You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘amends’ tag.

Step Ten of Chronic Pain Anonymous – Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

Step Ten, the first of three maintenance Steps, challenged me to remain awake to my inner world and note whenever frustrated instincts let loose fear, resentments, dishonesty, and selfishness. Rather than entertain them, an old behavior that had salved my wounds and heightened the drama of fantasies, I sought their removal through interfacing them with the Twelve Steps of CPA. Such action enhanced spiritual fitness, deepened my trust in Higher Power’s design for life during my end time, and facilitated my usefulness to Him.

Of course, harming others required making amends. But with my homebound status and the onset of the pandemic, few visitors came by.

However, my ILD with Rheumatoid Arthritis continued to enslave me within weakness and shortness of breath that provoked self-centered fear: it crimped my entire person. An attitude change was critical if I was to salvage the day. I prayed, then activated Step Three; with energy I did not know I had, I enlisted gentleness, compassion, and patience. My body relaxed, and I resumed my stretching exercises—yet, another instance of Higher Power ingesting my angst like the scarab dung beetle venerated by ancient Egyptians.

Step Ten also urged spiritual practices before the day’s beginning and at its end. As a hedge against self-centeredness/ isolation, I prayed to be shown how to be useful to others. At day’s end, I took an inventory of behaviors, both positive and negative, and if an amends was owed, sought counsel with my sponsor.

Such attention to my psyche has trained me in honesty I never believed possible. If

Higher Power cared that much, then spending more time with Him in prayer and meditation, would further enhance our relationship, both now and in eternity.

Step Eleven fitted in here.

 

 

.

 

 

Step Nine in Chronic Pain Anonymous – Made direct amends to such people, wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Step Nine, the last of the action Steps, speaks of making amends, not apologies, to those we have harmed. Apologies only bandage egregious wounds that continue gnawing on illusions until the next blow-up and the next apology.

Amends are different. Only conscious riddance of toxic attitudes and behaviors toward those I have harmed can repair relationships. Amends are not about feeling good afterwards; that may or may not happen. Nor is it about taking others’ inventories, but desire for their well-being is critical.

Here, guidance from my sponsor was helpful: whether I owed an amend in the first place, when and how to phrase the amends, and how to surrender the outcome to Higher Power. Ninth Step work in Alcoholics Anonymous had already resolved many such problems, but in view of my terminal illness I hoped for a cleaner heart.

Prayer accompanied this scrutiny. Again, my character defects brought me to Higher Power’s mercy and the commitment to change, even during my end time.

Amends to my deceased brother Mark flooded my awareness. It was time. In silence, I sat in my wingback chair and invited him to join me. His sweetness prompted my beginning. The clarity of my words scored pride and anger and jealousy upon tablets of stone crumbing at my feet. It was over. Peace reigned.

A later amends to myself followed. Again, in prayer, I reviewed the caricature of my eight-four years of life. Aware of chronic pain and illness, aware of disordered instincts, aware of my pride’s rigidity and resulting ignorance, I made amends, and my birthright took shape in my imagination—it was lovely, but I was not finished.

The need to continue growing spiritually would be addressed in the three remaining maintenance Steps.

 

Step Nine in Chronic Pain Anonymous – Made direct amends to such people, wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Step Nine, the last of the action Steps, speaks of making amends, not apologies, to those we have harmed. Apologies only bandage egregious wounds that continue gnawing on illusions until the next blow-up and the next apology.

Amends are different. Only conscious riddance of toxic attitudes and behaviors toward those I have harmed can repair relationships. Amends are not about feeling good afterwards; that may or may not happen. Nor is it about taking others’ inventories, but desire for their well-being is critical.

Here, guidance from my sponsor was helpful: whether I owed an amend in the first place, when and how to phrase the amends, and how to surrender the outcome to Higher Power. Ninth Step work in Alcoholics Anonymous had already resolved many such problems, but in view of my terminal illness I hoped for a cleaner heart.

Prayer accompanied this scrutiny. Again, my character defects brought me to Higher Power’s mercy and the commitment to change, even during my end time.

Amends to my deceased brother Mark flooded my awareness. It was time. In silence, I sat in my wing-back chair and invited him to join me. His sweetness prompted my beginning. The clarity of my words scored pride and anger and jealousy upon tablets of stone crumbing at my feet. It was over. Peace reigned.

A later amends to myself followed. Again, in prayer, I reviewed the caricature of my eight-four years of life. Aware of chronic pain and illness, aware of disordered instincts, aware of my pride’s rigidity and resulting ignorance, I made amends, and my birthright took shape in my imagination—it was lovely, but I was not finished.

The need to continue growing spiritually would be addressed in the three remaining maintenance Steps.

 

Available on Amazon

%d bloggers like this: