“ Made direct amends to such people whenever possible
except when to do so would injure them or others. ”
Alcoholics Anonymous pp.83
By doing Steps 1 through 8, we have made significant progress in uncovering the things that are blocking us from a conscious connection to God. It is paramount to first address our internal condition if we are ever to make any headway with cleaning up our past.
Having discussed at length our 8th Step list with our sponsor, we are ready to begin to address the wreckage of the past. Many people jump the gun and attempt to do amends long before they have done the necessary work to have the power to do correct amends. The motive is usually to dissipate guilt and shame. This has nothing to do with amends.
Amends means change. Saying we are sorry is old behavior and carries no weight or sincerity with the people we have harmed. They simply do not want to hear it one more time. We are to set things right. The Big Book’s specific instructions on Step 9, along with following the direction of our sponsor, gives us the support we need to go out and do our amends.
The Big Book is clear–we do this to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and our fellow man. In order for this to happen we must go directly into Steps 10, 11 and 12 while doing Step 9. These last three steps keep us current and help us to continue to solidify the foundation of our recovery. We have power flowing in from the first eight steps and the power of the last three to assist us in doing Step 9.
This vital Step is a key to lasting freedom and peace. With each amends we witness the Power of God working in our lives. No matter how many times we have done amends , there is an element of surprise and gratitude for being able set right the wrongs we have done.
by Charlotte Safir, LCDC