From the Foreword of the 12 & 12: “A.A.’s Twelve Steps are a group of principles, spiritual in their nature, which, if practiced as a way of life, can expel the obsession to drink and enable the sufferer to become happily and usefully whole.”
of this Step:
Literature Reference: “Faith without works is dead.” (Big Book, Page 77, Into Action)
What Can I Surrender in this Step?
1.) My hesitation to take action, and
2.) Fear they won’t accept my amends, and
3.) Fear of the outcome
Step 9 is about taking action and making amends (through 1.) identifying hurt or harm caused and then 2.) finding out how we can make it right) to those we’ve have harmed with our drinking/thinking. Remember: It’s not about saying “I’m sorry.” This step will provide us with peace of mind, relief and liberation from the chains of regret. “The readiness to take the full consequences of our past acts, and to take responsibility for the well-being of others at the same time, is the very spirit of Step Nine.” (12 & 12)
That said, it also says on the top of Page 77 in the BB (4th Edition), that the “real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and the people about us.” I don’t know how much clearer Bill could be on this Step.
The choice is ours… Do we want more of what brought us to AA … “We were having trouble with personal relationships, we couldn’t control our emotional natures, we were a prey to misery and depression, we couldn’t make a living, we had a feeling of uselessness, we were full of fear, we were unhappy, we couldn’t seem to be of real help to other people…” 3rd ed. Big Book pg. 52 – OR do we want freedom from the bondage of the flaws in our character that caused our failure in the first place?
If we’ve been “very careful & thorough” (painstaking) about this part of our growth, we’re promised that several things (13 to be exact) will happen for and to us. 1.) We are going to know a new freedom 2.) and a new happiness. 3.) We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. 4.) We will comprehend the word serenity, and 5.) we will know peace. 6.) No matter how far down the scale we have gone; we will see how our experience can benefit others. 7.) That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. 8.) We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. 9.) Self-seeking will slip away. 10.) Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. 11.) Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. (Be careful not to believe that economic insecurity itself will leave us with this promise – the FEAR OF IT will leave us) 12.) We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us, and 13.) We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
Taking a step displays a willingness to write inventory and allow it to surrender something within us. Write inventory on your most serious shortcomings around the practical application of this step in your life today (“How am I applying the principle found in this Step to every moment of my life?”).
In your Personal Relationships, at Work and with God and A.A., provide at least one example of where each of the promises below has come true in your life as a result of the work you’ve done so far (choose from one of the three (3) categories above to provide each example below):
(If you can answer yes to these questions, you’ve likely taken this Step)
“Rinse & Repeat, Rinse & Repeat, Rinse & Repeat”