Dear WTS Members. The following share and questions were first published over a year ago. admire the recovery of the woman who was the study leader at the time and hope that you will also find her experience strength and hope invaluable ---- from Dreena:
Step Nine is the outward action of our "housecleaning." We have seen where we were at fault and now it is time to make restitution.
"Good judgment, a careful sense of timing, courage, and prudence--- these are the qualities we shall need when we take Step Nine." AA 12x12, pg.83)
I made my list in Step 8 and now I went about making my amends. The first time I made amends I went over them with my sponsor, I did this for two reasons 1) I wanted to make sure that I was not making any amends where someone would be injured and 2) I was having difficulty making amends to folks whom I felt had injured me far more than I had injured them.
My sponsor told me that the amends were for me. To clean up my side of the street and set me in alignment with the Will of my H.P., she said that we would work together so that I would have the right wording for making my amends so that I did not feel as though I were being abusive toward myself. I did not make any amends until I felt clarity in my heart regarding exactly what my part was. Making amends then was heartfelt.
An important part of my amends to myself was in forgiving those who had wronged me. In doing this for myself I truly felt the complete freedom that this Step affords us. In forgiving others, I use this mindful meditation that is so helpful and puts everything in their proper perspective:
I am doing
the very best
that I can
This never fails to bring me peace of mind and joy of spirit.
I'd like to share with you, four amends that I made that were very important to me and they were somewhat different in each case. I have always asked my H.P. to be near me when I make amends. I can't do this alone.
I made amends to my Dad, who had died before I came into recovery, by writing him a letter and then attaching it to a helium balloon and then going outside and setting it free. I watched it until it disappeared and then I let go in my heart.
I made amends to my mother, fortunately before she passed on. I lived 3,000 miles away from her so I called her up. I had planned what I was going to say, and yet, I still wasn't quite comfortable but I didn't know why other than the fact that my mother was never much impressed with "I'm sorry" and for good reason.
I found myself thanking her for being my mother. I said: "I'm glad I got to be your daughter....I thank God that you are my mother." There was silence and then my Mom said in a little voice I never heard before: "You're kidding right?" Tears came to my eyes and my heart flooded with love for my Mom, my H.P. and this program. I told her that in recovery I had learned that I had the ability to be happy and that she was a very important part of that ability because she had given me what everything I needed in order to be where I am now. She was very very pleased and without a doubt this was the best amends I ever made.
I made an amends to one of my sisters that I did not want to make. It was very important that I not make amends for anything more than my part. I did so simply and without any fanfare through an email. I believe my amends took up two sentences. It was enough....and I let go.
I made an amends to my second husband by letter that was very honest andI cried when I wrote it and mailed it. And yet I still did not feel finished. My heart ached because I had really seen how terribly I had treated him. I couldn't let go. I remember vividly driving in my car on a most beautiful California Highway on my way to do house-sitting for a friend, and once again I was emotionally overcome with remorse. I prayed to my Higher Power saying that I would do anything to get rid of this pain, I would chop off my arm, that seemed a little extreme and so I said I would shave my head.
I felt that I needed to do something because it hurt so much. I asked God to please let me know quickly what I must do. At that moment I was pulled over by Highway Patrol and given a speeding ticket. By the time the officer got to my car, I was crying like a baby. The Officer said "It's just a ticket lady." and I said...."it's a lot more than that.....thank you." ....I paid the ticket as soon as I could and then let go. It takes what it takes...and what it takes is up to you and God.
Make your amends and set yourself free. You are so worth it!
All my love, Dreena
"We will be amazed before we are halfway through" (The ninth step promises, AABB pg. 83-84).
STEP NINE ~ QUESTIONS
1) Are you ready to start making your amends?
If not what is stopping you?
What can you do to move yourself forward with this step?
2) Do you (or did you ) find it helpful to talk to your sponsor or
another person who would understand about making amends that are difficult because you feel that more harm was done to you then you did to that person? Do you see the need to find the right words so that you will be sure to not feel as though you are abusing yourself by making these difficult amends?
3) Remembering that it is important to make amends to yourself, can
you share with us how you will begin doing this?
4) If there are any cases where you can not make direct amends because of harm that will be done to another or others, beside making sure that you never repeat the behavior, how will you then let go?
5) If you have already started making amends, what does it feel like to have your side of the street clean? If you haven't yet started, what do you imagine it will feel like after you have made your amends?
6) What are at least 5 things you are grateful for having come this far
in your recovery?
Please feel free to share on these questions.
Yours in service,
Barb WTS Co-Coordinator