STEP NINE ~ INTRODUCTION
"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced." James BaldwinThere is a reason for each one of the twelve steps. I cannot pick and choose the ones I want to take and skip the rest. The thought of doing steps four, five and nine have made many a brave soul quake, and I am no different. But my longing to change my life is stronger than my fear. Like other oppressed people, I must gather the courage to face the forces that oppress me-childhood pain, old ways of thinking and responding learned long ago. Taking these steps is an ongoing process, revealing new truths each time around. It is an interesting search, and a rewarding way to live.
For Today: "All the promises of recovery can be mine if I want them. This program shows me what to do." For Today: page 171Are you up for this step? I think so. You have done all the work asked of you so far and you are still coming back for more work. This is the step that scares most people. Facing people we have hurt or caused harm. Get out your Step 4 list from last week and begin to think of ways and times and places you will meet with the people listed.
Lost your list? Have no fear. It can be remade in a few minutes. Begin thinking of the names from your past and the ones that give you goose bumps, make you shiver or you want to curl into a ball and blow away are the names to put on the list. People who make you want to eat to forget. They belong on your list of people who need amends.
The step says DIRECT amends. That means in person if possible. Not just a phone call but a face to face meeting with someone from your past. You want abstinence today? You want serenity at any cost? Then this step cannot be skipped because of a few fears. Fear is not the issue. Amends is the issue. Facing what has been on your mind for years and getting it off your mind and into the hands of your HP who knows exactly how to deal with it is what this step is about.
This step is not for those who harmed us. This step is strictly for those we have harmed. Those who harmed us need our forgiveness. Those we have harmed need our amends. We seek them out, apologize for our wrongs and offer to right them as best we can. If money needs repaying we make a plan to do so. If lies need to be recanted we do that. We offer to do what is needed to right the wrong to the best of our ability. Those who no longer are available for amends we make living amends. We do the best we can every day, knowing it is the best we can do today.
Your amends list will keep evolving. New names will appear and they will need to be addressed as soon as they come up. But that will be addressed in Step 10. Get out the phone book and begin making those calls that will bring you serenity and peace beyond your wildest dreams.
If you need more reasons why to do this step, ask your sponsor what they think of this step. Were they eager to begin the step or did they put it off waiting for a better time or place to make amends. How did they feel after they worked Step 9?
You have no more time to wait. People who have long term abstinence and big weight loss and serenity about them have all done this step. You cannot not do the step and expect to keep your abstinence and serenity. Do it. Begin today. You are worth all the effort.
STEP NINE ~ QUESTIONS
This week I know you will be best served by taking the bit in your teeth and begin making amends to the people on your list. Don't spend your time thinking of what to write or how to answer questions. Spend your time with the people whose names appear on your list.
Your response this week could be to hit the reply button and let us know you are working on step nine and will be back next week.
I am looking forward to completing these steps before the year ends. One day at a time we will continue on this journey of recovery.
Step Leader 4th Quarter
The Twelve Steps
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