That recovery is a process, that change is gradual, that it’s one day at a time, that our aim is spiritual progress—all these things speak of the need for patience as we work the Steps. We are setting out to establish new habits, and these require repeated practice over a very long time.
This is especially the case with the inventory Steps, 4–10, where we “patiently and persistently tr[y] to correct” (12&12, S10, p. 88) the wrongs that we have found, admitted, and accepted in ourselves, surrendering those defects, asking for their removal, making amends, and practicing their counterparts in the virtues in all that we do. Even as we do this, “we shall have to be content with patient improvement” (S6, p. 65).
Patience with ourselves works closely with acceptance, perseverance, and hope. Patience with others works together with tolerance, forbearance, and acceptance again, all grounded in the understanding that we share basic human afflictions and a common spiritual illness.