As a recovering Al-Anon, I refuse to shoulder the blame for others any longer. I own what is mine but I will not hide others secrets any more, at least not when they affect me. In 12 Step we talk about amends and one issue is often who to make them to. Sure, there are big amends to make. But what of amends you make to those who have also harmed you? Well, as much as it would be great to hold a competition, amends making is not an Olympic event. If someone, even someone you dislike or who has harmed you needs to have an amends made, make it. Remember, it is not for them, it is for you.
I did not make an amends today but I cleared the deck of something that I was holding onto (and getting blamed for). There was no reason for holding onto it – I am done being blamed for things I haven’t done. So, I am free and clear and I would rather be disliked than not telling the truth harm me emotionally or psychologically. Feels good and feels right. These are the choices we have to make in life. Grown-up choices, not high school bickering. I didn’t like high school when I was in it and I don’t like people who play games to stay there – “What’s your damage?!”
The below was a writing assignment from my sponsor that I, in working to eradicate shame and regret in my life, I am posting in a public forum.
This is the time I am myself strength to revisit hurts and failures. For in the past there have been very real mistakes. There have been very real mistakes that have cost me dearly. There has been damage done that has hurt those around me as well. And all these things are real, and must be dealt with. They must be remedied. There are amends and there are living amends. There are apologies and there are changes.
So I’m gathering strength to once again face the Goliath in my life that has previously defeated me. I’m giving myself strength to mend fences that have been broken on both sides. I am seeking strength to return to the place of my humiliation and begin to reside there. To own it, to be honest and true, to be open and caring, to seek forgiveness and admit my wrongdoing.
My hope is that in return I will see things afresh. Now I hold memories of pain, and pain equals a loss of perspective. So I’m asking to return to these places of failure, these places of humiliation, and to see them afresh from a new, unbroken, clear and honest perspective. There is something higher than myself and spirit it is with me in all things, and I pray and welcome it’s help. I desire to remove the sting from these failures. I desire to remove the pain of these experiences. And I desire to restore and mend the hurt that came as a result – to myself and to others.
Along with fellows, love, a power greater than myself and my own openness to my will, I will revisit these places, and together we will mend the broken fences. We will heal what needs to be healed, and correct what needs to be corrected. And through it all, I will allow myself to feel loved, secure, and protected. As difficult as this is, I must look at it not as a punishment, but a reward.
It will not be comfortable, it may be unpleasant, and I know I will want to procrastinate and avoid it altogether, however, I will move forward knowing the end will be good. I will move forward knowing I will come through it will greater clarity, with greater perspective, with healing and freedom after I are on the other side. I am grateful for the strength I can find to write this and to put my words into deeds.
This is a new beginning, a do over; it may feel as though I am going backwards, which I have done in a manner over the last nine months. But I will trust the process for I have experienced it before. I have been healed in areas of hurt. I will restore memories and hurt emotions from the past to guide myself. I am being strengthened for the days ahead. I will be closing holes in my armor. And when this process is complete I will ready and able to stand strong. And in the days ahead I will surely need every bit of strength I can muster and I can receive it through openness and belief.