LEADER'S SHARE ~ STEP NINE|
Talk about raging fear, this piece of action was without doubt my most
If those reading this have not become tired of hearing this message or
if it was heard but ignored, this is the time to find a sponsor to give
guidance. Do not look at what is on your 4th and 8th step lists and just
go do it. Please take the time and effort to use the wisdom of your
sponsor who by the way should have this step behind them.
As I sit here typing, the memories flood my mind enough to become a distraction. I freely
admit to trying my damnest to evade or forget certain parts of my
original 4th step, but my ever alert sponsor just smiled and asked in his
gentle manner, "Danny boy, did you perchance leave someone out of this
amends list?" His beady little eyes looked into my soul as I went home
to lengthen the list.
As my stroll down memory lane continues, I remember giving my fifth step to another person, I think. Hmmm!! It was after all 20+ years ago. Both of my parents were still alive and when approached with what I wanted to do said, "No thanks." Seems as though one of their friend's daughters did a ninth step after her therapist insisted
on it and all she did was blame her parents for her life of misery. I
made sure those things done to offend them not only ceased but many
actions took place to reverse any and all harm done. Although my mother
is not a person I would pick for a friend or mother, she never has been
held up as being responsible for my defects of character, nor should she.
Many times parents are merely doing God's will when they are less than
perfect while engaged in parental behavior. I've often been reminded
that babies come to us without any blueprints or how to books. For me this popular thought of putting myself at the top of the list of amends is nothing more or less than the psycho-babble that blames everyone else for my defects. Please don't do that to yourself as my experience shows clearly that my emotional growth is stunted and after
all this time in the program I'm operating on a level of an 18-year old.
Old dogs may be taught new tricks but very slow. Perhaps some of you
will share with us the most difficult amends on your list, why and how
you plan to make things right.
By far the most difficult amends made was to my ex-wife. From the first
day or rather night I saw her, all logic left my mind. It was at
Flemmings night club on Merrick road in Laurelton. The date was 10/05/1959. The place was packed, while the band played "Night Train." She was in nursing school and let me
know she only dated college men. That is when the lying
started and she never experienced the real me. To stand up and ask her
forgiveness was so very hard, and even more difficult was not pointing
out her part in our failure. While a sad situation, it has healed at
least for me - she is having too much fun hating me.
My children, friends, bartenders, people to whom I administered beatings, all had to be asked for forgiveness. Some were so accepting my eyes were filled by the joy of being forgiven. Some were and still do use the bible to respond as they told me
to "go forth and multiply thyself." Hmm!!
There were so many institutions, both public and private, to whom an
amends would more than likely mean jail time for me and others, therefore
prohibiting my ability to support my now extended family. Those amends
are done on an ongoing basis through a helping hand for any who needs it.
Many think something is wrong with me when money is anonymously
presented to the homeless or a case of food is delivered to the local
There are so many ways to make amends and the greatest of these
practises of love is every morning prayer, I share with all who care to
read it. The amends owed to my Higher Power is never ending, as surely as
my defects bother my God who wants all of us to be happy, joyous and
free. Like any good Father, He knows that we need to work for all these things or they will mean nothing to us. This, then, is where the obsession is lifted on a daily basis, if we have been as honest and thorough as is possible for us. We maintain this
lovely frame of heart and mind, as long as we ask for it by doing the
next right thing.
We will be discussing steps ten, eleven and twelve next. These past weeks
have been some of the easiest for my abstaining from compulsive eating that I have
experienced in many years. My message has not changed; it is of prodding
my fellows to keep on keeping on. Share what is given freely by
sponsoring another sufferer. When you post to your home loop or f2f
meetings, keep our dream alive by giving this gift to another. Surely this
is what my God intended when He saved Bill W. and Dr. Bob Smith from
alcoholic deaths, to found the first 12 step program.
Thanks to all, as this COE needs his fellows much more than he cares to
admit. AND WHY NOT........Danny