Saturday, March 29, 2014

Mission "Impossible" Amends

Step We Are On: Nine

Page: 79, 80

Chapter: 6 “Into Action”

Subject:  "Impossible" Amends

Sometime it can seem that an amends qualifies as one that cannot be made.

But . . . .

  • What was the wrong that had to be righted?  The entire paragraph

This brings to mind a story about one of our friends. While drinking, he accepted a sum of money from a bitterly-hated business rival, giving him no receipt for it. He subsequently denied having received the money and used the incident as a basis for discrediting the man. He thus used his own wrong-doing as a means of destroying the reputation of another. In fact, his rival was ruined.
  • Did he believe there was any way he could make amends?

He felt that he had done a wrong he could not possibly make right.

  • If he made it known, for whom did he fear?  Two sentences

If he opened that old affair, he was afraid it would destroy the reputation of his partner, disgrace his family and take away his means of livelihood. What right had he to involve those dependent upon him?

  • What was the question facing him?

How could he possibly make a public statement exonerating his rival?

  • Who did he talk to about this problem?

After consulting with his wife and partner

His actions might have “implicated” others (among other things)

Do you recall that word from the top of the page?


Implicate - 1. to fold, entwine, entangle 2. to involve deeply, especially unfavorably, as a person in  a crime. ~ The Winston Simplified Dictionary Encyclopedic Edition (1938)

  • After talking with them, what did he conclude?

He came to the conclusion that is was better to take those risks than to stand before his Creator guilty of such ruinous slander.
He put God and what he knew was right in his heart, first, even if it meant losing his means of livelihood.

Peace and  Love,
Danny S – RLRA

Real Live Recovered Alcoholic

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Implications of Amends

Step We Are On: Nine

Page: 79, 80

Chapter: 6 “Into Action”

Subject: Angry Wives, Amends, Alimony, Jail

Good morning. We are looking at the divorced, remarried man with an angry ex-wife he had wronged.
Page 79 - Continued
  • What did he promise?
He told her what he would try to do in the future.

Paying off his delinquent alimony debt to her.

  • What did he tell her he was willing to do?
He said he was perfectly willing to go to jail if she insisted.

  • What was the outcome?
Of course she did not, and the whole situation has long since been adjusted.
"Whew! Of course." - After all,  how could she get the money he owned her if he were in jail?
Now we are looking at a very particular kind of situation — one where the amends approach may have some reach extending beyond ourselves — and might incriminate another person in the process. To avoid dragging them into an amends that perhaps they are not willing to become embroiled, there are some things we can do. 
Page 80
  • If other people might be affected, what do we do?
Before taking drastic action which might implicate other people we secure their consent.
We approach them and ask if it is okay to risk their involvement. There will be a temptation to skip an amends because of implication to others - BUT we do not abandon an amends on that basis. We ask for permission to proceed. If we don't get it, then and only then may we decide to move on — the restitution unmade. Not all can be made. (Most can)
  • If they give permission, what is the first thing we do?
If we have obtained permission,

Implicate -  1. to fold, entwine, entangle 2 to involve deeply, especially unfavorably, as a person in a crime.[1]

  • What else?
have consulted with others

This may be a sponsor. It doesn’t have to be limited to a sponsor. Notice that "others" is plural.
  • After talking with our "others,” what is the next step?
asked God to help
We are on Step Nine, 3/4 of the way through all 12.  Conscious contact has by this time been made. This is a simple heartfelt request to God made in the spirit of our usefulness to others when made by an awakened person. 

Now there is no need to fear that our request will not be heard, after all, at this point in the Step succession a spiritual awakening has occurred. We are making a request to God from an awakened, aware, God-conscious state––no longer self-centered, or ambitious. With this new God connection established we are automatically humble and motivated in ways we had never been before — as when we had, “prayed,” selfishly for our own ends. 

Speaking into a land-line phone that has a severed cord —  the speaker never contacts the intended recipient. His words never reach the other end;  but once a connection is reestablished, the communication gets through easily. 

Conversely, an awakened person has contact with God and the request is heard.  An unconscious person, who can only pray selfishly, does not have this same benefit.

Many of us have prayed and prayer only to feel that we have been ignored. It wasn’t that we had been ignored. It’s that our prayers were never heard. They never got through. Without contact with God the line goes dead, and so our beseeching was indeed in vain — it never worked. How lonely, how dark — to be cut off.

  • If it needs to be done, what do we not do?
and the drastic step is indicated we must not shrink.
Shrink - to draw back, as from danger or threat.[2]

Peace and  Love,
Danny S – RLRA

Real Live Recovered Alcoholic

1, 2  -  The Winston Simplified Dictionary Encyclopedic Edition (1938)

Friday, February 7, 2014

Go To Jail or Not?

Step We Are On: Nine

Page: 79

Chapter: 6 “Into Action”

Subject: Angry Wives, Amends, Alimony, Jail

Good morning.
Page 79 - continued

  • How did they feel about him going to jail?

We thought he ought to be willing to do that if necessary

This is not a jail avoidance story. If necessary they thought he ought to be willing to be imprisoned.

  • Would jail be difficult?
but if he were in jail he could provide nothing for either family.

The is true but notice how there is no “provider of the family” clause here to justify avoiding restitution - actions that may indeed result in incarceration. 

The plan is: He make the approach and goes to jail if that’s what it takes. Nevertheless, since this man now had a "new" family to take care of, why not take the prudent approach as follows:  

  • His sponsor suggested that he do what?

We suggested he write his first wife admitting his faults and asking forgiveness.

 Aha! Great idea.

This advice to this man proposed a letter written to express contrition to his ex-wife. If brought to court, what a wonderful piece of evidence in petitioning for leniency. Wise, wise folks those co-founders. (Ask any Divorce & Family Law attorney.) The idea here was to see if jail could be avoided, first by petitioning the wife. If this didn’t work, he would need to remain willing to go to jail. (Still a helpful letter to have on file, even if she turned it down, no?)

  • Did he do what his sponsor told him to do?

He did,

  • What else did he do?

and also sent a small amount of money

A little cash sweetener goes a long way.

Did it work?  Did he go to jail? Next time. (Or read ahead)
Peace and  Love,
Danny S – RLRA
Real Live Recovered Alcoholic

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Deadbeat Dads Vs. Angry Wives

Step We Are On: Nine

Page: 79

Chapter: 6 “Into Action”

Subject: Angry Wives, Amends, Alimony

Read Time: 2 mins

Good morning. We are talking about broken families, alimony and how the co-authors helped a newcomer approach one particularly dicey case.

  • What was their experience  with broken families

A man we know had remarried. Because of resentment and drinking, he had not paid alimony to his first wife.      

  • How did she feel about it and what did she do?  Two sentences

She was furious. She went to court and got an order for his arrest.

This woman was not about to listen to any of that, "I'm going to meetins' now,"  kind of crap.

  • Had he adopted the spiritual principles written about in, “Alcoholics Anonymous.”

He had commenced our way of life,

  • Was his life improving?

had secured a position, and was getting his head above water.   
He had the means now.
  • What could he have done?

It would have been impressive heroics if he had walked up to the Judge and said, "Here I am."
Next: The unexpected actions they took with him.

Peace and  Love,
Danny S – RLRA
Real Live Recovered Alcoholic