From the Foreword of the 12 & 12: “A.A.’s Twelve Steps are a group of principles, spiritual in their nature, which, if practiced as a way of life, can expel the obsession to drink and enable the sufferer to become happily and usefully whole.”
“Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, expect when to do so would injure them or others.”
The One Thing I Need To Know About Step 9:
The Action Continues
of this Step:
Literature Reference: “Faith without works is dead.” (Big Book, Page 77, Into Action)
What Can I Surrender in this Step?
1.) My hesitation to take action, and
2.) Fear they won’t accept my amends, and
3.) Fear of the outcome
Step 9 is about taking action and making amends (through 1.) identifying hurt or harm caused and then 2.) finding out how we can make it right) to those we’ve have harmed with our drinking/thinking. Remember: It’s not about saying “I’m sorry.” This step will provide us with peace of mind, relief and liberation from the chains of regret. “The readiness to take the full consequences of our past acts, and to take responsibility for the well-being of others at the same time, is the very spirit of Step Nine.” (12 & 12)
That said, it also says on the top of Page 77 in the BB (4th Edition), that the “real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and the people about us.” I don’t know how much clearer Bill could be on this Step.
The choice is ours… Do we want more of what brought us to AA … “We were having trouble with personal relationships, we couldn’t control our emotional natures, we were a prey to misery and depression, we couldn’t make a living, we had a feeling of uselessness, we were full of fear, we were unhappy, we couldn’t seem to be of real help to other people…” 3rd ed. Big Book pg. 52 – OR do we want freedom from the bondage of the flaws in our character that caused our failure in the first place?
If we’ve been “very careful & thorough” (painstaking) about this part of our growth, we’re promised that several things (13 to be exact) will happen for and to us. 1.) We are going to know a new freedom 2.) and a new happiness. 3.) We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. 4.) We will comprehend the word serenity, and 5.) we will know peace. 6.) No matter how far down the scale we have gone; we will see how our experience can benefit others. 7.) That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. 8.) We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. 9.) Self-seeking will slip away. 10.) Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. 11.) Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. (Be careful not to believe that economic insecurity itself will leave us with this promise – the FEAR OF IT will leave us) 12.) We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us, and 13.) We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
MYTHS ABOUT THIS STEP
We have to disclose every detail of our mistakes. Full disclosure may harm the one with whom we are making amends, or quite often, other people. It won’t make us feel any better to increase the burden of another.
It’s about getting them to like you again. This Step is not about getting back in the good graces of those we’ve harmed – it’s about our willingness to do the footwork, take the action, and leave the results up to God. We’re not in charge of the outcome, only the work to get us there.
Taking a step displays a willingness to write inventory and allow it to surrender something within us. Write inventory on your most serious shortcomings around the practical application of this step in your life today (“How am I applying the principle found in this Step to every moment of my life?”).
In your Personal Relationships, at Work and with God and A.A., provide at least one example of where each of the promises below has come true in your life as a result of the work you’ve done so far (choose from one of the three (3) categories above to provide each example below):
- New freedom
- New happiness
- No regrets
- Serenity & peace
- How your experience has helped others
- Uselessness and self-pity are gone
- Thinking more of others and less of self
- Attitude and outlook have changed
- Financial fear is gone
- Fear of others is gone
- Your thinking has cleared up
- You realize God has your back
- Do you understand that one of the main components of Step 9 is to take action and apologize to those you have harmed with your drinking?
- Do you understand that this step will provide you with peace of mind, relief and liberation from the chains of regret?
- Are you ready to take the full consequences of your past acts, and to take responsibility for the well-being of others?
- As you prepare to make the amends from your Step 8 list, are you ready to use good judgment, have a careful sense of timing, and be courageous and cautious?
- As you prepare to make the amends from your Step 8 list, are you ready to take your time, not say anything that will harm others, and not mistake carefulness for avoidance?
- Are you now fully ready to fit yourself to be of maximum service to God and to the people about you?
- Are you really ready to go to any lengths to find a spiritual experience?
- Are you ready to admit that God can’t do for you what you CAN do for yourself because you understand that God has God’s job, and you have yours?
- Are you ready to admit that God CAN do for you what you can’t do for yourself?
- Have you begun the process of your amends from Step 8?
(If you can answer yes to these questions, you’ve likely taken this Step)
“Rinse & Repeat, Rinse & Repeat, Rinse & Repeat”