Step 12: practicing these principles in ALL our affairs

In Step 12, we will be discussing “carrying the message to those who still suffer and practicing these principles in all our affairs.”

Recently, I had an argument with my husband. My feelings were hurt, and I retaliated and said some hurtful things.

I had mentioned the situation to some people in program, and their response was “Hmmm. That was a strong statement.”

Nothing more.

My husband apologized, he took me out, and I thought that the situation was over.

So, I mentioned the incident to another person, and she insisted that I owed an amends.

She told me: “I want you to write everything down, take your husband out and discuss the situation and apologize.”

I balked. I said, “why? If someone says something unkind, why can’t I be angry about their behavior?”

Her response was: “that is the dubious luxury of other people, not ours.”

I finally responded, “I will think about it.”

As an addict I am allergic to people telling me what to do.

So, then I spoke with the first person I told the incident to again.

She was able to walk me through whether or not I needed to make an amends. It was VERY useful, and so I thought I would share what happened.

“Do I owe an amends?”

Did your actions harm your husband and daughter?

We owe an amends when we have caused an actual HARM (not HURT) to another person.

[PAUSE FOR THOUGHT]

Were you speaking honestly? [Remember the 4 Absolutes?]

Did you mean what you said?

Did you speak meanly? [Remember, in program, we learn to say what you mean, mean what you say and not say it meanly.]

[PAUSE FOR THOUGHT]

Why did you say what you said? What were your motives? Did you say it to hurt the other person?

[PAUSE FOR THOUGHT]

“In program, we learn “Hurt people hurt people.” Program has taught me that just because I am hurting, I don’t have the right to hurt someone else.”

[PAUSE FOR THOUGHT]

How would God have me be?

When I say something hurtful to God, does He speak hurtfully to me?

No.

God is patient, tolerant and kind.

Therefore, God would have ME be patient, tolerant and kind.

What should I have done instead?

If I am practicing these principles in all my affairs:

God would have me say what I mean and mean what I say and not say it meanly.

God would not want me to lash out and say something hurtful, because I am hurt.

Really, God would want me to stay silent and pause before speaking.

[PAUSE FOR THOUGHT]

‘It is the power of the pause,” she said. “We need to pause more.”

Ok. This I got.

OUTCOME

I spoke to my daughter and I apologized for saying something hurtful. (She had gotten upset by the incident)

I spoke to my husband and said the same thing: “I am sorry that I was hurtful towards you when I was upset.” (I did not say what he did wrong.)

He said: “if you can forgive me, then I can certainly forgive you.”

Since then, I have been focusing on pausing and saying nothing when I am upset by someone else’s behavior.

CONCLUSION

The is a program of action. Once we identify the problem, we know the solution.

My sisters in program reflected back to me the principles in program that we seek to practice in all our affairs.

This program works if we work it, now work it, you’re worth it!

About Emotional Sobriety and Food

"...to be able to Twelfth Step ourselves and others into emotional sobriety" - living, loving & letting go.
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One Response to Step 12: practicing these principles in ALL our affairs

  1. ossnath says:

    Thank you Shira for sharing your experience, strength, hope, insights, and inspiration. We are a work in progress, and you are a tremendous example for us all. We CAN practice these principles in all our affairs. We CAN utilize all our challenges and pain to catapult our lives into a whole new dimension, and be truly happy and content.

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