Alcoholics Anonymous Blog/Video Sept 30 DonInLondon Step 9 " Amends Into Action"
September 30, 2013: "end of the month and sharing about step nine, part of the transition into a life where openness, honesty and willingness will pay dividends for everyone." And yet it is still difficult to overcome the shame and guilt, the fear of being found out if we have not been thorough in our understanding of how the steps work in real life.
Clearing the wreckage of the past is a really difficult process and not something that can be done overnight, even when we have gone through the process of self-examination, giving up our best friend, the addiction and the oblivion, real life is quite difficult. In real life, we keep on creating the wreckage of the past until we are thoroughly aware of old behaviour and attitudes and actions which lead back to a desire for oblivion, and learning new behaviour which leads into new attitudes, new behaviour and actions. This is where step six can prevail on any given day, and the defects come out to play. Or we are more conscious and more aware of the opportunity with courage to change, faith in next actions and the growing confidence to make mistakes and learn from them with step seven.
In meetings around here, and thankfully there are many, we listen to the experience strength and hope of people new in the Fellowship, people learning how the steps work in reality, and even when we have understood and live the steps as part of our way of life, even if we are a newcomer or an old timer, every day is a new day of learning. And old behaviour so ingrained over the years can be very difficult to shake off.
Married people! Very often married people find life extremely difficult with their partner who may not be in recovery because they don't need to be. And somebody who is married, changing the old life, the old attitudes and behaviour, throws up many complications. How on earth do we relate in a new way to partners? How can we be intimate like we used to be? And the answer is, we need to be open honest and vulnerable and willing to ask all the old questions, and very new questions about how to relate and how to be intimate and how to learn to love one day at a time. Assumptions can be the very devil in the detail. Having had to accept our own recovery and what that means, what does it mean to partners, to family, to friends and wider society? Unless we share and reveal, everyone we know is disabled because they don't know the truth. Always truly difficult unless we find humility to be the greatest power of learning one day at a time.
Ego, pride and fear can keep us stuck and ignorant. And the problem with ego pride and fear, is usually trying to hide or defend the truth of what happened. And until we are acquainted with our own frailties and vulnerability and actually see the gift in acceptance, we run the risk of never growing and never knowing our full emotional and spiritual potential one day at a time. Step nine can be very liberating, and don't forget that sometimes people in our lives deserve to be liberated from us.
If we approach step nine in an open honest and willing way, working out the immediate amends which can be made, where we need further information in order to make amends which are important, the phrase, "without doing further harm," is not a way to smooth over difficult amends, it is about due consideration for everyone, not just us. Courage to change, faith in doing the next right thing, confidence growing and learning and with humility becomes a power in itself far greater as we ask for help one day at a time.
I love recovery; I am learning my emotions in real time. Feelings fitting with the moment of now. In conversation with my best friend yesterday and hearing about how they are enjoying a new freedom never experienced before is a real and happy experience. Indeed it is about spiritual awakenings, feeling right in the moment of now even if life is good, bad or ugly. Righteous anger through to unconditional love is to be experienced based on what is happening. And often by asking for help at the right time, in the moment of now, we learn what we can do and what we cannot do and the wisdom keeps on growing until we expire.
Step nine releases many of us from the bondage of self. And at the same time it can be very difficult because we release others in the process. Amends with love can cause endings we might prefer never to happen. At the same time as we face loss, the freedom which comes from telling the truth, offers everyone freedom, forgiveness and tolerance, and maybe then we learn how to love again, how to be loved back without any conditions in the moment of now.
Alcoholics Anonymous Videos, AA is for Alcoholics, AA 12 Steps, Addiction And Recovery, DonInLondon, Don Oddy,