. . . and became willing to make amends to them all.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 77
One of the key words in the Eighth Step is the word all. I am not free to select a few names for the list and to disregard others. It is a list of all persons I have harmed. I can see immediately that this Step entails forgiveness because if I’m not willing to forgive someone, there is little chance I will place his name on the list. Before I placed the first name on my list, I said a little prayer: “I forgive anyone and everyone who has ever harmed me at any time and under any circumstances.” It is well for me to contemplate a small, but very significant, two-letter word every time the Lord’s Prayer is said. The word is as. I ask, “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” In this case, as means, “in the same manner.” I am asking to be forgiven in the same manner that I forgive others. As I say this portion of the prayer, if I am harboring hatred or resentment, I am inviting more resentment, when I should be calling on the spirit of forgiveness.
Alcoholics Anonymous World Service Inc.. Daily Reflections: A Book of Reflections by A.A. Members for A.A. Members (Kindle Locations 1616-1621). A.A. World Services, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
I had made the list now came the hard part. I had to become willing to make amends to those people on the list. Here comes the fear. The key was I was going to make amends to them ALL, I wasn’t going to be able to pick and choose who I wanted to make amends to. Here is where I started to learn that I could in no uncertain terms hold onto a resentment or seek revenge or pray for things to happen to the people who had ‘harmed’ me. I added the word “ask” before the Lord’s Prayer and I had no idea when I was ready to continue on. I was once again told that it was time to move on. “You are ready.” I wondered how they knew I was only doing what I was told but how did they know? Did I look different? Was it something I said to my sponsor or others at a meeting? How did they know? It didn’t matter, they did and they said ok let’s continue to get ‘well”.
24 Hours a Day
A.A. Thought for the Day
“We have an allergy to alcohol. The action of alcohol on chronic alcoholics is a manifestation of an allergy. We allergic types can never safely use alcohol in any form at all. We cannot be reconciled to a life without alcohol, unless we can experience an entire psychic change. Once this psychic change has occurred, we who seemed doomed, we who had so many problems that we despaired of ever solving them, find ourselves able to control our desire for alcohol.” Have I had a psychic change?
Meditation for the Day
Ask God in daily prayer to give you the strength to change. When you ask God to change you, you must at the same time fully trust Him. If you do not fully trust Him, God may answer your prayer as a rescuer does that of a drowning man who is putting up too much of a struggle. The rescuer must first render the drowning man still more helpless, until he is wholly at the rescuer’s mercy. Just so must we be wholly at God’s mercy before we can be rescued.
Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may be daily willing to be changed. I pray that I may put myself wholly at the mercy of God.
Anonymous. Twenty-Four Hours A Day (p. 91). Martino Fine Books. Kindle Edition.
My thought…I was taught right from the start. That I had an allergy to alcohol. It says so right in the Big Book, in The Doctor’s Opinion, p.xxviii. I can not and have not used alcohol in any type or form. I check every label, I read menus and if anything contains alcohol no matter how little I avoid it at all costs. I have been told many times, “oh it burns off.” I can not and will not take that chance. If there is any alcohol it does not pass by these lips. A few simple rules helped me change the way my mind worked, they were the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Plus it was helpful that in changing my mind (psychic change) the messages were short, sharp, and simple. In AA there is a sayiny…KISS. Keep It Simple Stupid. For me the simpler the better. As my psyche improved, so did the ability to control my desire for alcohol which up to now had been my solution for everything. Because of doing the things I have been taught in AA I have changed my life and continue to adjust by continuing to practice the principles, doing those same things. Another saying I learned is that “If I’m not growing…I’m going…”
My Meditation… and My Prayer…These two go together for me. I do this by sitting quietly and say my prayers and ask for the strength to change. Because if I don’t and like I said above in My Thought…”If I’m not growing…I’m growing…” The longer I stay sober, the more my meditations and prayers come together. People may argue that, but I have learned to meditate (sit quietly, clear my mind…) and then say my prayers asking my Higher Power (God) to guide me through the day so that I may be useful.