Reading for December 6

"Any time you do something from the heart,
people just know it.” Brad Paisley (born 1972)

Step Nine (making amends) is a delicate matter, asking us to be
more mindful than gung-ho. Motives have to be considered. What do we
have to gain or lose from the outcome? Have we learned humility from
Step Seven? Some of us have heard Steps Six and Seven read so many
times that when we get to working them we may feel like we’ve been
there—done that. “Yes I am entirely ready to shed my shortcomings and
embrace my true nature and oh yeah, humility, I see the benefit of that—I
will right-size my self-image and become a fabulous power of example
to newcomers. I got it—what’s next?” Steps Six and Seven are not
intellectual exercises. They are the process of getting in touch with and
putting our value systems to work. We identify triggers and interrogate
our feelings. With practice we find understanding and compassion. We
need to practice these steps. A workbook or a routine of writing and/or
meditation might help. Somewhere between ego-deflation and positive
self-talk we become something other than victims of addiction. We may
be ready to make amends.

When we come to do Step Nine we review our Step Eight list and
see if we really understand how we victimized others. Well-crafted
words are not enough. Communication is said to be 7% words—the rest
is tone and body language. Words won’t hide insincerity, impurity of
intention or a habitual need to control the agenda. Our reaching out has
to be pure in intent to be heard and felt by those who don’t trust us. We
may or may not be forgiven; the goal is to take ownership and express
regret for the harm or neglect we have inflicted. Some victims have
passed away or moved away and can’t be found. An unsent letter may
be the best we can do.

Who do I go to for help to test my motives and my readiness? Does
“Easy Does It but Do It” have more meaning now? Am I doing Step
Nine just from my head or am I acting from my heart?

C., Joe. Beyond Belief: Agnostic Musings for 12 Step Life:
Finally, a daily reflection book for nonbelievers, freethinkers and everyone!

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