- Forgiveness

Forgiveness




Topics related to AA Meetings - and alcohol addiction recovery

Forgiveness

Postby Sermon » Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:35 pm

Hey guys,


I've been chairing the Thursday night meeting for some time now, Closed Meetings, and I brought up the topic forgiveness. I haven't ever really been to a meeting on forgiveness so I decided to throw it out there and see what would come of it.

Turned out the meeting really went well! It was pretty much directed to the Steps 8 and 9 of our program.

Someone shared on the Second part of Step 8 where it says, "and became willing to make amends to them all." That's a pretty important part of the sometimes overlooked step. I really had to become willing to forgive that person (or myself) before I was truely ready to make that amends.

Another person shared that step 8 was forgiving them or ourselves and Step 9 was when we ask for forgiveness from the other person.

Another member pointed out that in the 11th step prayer in the 12x12 it says "to fogive than to be forgiven."

An Old Timer in our group shared that if you wanted true Serenity, not just a moment of clarity, forgiveness was the key to having it.

Anyway, I know these were mostly opinions coming from others but since we were on the AA Topics for Meetings Discussion I just wanted to tell you guys my esh on a meeting that I really enjoyed.

Hope it helps someone! Have a Great Day!!!! :lol:
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Postby Dallas » Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:50 pm

Another part that often gets mangled is...
"Made DIRECT amends to such people WHEREVER possible,"

Direct = "face to face" eyeballs to eyeballs.

Wherever = where ever and NOT when ever. :lol:

People don't want to get a letter or a voicemail or email saying "I'm sorry. Do you forgive me?" or a "I'm sorry I got so angry at you but I forgive you!" :lol:

Steps 8 & 9, I don't believe are about forgiveness. They are about RESTITUTION. Making things right. Paying money we owe. Paying for things we cheated and stole. And, DOING SOMETHING other than just saying something to make up for our harms done to others.

What I think would be a great topic would be "Restitution." What did you pay, how did you re-pay, what did you do OTHER THAN saying I'm sorry and seeking forgiveness.

And, forgiveness of others -- will come naturally as parts of Steps 4, & 5, and 8 & 9, as we "find a new angle to look at things" and as a realization of the pitiful things that we did... We'll finally become willing to give others a break instead of holding resentments.

Forgiveness is not a prerequisite for getting over resentments. However, for some people, it does seem to help them.
I don't want forgiveness from those that I harmed, nor do I seek their forgiveness. I want to be honest with them, bite the bullet, pay what I owe to them, and go out of my way to make it right.

IF they forgive me -- that's their business. And, not mine. Also, if God knows that I know that I have done all within my capability to make it right -- IF God wants to forgive me, that, too -- is God's business.

The reason I feel this way? This is a program of Action -- not a program of Thinking. Forgiveness is more associated with thinking rather than action and amending.

We make our amends and let it go. If they accept our amends -- that, too, is their business.

When I lay down at night, and I know that I've done all that I can do to clear the record of my past -- I feel at peace with myself. I'm not holding anything against myself -- so, if I'm not holding anything against myself -- why would I seek to forgive myself?
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Postby Sermon » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:29 pm

Thanks for the insite Dallas, I like the way you put things. I see your point and thank you for it. I'll try restitution as the topic tomorrow see how it comes out. Forgiveness seemed to make a good topic though and it seems to go right along with the program. Forgiveness never fit into my vocabulary before, so to me it's a pretty good start.
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Postby Dallas » Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:25 am

I think forgiveness is often a welcomed topic because: alcoholics are experts at saying "I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Never again, will I..." :lol:

Amends, restitution, is where we ask them to put their money where their mouth is. :lol:

I had some family members -- that AA wasn't good enough for them. So, they'd grab a bible and minister credentials and seek forgiveness -- except the forgiveness would turn out to be "forgiving others." :lol:

When religion wouldn't work, or jail time was in the future forecast -- one of them would run to AA long enough to "seek forgiveness" from the judge. Because the judge's skin had toughened up to jailhouse religion. :lol:
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Postby Toast » Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:59 am

Good topic,

There are events from my past that i'm just not sorry about, although others were hurt and i can see the part i played in it i've just not changed my mind on the subject and should these event happen again tomorrow i would react in exactly the same way. The fact they happened in a seedy bar i would never now frequent would hopefully keep me safe from hanging out with these same people again. (Unless they come to AA?) :lol:

So thats where Dallas's mention of amends and not forgivness fit neatly with me. As i still live in the same community i can still reopen lines of communication between me and the other guys but i dont have to tell them what they want to hear. And i have said face to face that i was sorry for my part in the whole affair but thats all i could do, nothing more, their part is up to them and i definitely dont need their forgiveness to get on with my life :)

If i wasnt mentally ill at the time i would never have got caught up in those kind of situations. Now thanks to AA i move in different circles so the chances of landing in the same kinds of trouble are very rare indeed. I'd have to be nuts to go down that road again! :D

And thats why my sponsor always tells me that AA is not about time its about distance .Its not the time your sober that counts its the distance you put between your old life and your new one, thats what you call real mature growth. :lol:
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Postby Toast » Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:13 am

Thanks for sharing that Keith, really got a lot out of it.

Most of the people who went out their way to do me a bad turn and said they hated me was really because they hated themselves for some lower than low things they done and i just happened to catch them in the act as i went about my solitary drunken business. After that everytime they blew their own trumpets in a busy bar i knew they were phoneys and they knew i knew so in order to protect their phoney image of themselves i had to be silenced or run out of town. But as we all know booze puts our tongues into overdrive and its not been silenced yet! :lol:

Thats the kind of people i dislike the most, ' The Thought Police' people who try and control or manage everything we say lest we come out with something they dont want to hear or say something thats not in their plan. You come up against 'The Thought Police' everywhere you go, in work, in church, in bars, in AA rooms, on AA websites and everywhere else folks go to exercise their ego's. These people cant abide anyone thinking anything other than what they think. 8)

At the end of the day folks like that are just big kids, if they're getting beat they say ' its my ball and i'm not playing anymore'. End of :lol:
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Postby Dallas » Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:55 am

Ditto, w/ Toast, on appreciating your sharing, Keith.

And, I find this, so true for me, too!
Keith wrote:I believe God not only gives me a program, but also guides me to the answers I need, when I need them.


And, you picked MY number w/ this one...
Keith wrote:Life in sobriety can be simple or complicated, but I have a way of stirring it all up until it becomes unmanageable.


And, thank you, too, Toast! I appreciate your sharing, too!

Toast wrote:These people cant abide anyone thinking anything other than what they think.


My experience has been that THESE, are most often the one's that tell me that I should: "Be willing and keep an open mind!" and "to not judge others!"

:lol: :lol:

But, if I don't agree w/ them 100 percent in how they see things -- their ready to march me off to the Sobriety Guillotine and whack me upside the head! :lol: :lol: Or... push me away... as they say "AA should be ALL inclusive" (unless, of course, you think like Dallas does!) :lol:
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Postby Toast » Sun Sep 25, 2011 12:23 pm

Here, here Dallas.

Think i was born ' outside the loop!'

Be well :lol:
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Postby Dallas » Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:52 pm

I understand my problem.

I'm wired backwards. :lol: :lol:
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