Step 9: AMENDS

     (A mellow word for “RESTITUTION”)

The word “apologise” is used a lot in many meeting discussions where the “topic” is Step 9.  It is of interest to note that one definition of APOLOGISE is “to justify thinking or actions.” THAT is the type of thinking that we are attempting to move away FROM! The same dictionary,  defines AMEND: “to set right, restore, replace or renew.”  With this in mind, the Big Book statement on Page 83, “ A remorseful mumbling that we are sorry won’t fill the bill at all   takes on a deeper meaning!

In performing the ACTION of Step 9, we are, with God’s help,  Doing our part in the  work regarding the  Spiritual Structure mentioned in our basic text: “THE NEW AND TRIUMPHANT ARCHTHROUGH WHICH ... WE SHALL WALK A FREE MAN AT LAST.” (Needless to say, ladies too!)  This is where we can truly begin to EXPERIENCE “The spiritual life is not  a theory,” and thus be set FREE OF SELF so that we may be of maximum Service to others.  

We have met countless alcoholics who have balked at this phase of the recovery process, and the results have been consistently disastrous. Some - though physically sober - have retained a high degree of the RESTLESS, IRRITABLE and DISCONTENTED nature of the untreated alcoholic, others have gotten drunk, some committed suicide, and many  suffered from “THE UNLIVED LIFE”, that deviously subtle form of being short changed on what this wAAy of Life has to offer.  

There are (to our count) 147PROMISES in the first 164 pages of the Big Book.  Over 150 if we include “Dr. Bob’s Nightmare.  A seemingly disproportionate number are woven into Step 9.  Remember, with proper guidance and Guidance, these too, shall come to pass for you.  Study, discuss, pray for “CREATIVE SOLUTIONS,” and DO it.  TRUST that it will come to be recognized as an opportunity “YOU MUST NOT MISS.”  

Regardless which approach is used, if we have been diligent and thorough in Step work and are attempting to pass on what has been given us, we will have begun “living in the Realm of the Spirit.”   Combined with prayer and meditation, this becomes a “state of conscious readiness,” that we can embrace when we “just happen” to meet some guy on the street. Or a name comes up in a dream, or just falls out of the air onto you plate!  These then are the times that we will KNOW at the intuitive level that NOW is the time to take the ACTION for this person.  God has paved  the way! This type of awareness and readiness helps us to develop a trust of our previously UNSUSPECTED INNER RESOURCE. (See pages 569-570)  

We begin to KNOW that the “vital sixth sense” does indeed exist!  We begin to comprehend the concept of “Life happens FROM you, not TO you.”