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    Day 7

    Making Amends

    “You can fall many times, but you aren’t a failure until you begin to blame someone else.” anonymous.

    There are people with whom it would not be wise for us to make certain amends. Although we might be willing, we have to weigh whether our admission would adversely affect their lives.

    One of these people might be our spouse. To tell him/her that we carried on an affair with someone in our circle of friends servesno purpose other than to relieve our own conscience. It would pain our spouse and cause a rift in a friendship that has been mutually satisfactory. It might also cause problems in the family of our one-time lover and lead them or us to seek divorce as the only alternative.

    Some of us have worked through this by admitting to our spouse that we engaged in an extramarital experience, that we take full responsibility for the affair, and are unwiling to implicae anyone else. When pressed, we have clung to our stand.

    If we feel that our spouse could pressure us into a full confession, it might be to everyone’s advantage for us to refrain from disclosing the matter at this time.

    We’re already making amends to friends and family by the change in our behavior, by following the principles the program has taught us, and by not falling back into destructive patterns.

    Today’s Step: I am developing the wisdom to know when making amends might cause further harm.

    Step by Step. Muriel Zink



    Day 8

    The Power

    “MIx a conviction with a man and something happens!” Adam Clayton Powell

    All of the Twelve Step programs have a spiritual base, but many of us continue to find it difficult to accept the message of Steps Two and Three. We’ve tried to follow the sequence of the steps, “acting as if” we do believe. Yet, deep within us, there remains this nagging doubt that we’re being drawn into a religious ritual we can’t honestly ascribe to.

    Earlier we talked about making our group the power greater than ourselves, of believing that they believe, and following the path they keep assuring us has worked for them. We’ve also been told that many among us are agnostic and atheists who simply cannot swallow any spiritual concept that smacks of a Godhead.

    Once again we’d like to state that religion is not our business. But spirituality is. Experience has shown us that those who cling to the belief that the universe is a hostile place that began in a void and will end in a void have a sense of hopelssness about continuing to follow this recovery formula.

    In the Ninth Step, we discover that through the doing—not the thinking—we begin to experience a feeling that some power is working with us and through us for our ultimate good.

    Today’s Step: A Higher Power lives through me when I take this step.

    Step by Step. Muriel Zink



    Day 9

    Writing an Amends

    “Marriage is three parts love and seven parts forgiveness of sins.” Langdon Mitchell

    Once we’ve set up our priority list and identified those people to whom we must first make amends, our next step is to carefully review the way in which we paln to approach them.

    If we’re no longer living in the same area, we may have to write to them, outlining the “whys” of what we’re doing, and assuring them that whatever their reaction may be, we’re prepared to accept it.

    Some people will simply not respond to our letters. They may still harbor resentments toward us, and we should be prepared for that outcome. Some will respond with forgiveness and encouragement. Still others may wish to close the book on any further contact.

    Our experiences in writing amends have been as varied as the personalities of the writers. An example that comes to mind concerns a career army officer who wrote this to his ex-wife:
    From: U.S. Army Major L.L. Doe
    To: Mrs. Mary Doe
    Subject: Increase in child support
    This officer regrets the circumstances leading to the divorce of the above named principals. Consequently, this officer has arranged for an increase in the child-support payments to the issue of the then-existing marraige between said principals, namely L.L. Doe, Jr.
    Major, U.S. Arm L.L. Doe

    Today’s Step: Writing an amends can lead me to greater honesty.

    Step by Step. Muriel Zink

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