“ ‘Amazing grace’ is not a way to avoid honest human relationships, but to redo them – but now gracefully – for the liberation of both sides. “
Richard Rohr, “Breathing Under Water”
I find it rather easy to ignore some of the more painful responsibilities of sobriety when I think of the power of God’s grace. My addictive mind believes that God knows what I need and what others need. So if I pray for the people I have hurt, then God will give them peace and I’ll be just fine.
Steps 8 and 9 of the 12 Step approach to recovery sets my addictive mind into high gear. This mind looks for the easy way out. Why should I have to make amends as long as I stay sober? Prayer and God’s grace should be enough because God knows what everyone needs and will provide the healing. Right?
Denial! Denial! Denial!
We are the skin of God’s presence.
This reality doesn’t change because God is almighty and loving. There is a reason that the Christian scripture about creation “in God’s image” is a relationship between male and female. I believe that healing is a community event. Community is about relationships. Recovery is about relationships. 12 Step Recovery is about relationships. Otherwise, the first word of the 12 Steps would be “I” and not “we”.
Divinity is experienced in relationships.
Relationship between individual and Higher Power
Relationship between individual and recovery group
Relationship between sponsor and sponcee
Relationship between each of us and family, community, universe
This list goes on. The point is simple. Higher Power is experienced in relationships. I find this to be one of the great mysteries of Spirituality. We need each other to deepen our individual awareness, mindfulness, and relationship with our Higher Power.
Making amends as done in steps 8 and 9 is about atonement. This is a process of offering a broken relationship and opportunity to return to being ‘at one’ again.
For me, this process is the ultimate act of courage AND the ultimate act of faith. My past efforts to make amends have been full of ‘what ifs’. What if they don’t forgive me? What if they get angry, again? What if ………….?
What if I surrender my fears to my Higher Power and quit this game?
What if I quit procrastinating, and act on all of the amazing graces I have been writing about for the past year?
What if I act on the grace of the relationships I have with all of you?
I will do this. I will act. I will put on my big boys tighty whities and act.
I will do this. I will act with the wisdom, courage and serenity we share.
I am grateful to us.