Leader's Suggestion on Sharing
Leader's Share and Step Questions
My name is Shlomo
I am a compulsive overeater and leader of this workshop
We do the actions of step seven on a daily basis but we don't
Wait for our liabilities to lessen or disappear since this is a life long
We begin immediately with step Eight.
Made a list of all persons we had harmed
And became willing to make amends to them all.
This step asks me to make a list of all the persons I have harmed so I can't
Pick and chose. I have to become willing to make amends to all of them not
Just a part of them. In order to become willing I have first to realize what
Is demanded of me. How I am expected to make amends in different situations
And what is meant by the word amends. The Big Book deals with that subject
On pages 76-83.
The Big Book tells me that I already have such a list. I made the list when
I wrote step four. It is the list of harm done to others by our sex conduct
And by our general conduct. So what I have to do is go over my lists and see
If there are some people I missed when I wrote the lists, or there are some
People to add that I harmed after I wrote the lists. If there are such
People I should add them to the list like I did in step four and share with
My sponsor as in step five.
The Big Book defines amends as follows: "Now we go out to our fellows and
REPAIR THE DAMAGE DONE IN THE PAST."
The damage may be physical as in breaking someone's nose etc…, Emotional as
In insulting someone, or causing fear, envy, bitterness, suspicion, etc…
Financial as in stealing, not returning borrowed things, not paying debts,
The Big Book gives general directions on making amends in the wording of
Step nine. "Made direct amends to such people wherever possible except when
To do so would injure them or others"
DIRECT means that amends should be made FACE TO FACE. WHEREVER means
Anyplace, anywhere anytime of day or night as agreed between you and the
That means I have to meet the other person face to face where and when
He/she can meet me and repair the damage I did in the past. I don't make
Direct amends only if to do so, would harm the person I have to make amends
To, or if it would harm others. In such cases I recommend to talk with your
Sponsor and check if it is possible to make indirect amends in some way.
Others DOES NOT INCLUDE ME. The Big Book is very explicit about it.
Reminding ourselves that we have decided to go to any length to find a
Spiritual experience, we ask that we be given the strength and direction to
Do the right thing, NO MATTER WHAT THE PERSONAL CONSEQUENCES MAY BE."
We also see that the Big Book directs us to pray before making the amend.
Example: God please give me the strength and direction to do the right thing
No matter what the personal consequences may be.
This matter of not harming others by our amends is very serious. Making
Amends is not always a simple matter. There are situations in which we may
Cause additional harm by trying to make amends or we may even cause worse
Harm. Therefore I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that before we make any amends we talk
With our sponsor and check to see if the amends I have in mind are according
To the directions in the Big Book, and if I will not cause additional damage
And harm by those amends to the person I plan to amend or to others.
Now let us mention some specific examples that are mentioned in the Big Book
Persons we dislike or hate who may be have done more harm to us than we to
Them. We don't wait till we like them or forgive them. We make amends for
Our part no matter how small it is compared to theirs. We don't deal with or
Mention their part at all.
People we owe money to. We meet them and make an arrangement to pay it back.
If we can't pay it all at once we make an arrangement to pay back in
When we are married and had relations with another woman or man. If the
Wife/husband does not know we shouldn't always tell. It depends on the
Damage we may cause to our partner or to the children. This is clearly a
Situation where talking with the sponsor is a must. If we can't tell does it
Mean that we don't make amends at all? NO!!! We can't make direct amends but
We can change our behavior and stop playing around. This is called in the
Fellowships LIVING AMENDS. "Yes, there is a long period of reconstruction
Ahead,…So we clean house with the family, asking each morning in meditation
That our Creator show us the way of patience, tolerance kindliness and love.
"…our behavior will convince them more than our words."
So we turn to God and try to live up to our ideals of intimate relationships
and other relations.
If our partner does know, we make direct amends. We don't involve the third
party and don't give any details about that other person. "…we have no right
to involve the other person. We are sorry for what we have done and God
willing, it shall not be repeated. More than that we cannot do; we have no
right to go further."
The Big Book doesn't consider divorce or ending the relationship with our
But sometimes this is the right way to stop harming each other.
We should consider this too.
If we cannot meet the other person face to face because he does not agree to
meet us or he lives in a different country and there are valid reasons that
make it impossible for us to meet. Then as second choice we talk over the
phone. If even this cannot be done we write a letter.
Sometimes we don't know where the other person is. Maybe she/he changed her
/his name or moved to another address or country and we don't know his
whereabouts. Then the name remains on the list and we do everything we can
to find that person. If we still don't find him than we cannot do the amends
"There may be some wrongs we may never fully right. We don't worry about
them if we can honestly say to ourselves that we would right them if we
How do we make amends to people who are dead? We can't. Those belong to the
category of some wrongs we may never fully right. There are sometimes
partial amends that we can do. If we owe them money may be we could return
it to their heirs, or to some charity. We can also perform some symbolic
acts that from personal experience may be of some help to us. Like
apologizing to them on their graves. Or writing a letter to them and
symbolically giving it to God.
How about amends to institutions? Those are usually cases of stealing or
borrowing, and not returning debts. So we make direct amends and return the
money or objects. If it is not possible to return money because the
institute cannot take it back, then from personal experience it is best to
donate it to a charity or some volunteer organization that helps people.
What do we say when we make amends and what do we avoid saying? "We go to
him in a helpful and forgiving spirit, confessing our former ill feelings
and expressing our regret." The big book tells us that we express our regret
but it does not say that we ask for forgiveness. So we don't ask for
forgiveness. I think the reason is simple. The other person does not have to
forgive us. We should not expect or ask for anything of this kind. This is
his decision. We deal only with our part and don't throw obligations his way
We explain that we are in a twelve step spiritual program, only if the other
person understands and is in favor of a spiritual way of life.
What about mentioning what the other person did to us, that may be far worse
than what we did to him? "Under no condition do we criticize such a person
or argue…We are there to sweep off our side of the street, realizing that
nothing worth while can be accomplished until we do so, never trying to tell
him what he should do. His faults are not discussed. We stick to our own."
How should we behave generally? "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.
What about the behavior of the other person? His behavior is his business
not ours. "It should not matter, however, if someone does throw us out of
his office. We have made our demonstration, done our part. It's water over
1. Go over your step four lists of harm done to others by
sexual conduct and by general conduct. Try to remember
people you have harmed that are not on the lists. and people you have harmed
after writing the lists. Give yourself some time to sit quietly and if any
names come up add them to the lists as in step four and share with your
sponsor as in step five.
2. Read pages 76-83 carefully. Mark and copy the sentences that tell you the following:
a) The meaning of the word 'amends'.
b) How to make amends to people we don't like.
c) What is the real purpose of making amends?
d) There is a saying 'Don't take another person's inventory'. Copy the
sentences that validate that saying.
e) Copy the sentences that validate that personal consequences to us don't
generally count. And copy the sentences that show when the personal
consequences do count and what we should do then.
f) Copy the sentences that tell us what to say and what not to say and how
to behave when making amends.
g) Copy the sentences that deal with the other person's behavior and how we
should respond to it.
h) Copy the sentences that tell us what to do about debts.
i) Copy the sentences that tell us how to make amends for different domestic problems
j) Copy the sentences that tell us that being clean and abstinent is not
k) Copy the sentences that tell us about living amends.
l) Copy the sentences that tell us what to do about "wrongs that we can
never fully right".
3. How do we make amends to the following? People who don't want to meet us,
people who don't want to talk to us, People we can't find, people we can't
meet because of objective circumstances like living in another country, etc…
dead people, institutions,
4. Go over your lists of harm done to others by sexual conduct and general
conduct. Copy the names of the persons to a new eight step list, which will
consist of five lists. Each list will have three columns and three names to
a) People That I find it easy to make amends to and I am willing to make the
amends as soon as possible.
b) People that I find it more difficult to make amends to but I am willing
to make amends to them.
c) People that I am not willing to make amends to
d) People that I can't make amends to because it will cause harm to them or
others or because they are dead or because I don't know where they are.
e) Institutions that I have to make amends to.
5. In the second column of each list write very briefly the harm you caused
to each person on the list
6. In the third column of each list write exactly the amends that should be
made and how you plan to make them. If you are not willing to make them then
write that you are not willing to make them.
If you can than share an example from each list with us.
7. Contact your sponsor as soon as possible and meet him or talk with him on
the phone. Discus with him what you have written for each person on the
lists. Make sure that you are not going to cause harm to other persons by
the proposed amends. Discuss with your sponsor the amends you are not
willing to make and your reasons.
8. Pray to H.P. every day to help you be willing to make the amends that you
don't want to make
You are invited to comment and ask me questions. Send your questions and comments to me at: email@example.com.
Send your answers to the assignments to the loop at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a nice day
TOP OF PAGE
My name is Shlomo
I am a compulsive overeater and leader of this workshop.
Thanks to all the members who wrote to me privately.
First let me quote some sentences from the Big Book.
From the forward to the third edition.
"Each day, somewhere in the world, recovery begins when one alcoholic
talks with another alcoholic, sharing experience strength and hope.
From the chapter Working with others:
"nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking (eating compulsively) as
intensive work with other alcoholics."
From the chapter A vision for you:
"Give freely of what you find and join us."
"Each group has but one primary purpose-to carry its message to the
compulsive eater who still suffers."
From the AA 12&12 page 11: "Sobriety cannot be kept unless it is given away
Tradition one: "our common welfare should come first; personal recovery
depends upon TRG unity"
From the AA 12&12 page 9: "the group must survive or the individual will
Some food for thought.
When we join a group and don't share with it we are neglecting an important
part of our recovery
Since carrying the message is part of the steps we take to recover.
Our WTS group is a study group and therefore your sharing to the group is
limited to answers to the assignments.
But this does not mean that it is enough for our recovery to do the
assignments and not share with the group.
One can share about the progress with the assignments and how it helps to
progress on the road to recovery.
You don't have to keep up with the leader in order to share.
But it is important for your recovery and the recovery of others to let
them see what you are doing and how it helps you.
You can also share where you are stuck with some of the assignments and how
you try to get unstuck.
You don't have to send long shares unless you want too.
Even a few lines are enough. And it doesn't take long to write them.
As I said above : food for thought
Have a nice day
The Twelve Steps
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