“My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, p.76
I personally like to recite this prayer out loud every time I read 10th Step inventory, and it’s probably a good idea to recite it every time we make a mistake or do some fucked up shit.
There is no need to alter the words of the Big Book and to water them down via workbooks and the soft, new age language that is so characteristic of psychology and other social sciences these days. The Big Book delineates precisely what we must do, and so when we have completed our initial 4th Step inventory and have done our 5th, 6th & 7th Steps, we must immediately go out and begin making amends. The people who don’t earnestly make their amends, all of them, are those who will not make it.
“Now we need more action, without which we find that “Faith without works is dead.” Let’s looks at Steps Eight and Nine. We have a list of all persons we have harmed and to whom we are willing to make amends. We made it when we took inventory. We subjected ourselves to a drastic self-appraisal. Now we go out to our fellows and repair the damage done in the past. We attempt to sweep away the debris which has accumulated out of our effort to live on self-will and run the show ourselves. If we haven’t the will to do this, we ask until it comes. Remember it was agreed at the beginning we would go to any lengths for victory over alcohol.” – Ibid.
“But what about my wife and family? They have no interest in a few brief remarks of regret and then I wipe my hands and off I go. Nope. They deserve that I change and act right each and every day until I die. And the people in their lives deserve that I change. By constantly worrying Mom sick, I robbed her boyfriend of having a full relationship with her. I made an amends to him and others wounded by the ripple effect of my behavior. Constant effort is the right thing to do. Besides, they may need to spill their pain months or years from now. I don’t get to dictate when they get their time on stage.
Up North, the wise ones were crystal clear. “Having the courage to make these amends versus walking away to remain in your comfort zone is what separates the boys from the men and the girls from the women in this process.”
That’s all I needed to hear. No one tells me that I’m not a man. For fifteen years, I walked around difficulty and now it was time to walk through it. Facing the people I hurt was so powerful that it fundamentally changed me as a person. I began treating people with greater love and acceptance. I was becoming sane again. Any addict can get sober, but to fix insanity, he must change the way he thinks, speaks, and acts…
…I came home one night after completing about half of my amends. As I sat down on the couch, something mystical occurred. A great sense of peace poured through me. It was another realized miracle and promise from the Big Book. A shower of relief soaked my spirit and I felt truly happy. Finally, I was okay. All worries and insecurities about my life vanished for good. To this day, I have been recovered. In fact, it just gets better and better.” – The Privileged Addict, pp. 183, 190