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Step Study ~ Step 9

Old 05-30-2008, 07:17 AM
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Step Study ~ Step 9

I took some time off between Steps 8 and 9 here in the step study just as I did in real life. I had to work awhile at becoming willing to make amends to some of the people in my life... and I needed time to process just what that meant to me.

Step 9: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others

Step Nine is an action step in which we become humble enough to verbalize our regrets, if appropriate, to the people we’ve harmed. Identifying the persons we have harmed in Step 8 took courage. Because of our thoroughness, we build character by calling upon our Higher Power for the courage to change the things we can. We cannot undo our past and we cannot expect those we approach to respond positively, but we can admit our part and do whatever is possible to mitigate the consequences of our past errors.

In making amends, we need to understand that we’re not necessarily making an apology. There are differences between amends and apologies. In making an apology, we usually say, “I’m sorry” expecting a response of acceptance, pardon or forgiveness. In making amends, we may state our errors, our role in the incident and that we will correct their behavior for the future. We may or may not ask for forgiveness, and we may or may not experience a positive response. In many cases our changed behavior indicated stronger amends than words can ever be. If we have any expectation of the response to amends, we’re setting ourselves up for disappointment.
Here are some questions to ask ourselves or discuss in our groups to assist us in proceeding with making our amends.

Which people on my list do I need to make direct amends to first? What’s stopping me?

How can I plan what I am going to say in my direct amends to be clear and concise and to avoid blaming any other person?

What doubts do I have about my amends injuring someone? Can I discuss these doubts with my sponsor? Pray to be guided? Write about them?

What are my motives for making amends? Am I willing to accept the outcome, whatever it may be?

What is the difference between an apology and making amends? Which amends will be best done by changes in my behavior?

How can I be sure I am not just ducking an embarrassing situation?

What amends am I putting off? Why?

Do I have any amends to make that could result in serious consequences for my family, like loss of employment or a prison term? How can I use my sponsor or a trusted friend to help me sort these things out?

Who on my amends list will never be available for direct amends? Can I make amends in another way? Can I do something for another person?

What harm have I done to my children or immediate family? Can I make some amends by respecting them now as adults?

Am I willing to pray to become willing to make amends in the future?
How can I forgive myself for all the difficulties I have caused myself? What can I do this week to begin my amends to myself?

Could I write an amends letter to myself?

When I have finished this action step, what can I do to celebrate? Have I remembered to appreciate and reward my good deeds? The good deeds of others?
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