11/1/08 BB Into Action pp 78-79 (creditors)

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

11/1/08 BB Into Action pp 78-79 (creditors)

Postby Karl R » Sat Nov 01, 2008 9:26 am

Good Morning,

Living ONE DAY AT A TIME; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace. Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it.

Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;

That I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen

Reinhold Neibuhr-1926

Yesterday we began to read of amends. As Ian noted making amends can require a careful plan of action and may take many years.

Today's reading, in red below, continues on the same themes.

In my experience the unexpected has been happening during amends. When I expect someone to be angry they respond with love and concern. When I expect someone to have been harmed in a certain way they respond that they were harmed in an entirely different manner. When I expect the harm done to be a small thing it turns out that the harm was entirely greater. When I know that the harm was great the person has responded with forgiveness unburdening themselves of resentment in the process. It is true that "we will be amazed before we are even halfway through".

On creditors it is true that "We must lose our fear of creditors no matter how far we have to go" While drinking and in early sobriety I hated to hear the phone ring or get the mail. Someone always wanted money. I found that the best relief for this fear is to face it. Answer the phone-"work out the best deal possible" while still protecting my family from harm. Relief from this fear and stress frees me to be truly helpful to other people including my family.

Today's passage closes with some more directions. "Reminding ourselves that we have decided to go to any lengths to find a spiritual experience, we ask that we be given strength and direction to do the right thing, no matter what the personal consequences may be." One important thing though is that no further harm be done. In the matter of amends it says "We must not shrink at anything" but we also must beware of doing further harm.

Anyone care to share of their ES and H concerning 'careful planning' of amends or concerning time involved in making an amends?
have a great weekend,
Karl


In nine cases out of ten the unexpected happens. Sometimes the man we are calling upon admits his own fault, so feuds of years' standing melt away in an hour. Rarely do we fail to make satisfactory progress. Our former enemies sometimes praise what we are doing and wish us well. Occasionally, they will offer assistance. It should not matter, however, if someone does throw us out of his office. We have made our demonstration, done our part. It's water over the dam.
Most alcoholics owe money. We do not dodge our creditors. Telling them what we are trying to do, we make no bones about our drinking; they usually know it anyway, whether we think so or not. Nor are we afraid of disclosing our alcoholism on the theory it may cause financial harm. Approached in this way, the most ruthless creditor will sometimes surprise us. Arranging the best deal we can we let these people know we are sorry. Our drinking has made us slow to pay. We must lose our fear of creditors no matter how far we have to go, for we are liable to drink if we are afraid to face them.
Perhaps we have committed a criminal offense which might land us in jail if it were known to the authorities. We may be short in our accounts and unable to make good. We have already admitted this in confidence to another person, but we are sure we would be imprisoned or lose our job if it were known. Maybe it's only a petty offense such as padding the expense account. Most of us have done that sort of thing. Maybe we are divorced, and have remarried but haven't kept up the alimony to number one. She is indignant about it, and has a warrant out for our arrest. That's a common form of trouble too.
Although these reparations take innumerable forms, there are some general principles which we find guiding. Reminding ourselves that we have decided to go to any lengths to find a spiritual experience, we ask that we be given strength and direction to do the right thing, no matter what the personal consequences may be. We may lose our position or reputation or face jail, but we are willing. We have to be. We must not shrink at anything.
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Re: 11/1/08 BB Into Action pp 78-79 (creditors)

Postby leejosepho » Mon May 14, 2012 5:50 am

Karl R wrote:In nine cases out of ten the unexpected happens. Sometimes the man we are calling upon admits his own fault, so feuds of years' standing melt away in an hour.

I had that kind of experience with a certain preacher. I had once been part of a church board that had called him out on some things, but then years later I went back to amend my own actions. Much to my surprise, the man ultimately told me he thought he might be an alcoholic who had just never had a drink ... and that ended up being the most unusual 12th-Step call I ever made!

It should not matter, however, if someone does throw us out of his office. We have made our demonstration, done our part. It's water over the dam.

One of my former employers never forgave me for having lied to him during a time when he had truly stuck his neck out for me. Overall, that taught me quite a lesson in the fact that my own actions actually can permanently cut me off from the kindness of such a man.

Most alcoholics owe money. We do not dodge our creditors ...

Perhaps we have committed a criminal offense ... haven't kept up the alimony (or child support) ...

... We must not shrink at anything.

This Step and the help of a good sponsor made it possible for me deal with all of that in getting my side of the street clean for everyone.
=======================
"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: 11/1/08 BB Into Action pp 78-79 (creditors)

Postby PaigeB » Mon May 14, 2012 8:43 am

...we are willing. We have to be. We must not shrink at anything.


Luckily, I didn't have many voracious creditors. My mother and father on the other hand had made many loans to me, always waiting patiently for any repayment. My father had passed away before I set down my drink and with the small inheritance from him, I sent my mother money as a down payment on a lifetime of loans - the total cost unknown. At my direct amends, she insisted that I owed her no more than that.

The idea here is willingness. I have heard that folks appear in our life to whom we need to make amends and the urge to make amends arises long past this step. It is there that we need this willingness to take the opportunity when it pops ups, without rationalizing. Just be willing and go after it. This is the new found freedom in the promise that we will not fear financial insecurity.
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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