Co-NNections Recovery Stories

An Apology Is Not An Amends – 4-23-19

An Apology Is Not An Amends

At least, that’s the way I have come to see it. I have always been uncomfortable with apologies but I have told myself that when I do wrong, I deserve the discomfort from making an apology. Nevertheless, growing more and more during my time in CoDA, I have felt apologies to be demeaning, not good. And in CoDA, I learn that making a mistake is not becoming a mistake, perhaps validating my discomfort with apologies. A mistake is something I did, not something I am.

More and more, I have been thinking of my whole process as one of spiritual growth, with recovery the pathway out of the dead ends I have gotten myself into. When a toddler tumbles, she/he gets up laughing, learning what to change by those very missteps.

So, during a recent meeting, as I was sharing on this topic, I suddenly realized Steps 8 and 9 do not call for apologies, they call for amends.

Ah-Ha! The wisdom of our program revealed once again! Action is what we are called to. Apologies are only words. They can be empty and easily forgotten. Action is what indicates and propels true change. So my job when (not if) I make mistakes is acknowledging it to those whom I have wronged, Step 10, and taking action to avoid repeats in the future, Step 11, surely.

The ease with which I can do this both indicates and expresses that it was my action that was deficient, not my being. So no big deal. “Thank you for letting me know.” And how that eases the whole relationship! I acknowledge my reality. I am still at the toddler stage, still learning firmer steps to spirituality. So it is easy for both of us to laugh when I tumble again.

JB – 02/25/2019

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