Spotlight on the 12 Steps
Steps 6-9 By Amy W.
Whew! I survived. I survived the monumental
Fourth and Fifth Step
of drug rehabilitation
that as a newcomer I was terrified of. After
completing Step 5, my sponsor and I looked at
She said, “Are you now willing to have all of your defects of
character removed?” My response was, “If I do that, I might
not have a character left?” Her response was, “Good! Then
you can start over fresh and let God define your character.”
Looking at the character defect list I balked: profanity,
lying, stealing, manipulating, ego, blaming, perfectionism, etc.
etc. These were all of my survival skills. They were finely
tuned. They were my means of getting everything and
anything that I wanted. My sponsor assured me that my
Higher Power would provide all of the things I needed.
The willingness came easy as I had just completed Steps 4
and 5 from drug rehabilitation and all of the defects of character were all of the parts of
my behavior that caused me and those I loved pain. My
sponsor kneeled with me beside the couch, opened her Big
Book and we recited the Seventh Step prayer together. I
expected some bright light to be shined upon me and “POOF!”
I would have a defective character no longer. That is totally
not what happened.
My sponsor went through the list of my less endearing
qualities and she showed me that on the opposite side of every
character defect is a spiritual principle. She told me I needed to
practice the spiritual principles every day. So when I lied to
someone I had to say, “Hey, I just lied to you. Here is the
Practicing the spiritual principles and talking honestly with
my sponsor is what changed my character. On this new
spiritual path from drug rehabilitation, I came up against the Eighth Step. My list was
SO LONG! I immediately felt defeated and overwhelmed.
I wanted to give up. My sponsor encouraged me and taught
me how to keep things SIMPLE.
We broke my Eighth Step list into three parts. Part 1:
People I was willing to make amends to now. Part 2:
People I might be willing to make amends to later. Part 3:
People I was never willing to make amends to. She told
me to begin to pray for the wiliness to make amends to
the people on parts 2 and 3.
Before I went about making ANY amends, my sponsor
and I went over each person on the list and how I would
go about making my amends.
She told me the purpose of making amends was to “set
things straight or to make right.” She told me that the
words, “I’m sorry” should never leave my lips. Instead
she told me to say, “I have wronged you and I need to
know what to do to make this right.” Then I had to
listen…and do it!!!
By the time I was done making the amends to the people
in Part 1 of my list, I was willing to do the amends to the
people on Part 2. With every amend I made, I experienced
freedom from shame and guilt. As people forgave me, every step
from drug rehabilitation I
became more and more willing to forgive others. I was completely
willing to make amends to the people on Part 3.
Drug rehabilitation is a process and I love the process. Steps Six
and Nine provide me with a way to prevent problems and
fix things when I make mistakes. Am I perfect now? Did
the light shine down on me? Not hardly. I am free
though and the more I work the steps the more of God’s
light I see.
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