Amends

image.jpgI do not  aimlessly set out to hurt people today. If I do, I set the matter straight as quickly as I can. That’s what a 10th step daily inventory should do. It’s not the wrong’s others have done to me, I have learned, but my responsibility to take ownership of my part. That’s what keeps me in the solution rather than staying stuck in the problem. It’s not always easy to say, “how can I make this right?” There are those who have suffered abuse and trauma at the hands of others who have no part  and that’s not what I’m writing about here. When I willfully and intentionally set out to harm others, then it’s a heart problem. I’ve spent countless hours blitzed out of my mind, telling myself that I wasn’t hurting anybody but me and that is bull hockey. That is coming from a man who can be so self centered that I still can believe the lie that it is all about me. Or worse, I will recognize the faults in you, cast judgement, and believe I am the only one right. Again, I have a part to play and it’s my responsibility to take ownership. Blaming others for the harms I’ve perceived they have done to me does me no good. It certainly doesn’t catapult my recovery. The goal is freedom from the bondage of having to carry all that baggage. I was advised in early sobriety to work the steps in order up to the 9th Step. 10, 11, and 12 can be done synergistically early on. But going to others to make restitution for harms done before doing a thorough 4th step never had worked before. Nothing sometimes heals like love and time.  Today, I can’t take on other people’s feelings, but I certainly don’t have the right to hurt them whether I feel I’m being honest or not.  Amends can be tricky, so it helped me to take my fourth step resentment list and clump various groups. Some I owed time, others money, and some I owed my peace of mind of knowing I tried even after the bridge I’d crossed had already burned. Thru it all, I’ve learned a valuable lesson, and that is saying “I’m sorry” and actually changing are not the same. One takes words, and the other: action. What separates my life today from my past one is the willingness to make living amends by changing behaviors toward people who I have wronged, whether perceived or real……good day!…b

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