10/31/08 BB Into Action pp 76-78 (Directions for 9th step)

The book Alcoholics Anonymous, aka The Big Book, is the basic text for the AA program of sobriety. "Alcoholics Anonymous" Copyright 2012 AAWS, Inc. All Rights, Reserved. Short excerpts used by permission of AAWS
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Karl R
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10/31/08 BB Into Action pp 76-78 (Directions for 9th step)

Post by Karl R » Fri Oct 31, 2008 6:37 am

Good Morning,

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Happy Halloween all,

Yesterday's reading was about the 8th step and praying for the willingness to sweep clean our side of the street-then doing it.

Today's reading (below in red) gives us some rather specific instructions for 9th step amends. In my own life it's become apparant over the last 24 hours how very important it is to address this step as a vigorous course of action.

As to directions--I've found these to be useful

We never criticize or argue with a person to whom we are making amends.

We tell the person that we will never get over drinking until we have done everything possible to fix the past.

We're not there to tell another person what to do but only to sweep off our side of the street knowing full well that our continuing usefullness to others is contingent on this step.

Stick to our own faults in a calm, and honest way. Never discuss the faults of the other person.

In my brief experience things usually work out better then we could hope for. Listening to the other person, not defending ourself, always asking what we can do to make things right. These are the key instructions for me. And always-don't get stuck on this step. Forge ahead but remember to do no further harm(We'll look at that more in the next few days).

Anyone care to share of their ES and H concerning directions for a 9th step amends?

have a safe Halloween,
Karl

Probably there are still some misgivings. As we look over the list of business acquaintances and friends we have hurt, we may feel diffident about going to some of them on a spiritual basis. Let us be reassured. To some people we need not, and probably should not emphasize the spiritual feature on our first approach.
We might prejudice them. At the moment we are trying to put our lives in order. But this is not an end in itself. Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and the people about us. It is seldom wise to approach an individual, who still smarts from our injustice to him, and announce that we have gone religious. In the prize ring, this would be called leading with the chin. Why lay ourselves open to being branded fanatics or religious bores? We may kill a future opportunity to carry a beneficial message. But our man is sure to be impressed with a sincere desire to set right the wrong. He is going to be more interested in a demonstration of good will than in our talk of spiritual discoveries.
We don't use this as an excuse for shying away from the subject of God. When it will serve any good purpose, we are willing to announce our convictions with tact and common sense. The question of how to approach the man we hated will arise. It may be he has done us more harm than we have done him and, though we may have acquired a better attitude toward him, we are still not too keen about admitting our faults. Nevertheless, with a person we dislike, we take the bit in our teeth. It is harder to go to an enemy than to a friend, but we find it much more beneficial to us. We go to him in a helpful and forgiving spirit, confessing our former ill feeling and expressing our regret.
Under no condition do we criticize such a person or argue. Simply we tell him that we will never get over drinking until we have done our utmost to straighten out the past. We are there to sweep off our side of the street, realizing that nothing worth while can be accomplished until we do so, never trying to tell him what he should do. His faults are not discussed. We stick to our own. If our manner is calm, frank, and open, we will be gratified with the result.
Last edited by Karl R on Sat Nov 01, 2008 9:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Blue Moon
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Post by Blue Moon » Fri Oct 31, 2008 9:19 am

Perhaps one important aspect of Step 9 is "except when to do so would injure them or others".

Hasty amends can turn out unexpectedly, and not always for the better. We need to be on the "spiritual beam" by this time, not still trying to harbour expectations and arrange things to work out our own way. Sometimes alcoholics are keen to be "absolved of guilt", still acting on self-centred motives.

Should amends be made? If so, how? An apology alone just will not do, to make amends is to try and set things right. Yet how is this done for the injured spouse? We might be willing to go to jail for a crime 30 years ago, but will this not injure a small child we're responsible for today? Some of us have killed, perhaps via a DUI or other situation fuelled by alcohol, how can amends be made to those?

To be sure, making amends can require a careful plan of action and, especially where money is concerned, could take many years.
Ian S
AKA Blue Moon

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Re: 10/31/08 BB Into Action pp 76-78 (Directions for 9th ste

Post by leejosepho » Sun May 13, 2012 7:30 am

Karl R wrote:We're not there to tell another person what to do but only to sweep off our side of the street knowing full well that our continuing usefulness to others is contingent on this step.
For myself, that was a key element here. I wanted to get my conscience clear and all of that and try to be at peace with all people, but here is where I got to practice "the key to the future" and how to treat even sick people rightly in situations where I could hardly make things worse even if I did miss a point or two!
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================

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Re: 10/31/08 BB Into Action pp 76-78 (Directions for 9th ste

Post by PaigeB » Mon May 14, 2012 8:19 am

The question of how to approach the man we hated will arise... We go to him in a helpful and forgiving spirit, confessing our former ill feeling and expressing our regret.
I still squirmed about HOW... so my sponsor should me this..
Good judgment, a careful sense of timing, courage and prudence - these are the qualities we shall need when we take Step 9. (12&12 paragraph 1)
Direct amends are divided into 4 classes in the next paragraph. We looked over the list again and made sure I was assured in the good judgments we had made there. We picked a couple of easy ones to start and then discussed those before we moved onto some more difficult ones. With some of those, it was hard to remain, calm frank & open when events I had forgotten were brought up - it was necessary to do quick evaluation of my faults, making mental notes to tell my sponsor later. On more than one occasion, I followed up with an email, reiterating my deep apologies and openness to set things straight if they could think of anything more that I could do.
Step 6 is "AA's way of stating, the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job... with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement." 12&12 Step Six, p.65

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