Suddenly your spinning around things you feel guilty for. Maybe it is a fight you always thought you had time to resolve. Perhaps it is something you said or did while they were ill. Now, whether it is an apology, a want for forgiveness, or an amends, that person isn’t here and it makes it hard to imagine any of those things are possible. We believe that the only path to forgiveness is asking it of the person we love, the person we believe we hurt, and making amends for what we did wrong. That might not be so tricky if the person were still alive.
However, it does not let the person know you have changed your behaviors. We have multiple sessions a day in multiple time zones where you can talk with an actual Betrayal Trauma Recovery Coach. And he turns those stories and those definitions and says, “You do the same thing, you’re abusive.” I’ve seen many men read the book Why Does He Do That?
Don’t Hold Back—It’s Too Easy to Get Out of This Step
At FHE Health, you’ll learn more about Step 9 and how to handle the worst of experiences. For many, this is one of the most important components of recovery, because it allows them to work on rebuilding their relationships and letting go of those they cannot repair. Our team works closely with you throughout this process to help living amends you achieve your goals in recovery. There are three main types of amends, and it’s important to recognize which one is appropriate in a given situation. Understanding some making amends examples can help the individual correct past behaviors. Not to say that people have to be Christian to overcome abusive behaviors or to change.
Like the definition says, amends is something we do to make up for something we feel guilty for. It is different from an apology, which is “a regretful acknowledgment of an offense or failure”. An apology doesn’t include an action that attempts to make up or compensate for that wrongdoing.
Navigating Step Nine: Living Amends
But, also, most of us do want to get better, most of us do want to change and will do what it takes. That’s really something that’s been weighing on my mind when you asked these questions. I would be the first to say, “Oh, no, I believe in Christ,” but, when it got down to it, I really didn’t believe those things.
And remember, if you are feeling ashamed about mistakes made and damage done during your using days, you are not your disease. Remember, this is a Twelve Step process that can provide a platform for healing, but the person we are reaching out to may not be at the same place in healing as we are. We are only in control of our part—making and living the amends. As with alcohol and other drugs, we are also powerless over other people. We cannot control how others respond, whether they will forgive or whether they will hold on to negative feelings or resentments.
Steps for Making Living Amends
For example, you might work a living amends for being a selfish friend in the past by taking on service commitments and giving back to others. You might try to be a good parent to your own children if you were a nightmare to yours. The reality is that for many addicts and alcoholics, saying “I’m sorry” is only the beginning of the process of making amends for past behavior, and not the end point.
- We are only in control of our part—making and living the amends.
- The theme of making amends is forgiveness, and although it is one of the steps people may not like, it comes at this point in the AA journey for a reason.
- On the surface, making amends might sound as simple as offering a sincere apology for your treatment of others, but there’s more to this cornerstone Twelve Step practice.
- If the harm you caused someone included monetary damage and you do not have the financial means to make direct amends in a monetary way, this does not mean that you should not make amends to that person.
Of all the 12 steps, Step 9 is often referred to as particularly challenging. Understanding why will require taking a closer look at what Step 9 is, its goals, and its possible outcomes. We’ll also include a Step 9 amends letter for anyone who wants to implement this step but isn’t sure how to. The first step is to know that your questions and feelings are normal. The next step is to talk to someone about those feelings. For example, if you were driving under the influence, crashed your car, and injured your friend, your friend may have severed all ties with you and refuse to meet and relive the trauma.
Don’t settle for an apology.
They don’t, but many of our listeners are and so I wanted to kind of add that in for our Christian listeners, and for our non-Christian listeners it’s still possible to stop abusive behaviors. Before we continue with that interview, so many women are wondering, “What types of abusive behaviors am I dealing with? ” For all of you women out there, read Why Does He Do That? By Lundy Bancroft and The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans. Victims are not responsible for initiating, guiding, or helping their abuser begin or stay in the process of living amends. In fact, when victims take responsibility for their abuser’s recovery (or lack thereof), they are often in danger of further abuse.
- There is no justification for abuse of anyone, no matter what they’ve done.
- For the amends process to be successful, you first need to focus on healing yourself, then be willing to forgive yourself and others.
- Join today and find a community of validation, support, and compassion.
- The inflection in your voice should convey remorse and show the other person you acknowledge your behavior hurt them in some manner.
- Or, they may gain greater insights about addiction and commit to being a more supportive person in your recovery.
- These steps mean taking ownership of the past, apologizing for wherever you made mistakes and moving forward from those missteps.
But, by facing reality and the long-term impact of your actions, and making amends to those you’ve hurt, you’re able to make peace with the past and put it behind you and move forward. On the opposite side of the street are those individuals who simply say, “All of my amends would hurt people. I’m just not going to speak to anyone.” Avoid the temptation to get out of this step. Along with reinforcing new behaviors and outlooks, making amends can also reduce stress.