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Old 09-10-2009, 06:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Amends to One's Self

Tonight's meeting at my home group was about making amends to ourselves. Not forgiving ourselves, but making amends.

Aside from concerns about this being a little dangerous... ie, self centered, it was an interesting meeting.

Myself, working the program is really all about that. The damage we did to our credibility with loved ones, job, neighbors is made right, as much as it can be. But more important, the separation from God, that damage done to ourselves, the 12 steps is the antidote...

Just thought I'd share that, thanx.

Mark
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Old 09-10-2009, 06:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The best amends I can make to myself is by making amends to all those I've harmed.
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Old 09-10-2009, 07:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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This is a good topic, Mark, and an important one. My "sponsor" is totally fanatic about it.....It is like almost impossible to go to any 4th, 5th, 8th or 9th Step meeting and not have her bring it up, especially if people are really getting down on themselves and/or expressing a lot of shame and guilt. In fact, she doesn't allow people to finish a 4th and 5th Step until they address the issue of how they treat, talk to, and take care of (or not) themselves.

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Old 09-10-2009, 07:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Interesting topic...learning not to be so hard on myself was a big part of getting content in sobriety, and it was definitely connected to the 9th step, but I wouldn't call it an amend, or at least that's not how I was taught.

It was more about being relieved of the bondage of self through setting right my dealings with other people, as well as the actions taken in the other steps.
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Old 09-10-2009, 07:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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This was HUGE for me!
When I did my 9th step, my sponsor asked me to write a letter of amends to myself. I kinda blew it off. Then I started getting a little squirrely at a little over a year sober. It kept coming to mind when I prayed. Then I was at a womens 11th step retreat and it hit me what I needed to do. I hiked up to the top of a mountain and wrote a 12 page letter of amends to myself. I was very resentful of my choices and all the harm I had inflicted on the world in my drinking. After I wrote that letter and prayed and turned it over to my higher power, it felt like the world had been lifted from my shoulders. I can not begin to tell you the changes it made in my recovery.

So this is my experience and I will share that with every sponsee I ever have. I am not sure if it is the same with men, but I know that us women, especially mothers really take on a lot of shame and blame.
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Old 09-10-2009, 07:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hmm...
I just shared on the ongoing "Bedtime Gratitue" thread
"Grateful to be me"

How did that miracle come about?
Gods forgivness and living AAs 12 Steps.

Forward we go...side by side
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Old 09-10-2009, 07:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Ohhhh I totally get this! I agree with what the others have said...not accepting any more shame/guilt is a huge step for ourselves. Making amends to myself means that I am now willing to accept the good things that come to me and realizing that I am a good person, worth knowing and loving and being valued as a person. I know that this was a hard concept for me to get!

Nice topic..thanks.
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Old 09-10-2009, 08:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Let me move this further...

When we make amends in our 9th step, our goal is to make things right with someone. If possible, as they were before. We don't ask for forgiveness, if it is given... so much the better. But, we want to set things right.

Forgiving ourselves is vital of course. But does this restore us? It is through the steps and the program that we regain our dignity, credibility and self worth. It is only through action, I think, that we can square the account with ourself.

That action, as defined in the program of AA, accomplishes this. All we have to do is work that simple program

I still have much work to do, but is reassuring to know what that work is, even though it is difficult at times.
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Old 09-11-2009, 12:26 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Tonight's meeting at my home group was about making amends to ourselves. Not forgiving ourselves, but making amends.
I am with Keith, the biggest way to forgive myself is to make amends to you. It was one of the reasons I felt like crap all the time. If my first sponsor had insisted that I do an asset list on my fourth step as I hear so many do, I would have never gotten on woth the steps. I felt like crap all the time, when I got to start making amends to other people guess what?

I started to feel ok, and ok was pretty good
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Old 09-11-2009, 04:13 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I heard early on that the first person we need to put on the 8th step list is ourselves. What a load of crap. I don't belong on the 8th step list. You do. When I have made amends to you and live life on a spiritual basis, then I am making amends to myself.
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Old 09-11-2009, 04:29 AM   #11 (permalink)
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i have made some Amends.. i let people know how sorry i was and let them know what i was trying to do in my new life of sobriety..
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Old 09-11-2009, 05:06 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Wow my sponsor would be bursting into the room and calling us all a bunch of cunts lol No i can't relate to this one, and i'm glad it isn't in the BB...would seem very odd to me! Totally agree with not being too hard on myself and take life a little more lightly in general, not really productive to beat myself up over things of the past now i am actually working towards a better future.

Just sharing what i have been told to and not to do:-)
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Old 09-11-2009, 05:29 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Thanx for all the comments... For those who may think that this was about self centeredness... it was and it wasn't....

If I make amends to myself... restored, whole... not giving myself hugs... only then can I become the best husband, father, friend, coworker, whatever... I can be...

Making myself right. But this only comes as I work through the steps. Most importantly 6-9. It's hard work.

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Old 09-11-2009, 05:49 AM   #14 (permalink)
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This making amends to one's self is one more reflection of watered down, feel-good, fluffy A.A. lite. The kind of A.A. that is about self-improvement and working on my self. The kind of A.A. that is a selfish program. And if it's a selfish program, of course I'm at the top of the list. The kind of A.A. that turns the results of taking a course of action to repair damage done to others into promises that one has to chase after and get. Never mind that one of those promises says that no matter how far down the scale I've went I can see how my experience can benefit others. Another one of those promises says something about losing interest in selfish things. Some other place in the book mentions giving of one's self so that others may survive and rediscover life. Somewhere else it says something to the effect that we hold the key to life and happiness for others.

I spent a lot of time during the 80's bouncing in and out and around AA meetings. Hundreds of meetings and four treatment facilities. One of the big catch phrases during those years was self-esteem.

When I finally got sober in '91 I felt really bad. I had awakened to the fact that I had single-handedly ruined everything worthwhile in my life and that I had damaged the people I loved the most. I think this is how one is supposed to feel when they've just realized that they've ruined their life and everything in it.

But I didn't know that then. I thought I had low self-esteem and that I shouldn't feel that way. I told my sponsor I thought I had low self-esteem, that maybe I needed to get it back. He said "Any one that treats people the way you do should feel bad. If you want self-esteem, live in such a manner that would make you feel good about yourself."

I get free when I'm willing to make the amend. At that point, it isn't for me anymore.
Jim

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Old 09-11-2009, 05:54 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I thought I had low self-esteem and that I shouldn't feel that way. I told my sponsor I thought I had low self-esteem, that maybe I needed to get it back. He said "Any one that treats people the way you do should feel bad. If you want self-esteem, live in such a manner that would make you feel good about yourself."
What was in my post that was contrary to what you said?

Mark
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Old 09-11-2009, 06:10 AM   #16 (permalink)
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What was in my post that was contrary to what you said?

Mark

Nothing Mark. I was just voicing my views on the subject.
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Old 09-11-2009, 06:31 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Well, when you spew your views, I usually listen quite carefully.

I get that even just posting on this subject may represent "AA Lite". That even just asking the question may be selfish.

Thanx for bringing my attention to that....

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Old 09-11-2009, 06:57 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I wasn't aiming my post at anyone in particular Mark.
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Old 09-11-2009, 07:48 AM   #19 (permalink)
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"Amends to One's Self".....what page is that on?

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Old 09-11-2009, 07:58 AM   #20 (permalink)
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"Amends to One's Self".....what page is that on?

If you find it, will you let me know?
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