STEP NINE

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






Hi everyone.
My name is Shlomo.
I am a food addict and compulsive overeater.

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

'Direct' means meeting the other person face to face.  'Such people' are all the people on my step eight list.

Let us begin the assignments.

ASSIGNMENTS:

1. Deepening our understanding of the amends process.

A). Read the Big Book pages 76-77: "Probably there are still some misgivings...we announce our convictions with tact and common sense"
Mark the sentences that resonate with you. Pay attention to the following: prudence about the spiritual feature, putting our life in order, and the bigger picture (the real purpose). Reflect and share with us.

B). Read the Big Book pages 77-78 "The question of how to approach the man...It's water over the dam."
Mark the sentences that resonate with you. Pay attention to the following: His doing us more harm than we did him or our not liking him is not a reason for deterring the amends. What we should and shouldn't say: we shouldn't criticize or argue, we sweep off our side of the street, his faults are not discussed. A positive response from him is nice, a negative response is his prerogative. Reflect and share with us.

C). Read the Big Book page 78 "Most alcoholics owe money...afraid to face them."
Mark the sentences that resonate with you. Pay attention to the following: settling our debts. Reflect and share with us.

D). Read the Big Book pages 78-80 "Perhaps we have committed a crime...This all happened years ago."
Mark the sentences that resonate with you. Pay special attention to the following: examples of amends that can cause us serious problems like imprisonment or losing our job; should do the amends if possible but shouldn't do them in a way that may injure others; the example of a man who hadn't paid alimony and how he handled the amends; example of handling the amends of a denied debt. Reflect and share with us.

E). Read the Big Book pages 80-82 "The chances are that we have domestic troubles...rather than risk a face to face combat."
Mark the sentences that resonate with you. Pay attention to this example of amending an affair: telling or not, not involving the other woman, jealousy. Reflect and share with us.

F). Read the Big Book pages 82-83 "If we have no such complication...a skeptic out of anyone."
Mark the sentences that resonate with you. Pay special attention to the following: abstinence is not enough and is just a beginning, changing behavior and attitudes-this is called 'living amends', the tornado example, living amends is not about saying I am sorry, we have to live the spiritual life-our family and others shouldn't be urged to do so, prayers (asking God is prayer). Reflect and share with us.

G). Read the Big Book page 83 "There may be some wrongs...we don't crawl before anyone."
Mark the sentences that resonate with you. Pay attention to the following: our attitude towards amends that cannot be done face to face or cannot be done at all; necessity of tact, consideration, and humility; necessity of not being servile or scraping; necessity of standing on our feet as God's people and not crawling. Reflect and share with us.

2. Read step nine in the A.A 12&12.
Mark the sentences that resonate with you and the sentences that give you additional information and suggestions. Reflect and share with us.

3. Read step nine in the OA 12&12.
Mark the sentences that resonate with you and the sentences that give you additional information and suggestions. Reflect and share with us.

4. Step nine action:
A. Suggestion: divide your step eight list into several sub-lists.
Sub-list1: People and institutions you feel you have no problems in making amends to now.
Sub-list2: People and institutions you feel you can make amends to, but it is more difficult and it will take more time to begin.
Sub-list3: People and institutions you feel you cannot make amends to, or think that amends are impossible.

B. Begin with Sub-list1; write down for each name how you are going to do the amends. I suggest you discuss it with your sponsor. This discussion is very important since we may cause harm to others without intending or thinking about it. We may also think wrongly that some amends are not needed or are impossible. We may also think wrongly that amends are needed where there is no need for them. Our sponsor can also help us and be very creative by suggesting different ways of doing amends when they cannot be done f2f or some other way we think of. After discussing with your sponsor, make the amends to the people on sub-list 1.

Another suggestion based on personal experience: 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 INTERRUPT 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.

C. Do the same procedure with sub-list 2.

D. Do the same procedure with sub-list 3. Remember that when we are not willing we pray for willingness and the power to do the right thing. Share what you can with us.

5. The step nine promises. Read the Big Book pages 83-84 "If we are painstaking about this phase...They will always materialize if we work for them."
Mark the sentences that resonate with you. Those sentences actually describe our spiritual recovery from our spiritual malady which is described by the bedevilments on page 52. There is an interesting comparison table in the following link:
http://www.thejaywalker.com/pages/52vs83.html. Reflect about the materialization of those promises in your life and share with us.

Shlomo





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