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A Guide to Making Amends Sanctuary Foundation

At the heart of this step is the need for forgiveness and restoration—forgiving yourself, forgiving others, and making amends. A few months back, she was traveling for an extended period of time. Well, the time came to continue my living amends to her and redo her entire master suite, including her bathroom. She came home to what she described as “a completely different house”. My living amends to my mother is to be fully present in my life so I can be fully present in hers.

living amends examples

To fix broken relationships, you have to put a lot of effort into making things work. It’s not enough to say to someone that you apologize and feel badly for how you acted in the past. It takes a certain maturity and level of respect for yourself and the person you’re hoping to reconnect with to get past any past issues. For every time you said you’d be there or that you’d help someone do something and didn’t show up, you’ve left an impression upon that person that they can’t rely on you to keep your word.

What is “Making Amends” and Why is it Important?

And those words ring hollow when we repeatedly break our promises. So, to truly make amends, we have to offer more than words. 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. You may also have the opportunity in the future to make more direct amends with certain people in time.

  • Making amends means apologizing but also goes one step further—doing everything in your power to repair the damage, restore the relationship, and/or, replace what you took.
  • However, this future possibility should not keep you from working your steps.
  • The complexity of individual situations is why consulting with sponsors and professionals can assist greatly in your recovery process.
  • In these instances, the best thing you can do is to focus on your behavior and remain faithful to your commitment to live an honest, sober life.
  • Sometimes other people need more time to accept an apology.
  • Willingness and determination to clear away the havoc of our past lives pave the way for our new lives.

If you’re on the fence about Step 9, remember that making amends can help you and the other person. Along with reinforcing new behaviors and outlooks, making amends can also reduce stress. Many who lived with addiction have past behaviors they’re not proud of. By proactively correcting previous mistakes, those in recovery may be able to prevent future conflicts that could trigger a relapse.

Promises to do things differently

For example, someone living with an addiction may make amends by apologizing for stealing property and then make it right by returning what they’d taken. 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.

living amends examples

After acknowledging how actions tied to their addictions had a negative impact on people in their lives, those in 12-step recovery programs commit to making direct amends whenever possible. For example, if you neglected or mistreated your children while you were using alcohol, a simple apology may not repair the damage. Instead, you may need to engage in a dialogue with them over time.

Steps for Making Living Amends

Unfortunately, there are many things that we do in our using that we can not rectify with tangible goods or direct amends. What about the late nights that we kept our parents up worrying? What about the relationships we ruined, the emotional wreckage we living amends created? Sometimes direct amends are not possible, and this is where living amends come into play. The purpose of Step Nine is to acknowledge the harm caused during active addiction and to make it right with the people involved, as much as possible.

Direct amends refers to going directly to the wronged individual, apologizing and taking whatever action is necessary to correct a situation. Those in recovery are encouraged to make direct amends whenever possible. A 12-step program is designed to encourage long-term sobriety, by fostering a spirituality for recovery. Each step signifies a new challenge to reflect and/or act in a way that changes old mindsets and behaviors that once fed addiction. Through mutual support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, members learn and practice these spiritual steps and principles, with a view to staying sober and helping others do the same.

With this option, the individual in recovery takes steps to improve their relationships and demonstrate their lifestyle change. They may visit family members and friends more often, set aside time to spend with their partner or donate their time to a worthy cause. Yet, to be truly successful at forgiving and releasing past wrongs, you need to go directly to the individual you’ve hurt.

Taking action and changing the behaviors you had while in active addiction is key to being able to live a good life in sobriety. It’s not just about you and the changes you’re making, but also those around you. One very effective way to make amends is to go to treatment.

Sometimes, making direct amends with someone may lead to further harm. For example, if you are estranged from a loved one and they will not see you, your indirect amends may involve reflecting on and modifying the behaviors that led to the estrangement. Making direct amends means actively confronting your behavior with the person who you harmed.

living amends examples

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