We remind ourselves that the reaction of the other person to our amends is his business and prerogative. Of course we will be glad if his response is positive but a negative response is also his right.
We remind ourselves that: "At the moment we are trying to put our lives in order. But this is not an end in itself. Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and the people about us."
We remind ourselves that: "We should be sensible, tactful, considerate and humble without being servile or scraping. As God's people we stand on our feet; we don't crawl before anyone.
Here is another suggestion Shlomo makes when giving an amends that he’s found most useful.
"Sometimes we are not aware of all the harm we caused the other person. Sometimes the other person does not feel that he was really hurt by the behavior we are trying to amend, but he feels very hurt by some other things we did. Therefore I always suggest that after talking about the damage we think we did, we ask the other person if he is willing to tell us if we did anything else that hurt him. We assure him that we intend to correct any additional damage that he feels we did. Sometimes you will be surprised at what comes up. Then the rule is simple. WE LISTEN. WE DON'T INTERUPT OR ARGUE OR TELL HIM THAT HE IS WRONG. If what comes up can be amended by an apology we apologize even if we think he is wrong. If we are sure he is wrong we can still apologize and say that we are sorry that he was upset and felt hurt by us. If it is something that needs more action we thank him for telling us and say we have to sit and meditate on it and will call him soon about it. We discuss what came up with our sponsor and decide what should be done and do it."
Remember that step nine is the transition step between clearing the wreckage of the past and living in recovery on a daily basis. It is a most crucial step and I find it to be a very difficult one. Since here we deal with repairing our relations with others which is usually most difficult for us. But the more difficult it is the more rewarding it is as we can see by the promises of step nine
Bedevilments and their healing
Those promises are written on pages 83-84. They are promises of healing our spiritual malady. Remember what the big book says: "When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically." The spiritual malady is described by the bedevilments on page 52. Below is a table that gives the bedevilment and the corresponding promise that replaces it.
Bedevilment: We were having trouble with personal relationships.
Promise: We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away.
Bedevilment: We couldn't control our emotional natures.
Promise: We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.
Bedevilment: We were a prey to misery and depression.
Promise: Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.
Bedevilment: We couldn't make a living.
Promise: Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.
Bedevilment: We had a feeling of uselessness.
Promise: That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
Bedevilment: We were full of fear.
Promise: We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
Bedevilment: We were unhappy.
Promise: We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
Bedevilment: We couldn't seem to be of real help to other people.
Promise: No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
If we are painstaking about this phase of our development we will be amazed before we are halfway through.
We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
They will always materialize if we work for them.
As you can see, step nine is the last step that helps us overcome our wreckage of the past. If we do it seriously the promises begin to materialize even before we are halfway through. And we enter the daily recovery phase.
If there are still some amends that we are not willing to make we pray for willingness every day and many times a day.
Remember that not completing the amends means that our spiritual illness is not treated. The Big Book tells us explicitly that half measures availed us NOTHING. This means among other things that we cannot recover unless we make all the possible amends to everyone on our list, and this includes amends that we are unwilling to make.
A lot of people in this program relapse repeatedly because they have not completed their amends. Only completing all the amends gives us complete freedom from our illness on a daily basis.
READINESS TO MOVE ON
We don't wait to finish step nine before we begin step ten. If we began step nine and are willing to finish the amends, we begin immediately with step ten. Here we pass over to the recovery stage where we live the program on a daily basis.
Here is some preliminary work for starting the maintenance part of our program (steps 10, 11, 12)
The Twelve Steps
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