STEP NINE

Made direct amends to such people wherever possible,
except when to do so would injure them or others.







Essay

  • Open your diary/notebook and write the step 9 sentence.


Please read the following;

BB: Chapter 6 "Into action", page 76 (3.edition) "Letís look at steps eight to nine". Finish page 84 "They will always materialize if we work for them." (yes the same as last week again).
OA: Step 9
AA: Step 8
Overeaters Anonymous: one story, free of choice

While reading, take 3 colours of your own choice.
1. Colour/ underline everything that you recognize in yourself,
2. Colour/ underline everything that you find important, and
3. Colour/ underline everything that you can die from.

Daily exercise for diary:

Daily powerlessness list
Daily gratitude list
Daily surrender list (with motives included)

Pray the 9th step prayer of your own choice:




God, help me remember that the best way to show my love for you is to love others.

God, I want to approach you freely without the burden of unfinished business. Help me!

God, to hate the enemy is our way, to love the enemy is yours. May my amends bring peace.

God, show me my vain conceit and selfish pride, and help me consider others as more important.





Talk to your sponsor everyday!
If you think you have "nothing to say", write her/him anyway!

Step nine principle is self-discipline!

Itís time to get into action and go out and do those amends. Are your ready?

You can:
1. Make an appointment and meet face to face - preferred
2. Call on the phone - if not option one is possible
3. Meet on the internet - if not option two is a possible
4. Write a letter, etc
5. Make a ceremony, etc
6. Make a donation, etc
7. Give charity, etc
8. Live an amend - for things that can not be paid or made up for, but most be proven right.

You must discuss with your sponsor and of course God, how to do each amend. Sometimes we need to do it in various ways, to get it done. Some people say if you are not ready for the confrontation, you should wait. I disagree, and think itís better to go for the option you feel ready to do today and get it over with.

If you cannot meet face to face, write a letter. Get it done. Courage may leave you, whilst we are over this step, and die tomorrow. We never know what tomorrow brings, for any of us. I am lucky enough to have done this step a few times, and by the grace of God, I do not have to regret a thing in my life, I did what I could, made up for my mistakes and do my best every day to stay humble and clean up all what I keep messing up. Itís part of my disease and being human.

So, what to say, very important! We do not say weíre sorry. We talk only about ourselves and explain why we do this, and we donít discuss or pick up a fight - We simply ask for forgiveness and ask what we can do to make up for it. In reasonable ways we try to do that what they ask. We do not beg for forgiveness, we do not crawl, we do not push, we do not bargain. We just ask.

Then our business is finished, mission completed. We are not responsible for the result, we hand it over to God. If they say ok, I will forgive you, itís fantastic. If they say no, I can never forgive you, itís still ok. Itís up to them, they do not owe us forgiveness, just cause we asked for it. We did what we could to clean up our mess and that shows integrity and humbleness in action.

Donít go into a "slavery contract" to pay up for mistakes, if the other person expects something you can not give, be honest about it. And let God guide you.

I have done a lot of amends, and never has anyone asked for unreasonable things to make up for it. One woman told me she didnít want to have any contact with me, and that hurt, but must be respected. That will be my living amend to stay out of her life.

About living amends, they must be fulfilled if not, it is a waste of time to do the amends. If I told someone that I stole money from her, and asked her to forgive me, I can not keep on stealing.. I must live it, and never steal again. This changed my life. I have many living amends and they are helping me each and every day when I get tempted to fall back into abusive behaviours: like stealing, lying, beating and throwing things. I have to live it and stay away from it!

And how to make an amend for yourself? Each person has different ways, try to find you own way, but please do it. You are a very important person in your life!

Start with your list today, and keep on working on it, until itís finished. It may take days it may take years, but keep on working on it!


Summary questions (from OA workbook this time, as they are very good):

  • Which amends have I put off making?
  • How has this immobilized me and threatened my recovery?
  • What are the dangers of doing more harm than good as I face people directly and talk with them about hurtful situations of the past?
  • Have I talked with my sponsor or the other person who understands the twelve-step way of life regarding my list of amends?
  • What is the purpose of step nine?
  • How is making amends more than just saying "Iím sorry"?
  • What expectations do I have of how the other people will receive me?
  • How will I give the victim of my wrong actions an honest and straightforward acknowledgment of my mistakes?
  • What sort of changes or restitution am I willing to undertake to set right my wrongs?
  • What are "living amends"?
  • To whom do I owe living amends?
  • How can I make it up to myself and my loved ones for the hurts of the past?
  • To whom will I make direct amends?
  • How shall I make amends to those people I cannot find? Who are they?
  • How shall I make amends to those people who have died? Who are they?
  • What amends can I not make directly without harming somebody?
  • How can I make these amends anonymously to avoid hurting innocent people?
  • Are there any amends I want to make anonymously simply to avoid embarrassment to myself? Have I rationalized that making amends would injure me financially or damage my self-esteem?
  • How have I dealt with each person?
  • How do you feel now?



Step 9 guarantees:


This is the best thing you have ever done, whether itís the first time around or you did it many times! Congratulations!

All the best to you,
Mariam





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