The Road to Recovery :: STEP 9

IN THE ROAD TO RECOVERY COLUMN WE ARE WORKING THE TRADITIONAL 12 STEPS OF RECOVERY, ALIGNed WITH THE yearLY CALENDAR, along with the EIGHT PRINCIPLES OF CELEBRATE RECOVERY THAT ARE BASED ON THE BEATITUDES of Jesus Christ. 

STEP 9: We made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar ad there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” ~ Matthew 5:23-23

PRINCIPLE 6 (Celebrate Recovery): Evaluate all my relationships. Offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I’ve done to others, except when to do so would harm them or others.

“Happy are the merciful.” ~ Matthew 5:7
“Happy are the peacemakers.” ~ Matthew 5:9

Last month in Step 8 we worked on listing the people we need to make amends to. This month we take the next, maybe the most freeing step, and actually make the amends. This is a difficult step but a critical point in our recovery. Without this step we will continue to beat ourselves up and continuing to carry more shame and guilt which could be the driving force to possible relapse.

The *Celebrate Recovery program is full of beautiful acrostics that help flesh out the work of each step. Each letter in the acrostic helps us make the next important step in the process of making our amends. Take some time to sit with the acrostic. Read it. Meditate on it. Journal how you can apply each letter’s step to your life as you prepare to make your amends.

A — Admit the hurt and the harm ~ Holding on to old resentments blocks our recovery and God’s forgiveness in our lives.
M — Make a list ~ Not worrying about how we will make the amends we simple list the people we have hurt.
E —  Encourage one another ~ It’s important to meet with our sponsor or accountability partner beforehand to practice making our amends.
N —  NOT for them ~ Without excuses or justifying our actions we make our amends humbly, honestly, sincerely and willingly. We focus on our part only.
D — Do it at the right time ~ Before making our amends we should pray for God’s guidance, direction and perfect timing.
S  —  Start living the promises of recovery ~ Embracing true freedom from our past we are now ready to receive God’s plan and purpose for our lives.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace!
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console.
To be understood as to understand.
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

~ Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

Remember, the recovery process is not meant to be worked alone! Reach out to your sponsor or accountability partners to assist you. If you’re not in a 12 Step program please click here to find a CR group near you.

If you can’t see the video screen below CLICK HERE to watch our Road to Recovery theme song.

RESOURCES:
Celebrate Recovery Bible 
*Celebrate Recovery Leadership Guide


Photo Courtesy 123rf.com

Originally published September 4, 2013

The 12 Principles :: RESPONSIVENESS


MY RECOVERY WORK THIS YEAR IS FOCUSED ON THE PRINCIPLES BEHIND THE 12 STEPS; ASKING KEY QUESTIONS THAT WILL HELP LEARN THESE CORE VALUES AND PUTTING THEM INTO PRACTICE. 






STEP NINE

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


PRINCIPLE NINE
Responsiveness


KEY QUESTION: 
What is integrity?








“As our recovery deepens, responsibility grows into responsiveness. Spiritual intelligence unfolds into spiritual integrity.  Making amends expands into mending the world.” ~Patrick Carnes


Most addicts have a history of being reactive rather than responsive especially to situations of change. Thankfully at this stage of our recovery we are aware of the effects our decisions and actions have on those around us. We have taken the focus off ourselves and are more interested in helping others.

The one thing in life we can be certain of is change. When we are responsive we adjust quickly, and easily to changing external conditions. Being responsive prevents regret and that starts by doing today what we will be happy with tomorrow.

No matter how bad things may look the outcome may end up being for our good. In the reverse, circumstances may be seemingly be great then the winds of change sweep through with a dramatic change that spins our head around.

The challenge here is to not hold on too tight, being adaptive and spiritually flexible while staying true to our greater life purpose. Rather than leaning in to the situation with an emotional reaction, we can lean back, watch and wait; checking for any positive action needed on our part. If none is necessary we surrender to the moment and wait for change to come again. And it certainly will. 

KEY QUESTION: What is integrity?

in-te-gri-ty:  an undivided or unbroken completeness; moral soundness

When walking in our addictions our moral soundness was severely lacking. This is one thing that is most important to me as I continue the recovery journey. I don’t ever want to hurt the ones I love again. 


A life that exhibits integrity is crucial. There’s no turning back now!


RESOURCES: 
A Gentle Path through the Twelve Principles: Living the Values Behind the Steps by Patrick Carnes ** 

Working the Steps: Step 9

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

Step 9 is a culmination of the forgiveness process: forgiving ourselves and others, receiving forgiveness from God and others. But before we can forgive ourselves fully, we must first acknowledge the pain others have suffered because of our actions. Once through this process we will be closer to our goal of peace with ourselves and peace with others.

By taking inventory with Step 4 we’ve purged our secrets and wrongs but maintained balance by looking for good as well. In Step 5 we pressed through the shame confessing our faults to another person. Now armed with the list of persons we harmed from Step 8, we prepare to personally make amends for the things we have done.  

There are going to be people that we can’t make amends to for various reasons, but where possible we must take this important step.  A commitment to changed behavior can be an acceptable substitute when personal contact to make amends isn’t appropriate.

While painful and difficult, the amends process is critical in the healing process. Prayerfully seek God’s wisdom and discernment before making amends. Phone calls and letters are perfectly acceptable ways of making contact when face to face isn’t possible.

Some basic guidelines:

  • Pray. Turn your anxiety over to God.
  • Keep a loving attitude toward yourself and the person you’re contacting.
  • Know what you want to say. Keep it simple. Avoid details.
  • Take responsibility for your actions. Don’t make it about them.
  • Manage your expectations regarding the other person’s response. 

Remember God loves restoration.  He will give you the right words and timing to say what needs to be said. Give it all to Him!

Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. ~ Matthew 5:23-24


 Let’s take amends Step by Step with @Bryan_Duncan http://youtu.be/swNgb9ya6WM