Posts tagged Making Amends

Step 10

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Step 10 – Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.

This step is often referred to as a maintenance step.  I think of it as a freedom step.  It keeps me free of the new clutter of old patterns.  One of the first slogans I learned in the program was ” Awareness is half of the solution.”  This gave me hope.  It meant that I was halfway to a better way of life.  With each new awareness, I had the opportunity to make amends for my part in situations and practice a new way of being.  Now I see it also as making a deposit in my relationship bank with other people.  Each deposit enriches my life and my relationships, and shores me up against the withdrawls of the future when I find myself less than present to my relationships than I’d like to be.

What feels so good about doing this Step on a regular basis is that I’m not accumulating additional baggage to weigh me down and clutter my mind.  Instead, I’m keeping myself free of new distractions, from being of use to my Higher Power and my sisters and brothers on the planet.  While it may seem inconvenient and uncomfortable at times to address situations as they occur, it’s so much easier than letting them fester and contaminate my days and my relationships.  It doesn’t make sense to me to have resentments, nor does it make sense to contribute to the creation of resentments in others.  The other day I did a little huff with my breath about being inconvenienced by a loved one.  I was only vaguely aware I’d done it.  Within 10 minutes they made a disparaging remark to me about me.  I had hurt their feelings with my inconsiderate, rude little huff.  I wouldn’t have done it with a friend.  When I asked why they seemed upset, they told me what I’d done.  They were right.  I was wrong.  I apologized.  They apologized.  We hugged.  We moved on.  So simple.  It works.

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Affirmation for the Day – ” I am making amends promptly.”

Remember to say the affirmation at least 3 times whenever you remember it, preferably in front of a mirror.

Course In Miracles Lesson –  This day is God’s.  It is my gift to him.

Practice – Christ And so we give today to You.  We come with wholly open minds. We do not ask for anything that we may think we want.  Give us what You would have received by us.  You know all our desires and our needs.  And You will give us everything we want and that will help us find the way to You.

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Doing Things Differently

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We are taught in the 12 Step programs that the definition of insanity is – “Continuing to do the same thing expecting different results.”

The premise is that if we do things we’ve never done before, things will change.  After years of pain and suffering, often needlessly, most of us finally reach the conclusion that it’s worth a shot to try it.  Now if we’re truly willing, we will humbly do as we are told – get a sponsor, work the Steps with our sponsor, go to meetings, do service work, read the Big Book or other 12 Step program literature, socialize after meetings and call our sponsor and others in the program regularly.  This is a form of surrender, and there is strength in surrender.

As discussed before, we don’t have to like it.  We don’t have to like any of it.  If we do it, things change.  We start to clean up the wreckage of our past.   We often find that people are willing to forgive us when they see the genuine regret we express for past behaviors, and our willingness to do what we can to make things right.  We start to feel better about ourselves precisely because we are being accountable and responsible for ourselves and what we have done in the past.  We even discover at times that circumstances which previously seemed unsurmountable resolve themselves easily, miraculously when we do as directed by the 12 Steps.  Keep in mind that some of our past may never be completely rectified.  Not everyone may forgive us, even after we make amends.  These things we learn to accept, and we can continue to make progress around them by doing living amends.  By making sincere efforts daily to conduct ourselves in a way that delivers on our commitment to practice the principles in all our affairs.  We most often find ourselves living a sane, productive life that contributes to the world in ways that make a positive difference.  Life still happens and there are great joys and serious challenges encountered on our journey.  But, we are changed.  Our lives are changed and we can experience the happy, sane and joyful freedom mentioned on pages 83 and 84 of the Big Book.  Promise.

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Affirmation for the Day – ” I am willing to change.”

Remember to say the affirmation at least 3 times whenever you remember it, preferably in front of a mirror.

Course In Miracles Lesson –  There is no peace except the peace of God.

Practice – There is no peace except the peace of God, and I am glad and thankful it is so.

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Making Amends

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The concept of making amends exists in many cultures and faiths, however, in many of those it is about apologizing to a Higher Power.  In the 9th Step we are given a specific action to do.  We’ve already made our list of people to whom we had caused harm in the past.  Now we begin the behavior, the action of making amends ” wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.”

Making amends is more than just saying, “I’m sorry.  I was wrong.”  It is about changing how we act on a daily basis.  Living amends are the goal going forward.  Living amends are a commitment to using the tools of the program to live our life with honesty and truth, extending ourselves respectfully to others in how we speak and act, and allowing them their dignity.  It is about following through on our commitments, doing what we say we’ll do, not promising what we can’t or won’t deliver on and being thoughtful about how we interact with others in general.

We may need to ask others, “How can I make this right?”  when we apologize for our past behavior.  Fortunately, our sponors can guide us through the nuances of amend making.  It can be most helpful to start making amends to ourselves first – and asking ourselves how we can make things right for us is very helpful in that it can direct our new behaviors.   We deserve to ask ourselves this question.  And we deserve the positive, helpful answers that come to us as we learn to treat ourselves and others as the children of God that we all are in this life.   It works.

     – If you find this helpful, pass it on to others.  For daily updates, press the orange RSS feed to the right for directions.

Affirmation for the Day – ” I treat myself and others with respect.”

Remember to say the affirmation at least 3 times whenever you remember it, preferably in front of a mirror.

Course In Miracles Lesson – I find the love of God within me now 

Practice – I find the love of God within me now.

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