STEP 9 - We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when doing so would injure them or others.
Having taken responsibility for our life, having begun to change for the better, and now desiring healing, we forgive. We do not demand or even beg for forgiveness, as this is an undue burden on those we have harmed. In certain situations, we may ask for it when it is appropriate.
Whenever we have done anything for which we are sorry or disappointed because we fell short or abandoned our values, we can decide to change things up and not avoid harm caused or influenced by ourselves. We take responsibility for our actions and then ask to be guided on how to begin reparations (aspirations for repair and healing). We could begin to meditate on the spiritual principle of forgiveness, which could create an opening to a healing process for all... The healing partially occurs because we are humble (grounded) and can admit our mistakes and mis-takes.
The healing progresses as we do not blame the person we harmed for the harm we caused. This may seem like common sense, but we know that in the past, we have blamed others for the things that we have done….no longer… we are healed from our errors in the here and now because we can see them for what they are.
AFFIRMATION INVITATIONS WE CAN ADOPT AS OUR OWN OR ADAPT:
* I forgive... offer mercy... to myself for my mistakes and mis-takes, which I am willing to feel, deal with, assimilate, integrate, and do my part to help heal.
* I have the depth and maturity to accept responsibility for harmful actions, not deflecting from the mistakes that I have made... which are just that, mistakes and mis-takes, and they can be corrected through authenticity, integrity, willingness, and sincere action.
* The errors of yesterday can be healed with a generous application of loving-kindness today. In the past, I may have held onto feelings of guilt and remorse because I thought that I needed to be held to account for my many shortcomings and punished. If that's true, where is the path to being fully whole and wholly free in that line of thought?
* Today, I understand that being accountable means that I first take responsibility for my actions, then I do what is necessary to repair the harm. Finally, I release myself from the bondage of guilt. Holding to guilt is a sure way to hold on to old patterns. It sets me up for repeating the same mistakes over and over again. So, today, I forgive myself for my mistakes, and I move forward toward mending and healing, opening the way for new experiences.
* I want to understand the nature of forgiveness and mercy... Through practice, I will understand the nature of forgiveness and mercy... As a result of principles and values before personality, I am discovering ways to forgive and be forgiven, which is transformational rather than transactional.
* I offer compassion to anyone who ever thought, did, or said any negative thing to me…it's the privilege of the forgiven to forgive, so I offer others mercy and generosity. I open the hand of thought right now. This empowers me to travel lighter.
* As there are things that I've said and done, which have caused harm and sorrow to others that I would like to be forgiven for, I open myself to the possibility that others would also like the same for themselves. For that reason, I can refrain from cruelty, harshness, and revenge.
* I am doing my best to place principles and my values before and above my personality. At times I may have found some measure of false comfort by blaming, guilting, shaming, and condemning others for "Bad behavior." But I now understand that this negative judgment tends to lock us into a continuing cycle of alienation, separation, dysfunction, and disunity. These false comforts are worse when addiction mind... poverty mind... weaponizes them.
* Right now, I take a moment to notice or recall something that I appreciate, admire, or liked about the person, so I can have conscious contact with the reality that frequently, there's more than just one side or aspect to a person. As I would like to be held in the totality instead of the parts, I am willing to offer this to others. In this Way, I am free from the need to be judgmental of others, so I offer them compassion and begin to see them differently.
* Today, to the best of my ability, I forgive... fore-give... do that which aspects of the mind would never be willing to do... extend tenderness, kindness, and mercy to the person, rather than the harmful actions.
TRADITION 9 - We set up no governance hierarchy but rather take shared responsibility for life.
TRADITION of the month club: TRADITION 9:
Awake (steps 1-12), Focused on Goodwill (Tradition 1), Open ourselves to being generous toward self and others, reflected through our values and spiritual principles (Tradition 2), Accept people as they are (tradition 3), Doing as we will (with guidance) and allowing others to do the same (Tradition 4), Having a purpose (Tradition 5), Not allowing the issues of the ego (money, power, property, and prestige) to interfere with our purpose (Tradition 6), Having decided for self-support (Tradition 7), Seeing everyone being of equal value (Tradition 8)...we now affirm that alone we are still powerless and we gladly take shared responsibility for our service and our life.
We do not depend on some hierarchy of authority; we have no organizational chart depicting the downward flow of control and dominance.
This new way of life depends upon us giving our best to life because we know that our true fulfillment comes from doing so. Always remembering that self-obsession, followed by acts of self-centeredness, is the core and result of our addiction... our only real problem, we reject the trappings of power; we surrender our egos and opinions to the common welfare. We take shared responsibility for being of service...we cooperate, we work together, we give. We can take responsibility for our work and still expect no recognition, no accolades, no reward other than the satisfaction which comes from doing our part...If we should happen to be recognized, praised, or rewarded in some way, our response can be a simple, graceful "Thank you."
--Dignity and Grace