Leader's Share and Step Questions
Welcome back, and welcome Home, beautiful family, you bless me well, to bless me to walk along side of you on this journey to a happy destiny on recovery road. I was so blessed with a wonderful week of abstinence and serenity. You know being so down physically, after multiple illness, infection, complicated by a nasty fall, really encourages me to push in spiritually and to commune with God and push into His presence and Word, and to strengthen that relationship with Him to get out of self, give Service and boy was I blessed with such more than I could of imagined. A beautiful week of seeing God show up in SO many people's lives, and so many miracles and transformations taking place! I am SO blessed to say that by Thursday my own mini miracle was taking place. I was up out of the Hospital Bed, my own sick bed, after a week of constantly icing my knees, and heating padding my back and resting the cellulitis in my legs, getting the wounds on my body treated, I was able to actually walk out 120 steps 3 times! Thank You Jesus. Then my Son actually came over, and recorded the next song for the Christian CD I am putting out this year for the glory of God! So talk about a Living Amends, my son gets to see and hear his Mom, who had given up on life, take up her sick bed and walk. I get to serve him; whatever he may choose to eat or drink. I get to show him I am not laying in a bed, I am up dressed, functioning. I am playing the piano, and singing. (I have not given up on my life's dream or gifting, or love!) And then he gets to hear how much Jesus loves him in song. (So it is most definitely a Living Amends) And definitely a time to mend and heal our relationship. We are getting along so well now, and enjoy each others time and are building something that will last a life time, because we now have mutual interests and mutual respect! That is ONLY a result of abstinence! He hopefully will be coming over tomorrow to record another song for the album! I am very excited and hopeful. (The Social Worker did not come over yet to rate my condition to determine the level, and best help for me yet, as I was to injured for help, and rating, as yet, she/he should be coming first part of the week, I appreciate your prayers).
STEP NINE: " Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others."
SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLE: Love for others "genuine affection, caring, giving, service, providing for your fellows.
SPIRITUAL DEFINITION OF LOVE: "Love is patient love is king. It does not envy, it does not boas, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."
Direct: "with no one or nothing in between" Let's go right to the people this effects providing to do so will not injure.
Amends: "Compensation, restitution, or reparations.
NINTH STEP PRAYER:
God give me the strength and direction to do the right thing no matter what the consequences may be. Help me to consider others and not harm them in any way. Help me to consult with others before I take any actions that would cause me to be sorry. Help me to not repeat such behaviors. Show me the way of Patience, Tolerance, Kindliness, and Love and help me live the spiritual life. AMEN (p. 78-80 BB)
Our work here is to right a wrong. An apology is great, and apologies will be made here, they are a great beginning, and a great way to humble yourself in front of the someone who has only seen you through the eyes of selfish, rebellion and pride filled character defects. However we must now go much deeper here than sorry, we actually right the wrong; compensate, restitution or reparation is made here. I love to make living amends when people can actually see the changes made in my life, and I do not mean simply the 230 pound weight release, however the blessings that came from the weight release; direct amends also; being able to cook for my family, being able to take the trash bag out, the trash out, to do the laundry, to clean the house, the fridge, to dust, to be of maximum service to my family first, then my friends, and fellows. I hurt my Father God the worst after all He loves me the most! He created me, He envisioned me, fashioned me out of clay, blew breath in my nose and sent me here, then sent His only begotten Son; Jesus to pay my sin's debt I could never pay for a debt He never owed, Oh how my sin, and disease hurt Him. I put food, sugar, sloth, and gluttony;idolatry of food before my beloved, oh how that breaks my heart, that I sold my very soul for a ______ bar, a box of______ for an extra heaping of ________, Oh how He loves me, and I chose me, me, me, and the food, food, sugar, sugar, instead of Him. I never trusted Him to FULL FILL me! I had it ALL in wrong order. I fell for the LIE, that He was not enough. That the God shaped hole in my soul was up to me to FILL up. That food, sugar, sex, worldly lust, strivings, money, whatever I pursued, whatever I wanted would FULL FILL me, and I was a Christian! Oh Father forgive me, I knew NOT what I was DO ing.. I had NOT grown along spiritual lines. I had NEVER connected God to my food. I never thought God cared about my food, what I ate or drank or that I was eating at, what was eating at me, or that eating was a "SPIRITUAL ISSUE??" WHAT?? GOD & FOOD, FOOD & GOD?? Wow, that I could surrender my will, food, sugar over to the care of god and He COULD DO for me what I could not DO for my self?? WOW, the miracles began the 230 pound weight release all became possible because "ALL things are possible with God!" ALL that pain, ALL that self hatred, ALL that self sabotage, and stuffing my face because I could not face myself so yes I was programmed to believe the Lie, I SO hurt God, I did not believe I was worthy of all of that great love because of all of that sexual abuse, my daddy leaving, I had NO trust of men, I was SO happy to learn God is not a man, a Spirit, The ONLY perfect Father and that "HE will NEVER leave me NOR forsake me," and although I have truly let Him down, He has and will never let me down, as I put Everything in His hands, I see everything in His hands! Oh how I love Him, and oh how He loves and lifts even me from the power of darkness and delivers me!! After I hurt my Heavenly Father; God, Jesus, and His Holy Spirit, after that, I truly maimed, disfigured and injured myself; body, mind, soul, and spirit. I simply did not see that whatsoever. I was in such Denial (Don't, Even, Notice, I, Am, Lying) I didn't see how I was hurting myself, or how I was injuring my treasured son, or loved ones, or my most beloved..God!! How about you friends, are the chains of Denial falling or have they yet fell so you can see how you have injured self or others from this fatal dis ease?
A Ninth Step Prayer:
"God, with regard to this amend; give me the strength, courage and direction to do the right thing, no matter what the personal consequences may be. Help me not to shrink from anything. Help me not to delay if it can be avoided. Help me to be sensible, tactful, considerate and humble without being servile or scraping."(79:1, 83:3)
How it works: Although our amends will take on all kinds of forms and we must work this out with our trusted Sponsor or our Spiritual Advisor, Life Coach, or Counselor, because in many cases we have truly been fractured, broken and just fractured so badly we need accountability so that we do no harm to self or others, this is imperative here! Because our continued success of recovery rests on Steps Eight and Nine as we learned last time. Reminding ourselves we are willing to go to any lengths to find a spiritual experience, we ask God for the strength and direction to do the next right thing, no matter the personal consequence, we are willing, we have to be, we shrink at nothing! I was happy to waste no time to get up out of my sick bed, it began I was sitting at the stove, (taking my oxygen off for a short time) and cooking (unfortunately Rock; my son would have to hand me everything, I would sit there and cook it it all, put my oxygen back on, and help carry it to the table, and this was the first stage of direct amends of cooking for my family instead of laying in my bed, asking for food, or Rock nuking me a tv dinner or ordering dinner or Mom cooking. I was so blessed to raise up out of my sick bed to be able to make this amends. Today, I will ask Rock to come to the supper table after successfully cooking an entire meal. He will need to help me with nothing! I will walk back and forth from the table probably about 20 to 30 times to cook and clean up after myself, but thank You God, I no longer sit, and my Son, no longer is my legs, God has restored me, to be able to make this direct amends to my Son! Our loved ones have been most affected by our insanity, our self-serving unlovingness, fear & resentments. One purpose of Step Nine is to bring our lives to order and to help clean up our abstinence and serenity. However the Real Purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and our fellows.
The way we make amends to society and to all the people we may never be able to contact is to maintain our abstinence one day at a time, practicing all the steps in all of our affairs, continuing to help on another, doing all things out of LOVE. This is the way we come to peace and serenity within our selves, and are able to carry the message of Love, Hope, and Peace into this dark and hurting world and to our fellows in isolation. They so need YOU!
With your willingness to make complete amends to all, the Ninth Step is started, and it is unlikely that we will complete this Step in a lifetime, for we want to continue to keep our relationships clean, in integrity; holy or upright, so that our food matches!
I pray for the right attitude to make my amends,
Being ever mindful not to harm others in the process.
I ask for Your guidance in making indirect amends.
Most important, I will continue to make amends
By staying abstinent, helping others &
Growing in spiritual progress.
For me, my Sponsor made amends such wonderful healing experience, that I am continuing to be blessed work out amends each day when due. For people I could not reach, or for people that I would cause injury to, letters would be written to them as if I would be having a conversation to them, and as we learned in Step Eight, that writing clarifies our emotions that have been confused and buried within us, and for me these emotions were buried up for many, many a year! By setting down these grievances in black and white we place a boundary around them. For me, the power of doing this for those who wronged me; child molester, incest "or" rapist, abandonment of natural father, SO helped me to have a beginning and an end to it finally!!! (whether it took 2 paragraphs or 2 notebooks!) I finally saw for the first time, there really was a LIMIT to how much I was hurt.. a Root, and all of the branches, down on paper in black and white. All the hurt, fear, and pain down on paper. Just like on Step Four. The hurt had a beginning and now it can finally have an end! Some time the best part of the story really is; THE END!
Of course we want to give it away so we don't keep it. I have seen time after time, if we keep it, we will keep the weight the burden of it all! I know for me, every extra pound on my body, is a pound of pain, I TRIED to manage myself and was not WILLING to surrender it over to the care of God who loves me so much. Oh I ATE satan's evil treacherous lies, The BINGE: (Believed, I'm Not, Good, Enough) satan groomed me through sexual sin that he attacked me with as a child and more even as an adult, and I continued the pain against self with controlling my food, first as anorexia, and then as compulsive overeating, however NOW that I know my identity as a Daughter of the Most High God of Heaven's Army, he/satan/evil can't keep me in bondage and a slave to food and sugar anymore. I don't have to be a slave to food and sugar, I have 12 steps and nine tools to lead me right out of hell and into God's Presence, to the truth that sets me free, and Nothing, Nothing tastes sweeter than what abstinence feels like! God sets a table for me even in the presence of my enemies, Even when I am down on myself, because of being the 500 pound woman, it was much worse as the almost 800 pound woman, however the enemy still comes after me to steal, kill and destroy me, my health gets me down, my size, I usually 99 % of the time a happy person, I have my day :) However, no matter how guilty I feel I am, or how self condemning I am, or how ashamed of myself I am, guilt, condemnation and shame; they produce regret, which produces death, then I am marked, damned and doomed and judged myself, guilt says I am not forgiven. condemning myself says I am not worthy & judged, shame says it is still who I am, everyone of those says I am still guilty!! However, through God, through Jesus Christ it is completely opposite of God and Christ, God says, "There is now therefore NO condemnation for those of us who are in Christ Jesus who live after the spirit and not after the flesh" "We under His grace, His love and we are not being judged not for being FAT, not for eating too much, not for not exercising enough. Not for sticking to our food plan 100% He is love, and if He loves me/you, He wants me to love me, and Acceptance is still the answer to all of my problems today! I have judged myself outside of God, & I am called to higher things, He makes the difference, God's love and light restore, heal and full fill me! So amends need to be made to self, so I can then forgive myself and love myself like God/Jesus, "His yoke is easy His burden is light! then I have judged myself outside of God, & I am called to higher things, He makes the difference, God's love and light restore, heal and full fill me!
Amends to myself have included coloring my hair, painting my nails, time alone reading a book, or 100. Going back to College and getting my Bachelor's Degree, on to getting my Master's Degree this year. Opening my own Practice for God's glory, beginning to once again play the piano, sing and write Christian Music and Songs as God sings through me through the Power of the Holy Spirit. I have allowed people to love me. I have allowed myself to think and say kind words about myself.
I wrote a letter that says; "O forgive you little Linda for 1. not knowing to tell your Mommy your uncle___________. I forgive you little Linda for not telling your new Daddy his son did this to you _________________. and told you him and mommy paid him to. I forgive you Linda for not telling your Mommy and Daddy that then when you went to the Doctor because you were sexually injured that the female Doctor__________________you, and further injured you sexually. You get the idea. I did the same for teenage years to current. I was then able with the help of my Sponsor, able to DO some very healing things from give Service to a Sponsee to share with her little girls how important it is to share with her little girls to share with them how important it is to share with them how important it is to teach them without throwing them into fear, how it is inappropriate for anyone to touch them privately, yet how safe it is and good to tell Mommy if anyone does. During this time. God moved. Out of the blue a Police Officer called stating that one man/uncle who had torturously violently molested me during my childhood has a case against him and would like my testimony about the sexual abuse I had experienced so that they could use my testimony in a Court of Law as History against him as a teacher to handicap children right now! God allowed me to give a testimony to help this case against him during this time of Amends! I have waited since I was 3 years old to speak my truth! Is God amazing or what?
NOW THE OA PROMISES (found in p.83-84 AA Big Book)
The Ninth Step Promises
Copyright © Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.
The choice is ours...
Do we want
more of what brought us to OA ...
... or do we want what
we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be
amazed before we are half way through.
We are going to know a new
freedom and a new happiness.
We will not regret the past nor
wish to shut the door on it.
We will comprehend the word
serenity and we will know peace.
No matter how far down the
scale we have gone, we will
see how our
experience can benefit others.
That feeling of uselessness and
self pity will disappear.
We will lose interest in
selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
Self-seeking will slip away.
Our whole attitude and outlook
upon life will change.
Fear of people and of economic
insecurity will leave us.
We will intuitively know how to
handle situations which used to baffle us.
We will suddenly realize that
God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled
among us—sometimes quickly,
sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.
ed. Big Book pg. 83 & 84
choice is ours...
practicing our Traditions, Alcoholics
Anonymous World Services, Inc. has neither endorsed nor are
they affiliated with Silkworth.net. Alcoholics
Anonymous®, AA®, and the Big Book® are
registered trademarks of Alcoholics Anonymous World
OA 12 STEPS & 12 TRADITIONS:
This Step has removed many shackles from the past, and healed many poisoned hearts. Fear may make us want to procrastinate, the death of recovery! Our Sponsors will remind us the purpose of Step Nine is to clear away the debris, the wreckage from the past. The guilt, the ill will so we can have healthier, happier relationships! In many cases it requires more than saying sorry, we acknowledge our wrong and make the appropriate restitution, and change our behavior moving forward toward them.
We must let go of any expectations. They may have forgotten, they may accept it more than we thought, or they may refuse and continue to hold a grudge. They have that right, and we don't need their forgiveness to recover, we are only to clear off our side of the street, doing whatever we can to right our wrongs. Having done so we no longer have to feel any anger or guilt about these situations. What freedom this brings, No more triggers, remorse, pain, such a healing is coming for you! Sincerity is required and we are not to provoke our fellow and only mention our part in it. If we have money to pay we return it, or if we have lied we correct it, providing we can do it without injury. To amend something means to change it. We complete our amends for our wrongful actions of the past by changing our actions in the future.
When making amends to ourselves and to those closest to us, whom we repeatedly harmed by our patterns of behavior we owe them "LIVING AMENDS" Meaning the words we say will not be as impactful as the clean, serene, abstinent way we now live! If we were to apologize and keep on going on hurting them the same way our words would be empty. ONLY permanent change of our behavior, attitudes and actions can make it up to ourselves, our loved ones and to our God. I can only make it up to God, by always putting Him first, moment by moment abiding in Him, rejoicing in Him, being reconciled in Him, being right in Him, no war in Him, He has illuminated my heart, filled up my heart and staying filled up in His love and goodness. These are the actions of direct amends. If we cannot find our fellows, we may need to make indirect amends, write letters, that we would say to them if we were face to face with them. Sometimes these people reappear.
Even for our fellow who have died we make amends and discuss with our Sponsor on how and when and where to make the amends. The restitution may be a gift to a charity or Service given to a Charity. Or help made to a family member of your fellow. Appropriateness should always be our guide. Anonymous amends may be necessary as well, not to avoid embarrassment, rather to avoid injury. If we are to be restored to right relations with others we must do whatever we can do to square things with the people we have harmed. As we deal lovingly without people our spiritual experience and awakening has become a reality. To the best of our ability we have cleaned up the wreckage of our past, and we are at peace with the world!
NOW YOUR PART:
QUESTIONS FOR STEP NINE:
1. What risks are involved with you being willing to be willing to go to any lengths to offer amends?
2. What are you afraid will happen if you attempt to make amends?
3. What Step or Steps would help you, if you were to focus on it, would help you to make your amends?
4. How have your thoughts, opinions, and ideas affected the decisions you have made?
5. What is your usual reaction to brokenness?
6. How far will you go to restore a relationship with another person, God, and myself?
7. Making amend breaks yoke and bondage, what are you hoping to finally be free of?
8. What is your take away and something positive from Step Nine for you?
The OA experience tells us that recovery depends on successfully working Steps Eight and Nine!!!! Our behavior will convince them more than our words!!
God bless n prayers,
The Twelve Steps
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