please help!!! mentioning God/HP in an amend?

The 12 Steps are the AA program of recovery from alcoholism.

please help!!! mentioning God/HP in an amend?

Postby Looking4answers » Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:31 am

Hello,
I am working the steps again with a new sponsor (have worked them 1.9 times with other sponsors, and approaching 3 years sober). I am making amends to an old sponsee for not working as strong of a program as I could have been- ex: not going to home group meetings all the time, etc. My sponsor told me to tell my sponsee in the amend that I wasn't living a "God centered life" at that time (which I do NOT agree with, as I was praying/working steps/service etc at that time) and she told me to say those words (that I "was not living a God centered life") in the amend to my old sponsee. I really need some guidance-

First of all, I don't think my sponsor has the right to say that I wasn't "living a God centered life"- I will call my sponsees out on their character defects and help them to understand their part in things if they can't see it, but the words "God centered life" seem really judgmental and not appropriate to say, or something that I have ever heard anyone else say. (It is also hard because my sponsor has told me about things in her sobriety that were questionable, not that I would ever judge her or anyone else, I just don't think you can or can't say someone was living a God centered life, or judge that.)

Second of all, I poured over the 12x12 and BB for guidance on mentioning God in an amends. It says that "to some people we need not, and probably should not emphasize the spiritual feature on our first approach" and then- "when it will serve any good purpose, we are willing to announce our convictions with tact and common sense." I do not have a problem with talking about God in some capacity in an amend, if there is a purpose to it, but what she asked me to say does not seem to ME to be "announcing convictions" or serving a purpose- if I am to mention God, I think there are much better ways to bring up God in ways that would serve a purpose and would be announcing convictions per the BB.

Thoughts???
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Re: please help!!! mentioning God/HP in an amend?

Postby Layne » Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:34 am

First of all, I don't think my sponsor has the right to say that I wasn't "living a God centered life"

They have the right to do say that, but it doesn't mean that is right nor the right thing to say.

I don't remember ever mentioning God in any amend that I have ever made, I mean the amend is about what I did or didn't do. God had nothing to do with the behavior that was the reason for the amend, so why mention God. Almost begins to sound more like an excuse or justification in some way if I bring God into the conversation; at least when talking about the past. Now if I am talking about my intentions for the future, I could see it then.

By the way, when people ask for help in making amends, I don't tell them what to say, I just tell them what I have said when making amends. After all, it is their amend, not mine. It should come from their heart, not my head.
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Re: please help!!! mentioning God/HP in an amend?

Postby positrac » Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:33 am

Interesting topic and I can say that for me when I've made amends I say I apologize for whatever went wrong and hope the other person accepts. They don't have to and I have to eat crow and thus is life and we move on. We strive everyday to become better and not perfection. Sponsor/sponsee should have some cushion on expectations.
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Re: please help!!! mentioning God/HP in an amend?

Postby Barbara D. » Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:41 am

As far as I am aware, the only thing I have to share as a member of AA or as a guide (sponsor) is my experience, strength, and hope. I can tell somebody how I see a certain situation or circumstance. I can make suggestions. If I judge or tell someone what they must do to work a good program, I think I've missed the point. For me, it's not about who is right and who is wrong.

I did have to work the Steps and listen to the feedback of other memberS. I think the BB is the Founders' experience, strength, and hope and sets an example but can't be used to argue with someone about how anything in particular must be done. I have concluded all this in hindsight and a result of the shares in 1,000s of meetings and 1 on 1s and working the Steps. Early on, I thought anybody with 2 or 3 years would have their program figured out. I must be a slow learner. I still haven't arrived, and I haven't had a drink in a long time. Just within the last couple of years here on e-AA, I've had revelations about old resentments, about my Higher Power relationship, etcetera.

I believe it's dangerous for me to "know" something beyond how I proceed today. If I know something, I'm not open-minded, am more disposed to thinking I am in charge.

One of my sponsors thought I'd never get a 1 year chip because I didn't do a morning meditation like he did. Part of the reason I got my 2nd year chip was to spite him. :lol: Yes, we laughed about it later and both learned something. He and his wife were my best sponsors. I am so thankful to them. He died sober and I miss him still.

Happy Thursday!
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Re: please help!!! mentioning God/HP in an amend?

Postby Duke » Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:07 pm

Welcome Looking4answers. Thanks for sharing.

As a sponsor, I would never take it upon myself to tell someone what to say or how to say it. If I did, it wouldn't really be their amend, would it?

Your relationship with God is as you understand it is up to you. If bringing God up in your amend seems inappropriate to you, it is.

Good luck.
"If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.", Mother Teresa
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Re: please help!!! mentioning God/HP in an amend?

Postby Noels » Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:52 pm

Hi Looking for answers, we all grow deeper spiritually as we progress so from my understanding it is not that you were not living a God Centred Life at that time so nobody has the right to say something like that to you. My understanding and experience of Creator today is very different and deeper than 3 years ago yet 3 years ago I was also living a God Centred Life.

(my apologies I left this half - so what I'm saying is that I experienced God/Creator 3 years ago as I was possible to - to the best of my ability at that time. So even though my experience of and with God/Creator is different today it still doesn't mean that I was not living a God-Centred life at that time. It just means that we evolve. I hope that 3 years into the future from today it will be different again as that is progress)

I haven't offered any " excuse " in any of my amends so far. Giving an " excuse " for my behavior when I was still drinking in my opinion tries to " justify " my behavior at that time. To me, when making an amend I take full responsibility - no excuses and saying that I wasn't living a "God centered life" at that time - sounds like a really bad excuse. If your sponsor is happy to use that kind of line in her amends good luck for her. It just doesn't feel right to me either.

Follow your heart when making amends. The right words will come. Our heart may be on the left but it is always right.

Mwah xxx Noels
Last edited by Noels on Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: please help!!! mentioning God/HP in an amend?

Postby tomsteve » Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:53 pm

saying i wasn't living a god centered life is,imo, not getting to the EXACT nature of our wrongs, which are found on the 4th step.
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Re: please help!!! mentioning God/HP in an amend?

Postby Roberth » Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:58 pm

Hello looking2answers……amends frighten the crap out of us doesn’t it. Who wants to admit they were wrong? Will just apologizing work for me? I have been apologizing for things I have done my whole life and when turn around and do the same things over and over again. I was taught not only to apologize for what I did to a person but when I had to try to set things straight. and if that wasn't enough I stop doing those things whether they would accept my amends or not. That is where the promises start to happen. We always don't get forgiveness, sometime it's just an added bonus
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Re: please help!!! mentioning God/HP in an amend?

Postby PaigeB » Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:03 pm

The word "god" and therefore "god centered" are intensely personal in our understanding and internalization. There is just no way that we can understand the inner workings, nor the HP, of another person - even if that person is a twin who sat next to me in the same church all my life.

I use semantics... "Semantics is the study of meaning in language. It can be applied to entire texts or to single words. For example, "destination" and "last stop" technically mean the same thing, but students of semantics analyze their subtle shades of meaning" (Vocab . com). And my sponsor told me to use general terms and ideas when making amends - especially if the other might be harmed - so I said "I was not always a great friend to you. I stole your make up that one time and I want to pay to replace it." Me saying "I wasn't living a God centered life" is like "I was in a dark place. I knew what I was doing was wrong and I do not know why I did it." or "I have come to know a better & more effective way to be a human being. I was not acting in that manner when I...."

However with sponsees I think it is particularly important because we are teaching them HOW we actually do amends in real life. Seriously, it is OK - in fact perfect - that we are not always the best we can be. They need to know that because they too will have a time when they believe they are doing their best and bad things still happen! You are a human and I assume you have no expectation of perfection. I sure don't, but I tend to forget that! We have to be content with patient improvement. (pg 65 of the 12 & 12). Pocket your pride and the pride of your sponsor. Say a prayer and have faith that all will be well. Then speak your Truth.
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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Re: please help!!! mentioning God/HP in an amend?

Postby Blue Moon » Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:03 pm

Looking4answers wrote:Thoughts???


The statement is totally irrelevant. To "make amends" is to put things right. If you wrong me, I don't give a monkey's elbow about your relationship with God, either then or now. What difference does that make to my life? None! All I want to know is 2 things: that you regret what you did (which is nice), and what are you going to do differently?
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