. Twelve & Twelve
The second type of inventory is our nightly review. Instructions can be found on page 86 in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. It is recommended by many of our sponsors to write our inventory by hand — pen to paper; but there are other tools to help us facilitate our nightly inventory if we so choose, such as phone apps and worksheets. The idea is to review the 24 hours prior. We look for what areas of our day went well, and what areas of our day did not go well. We look for where we acted with love and kindness, and where we acted out of anger or bitterness.
The Big Book suggests we ask ourselves the following questions:
- Where have we been selfish, dishonest, self-seeking or afraid?
- Do we owe an apology?
- Have we kept something to ourselves that should be discussed with another person at once?
- Were we kind and loving toward all?
- What could we have done better?
- Were we thinking of ourselves most of the time?
- Or were we thinking of what we could do for others, of what we could pack into the stream of life?
If we owe an apology, we make that apology as soon as possible. If we discovered something we need to discuss with another person, we do that as well.