02 March 2014
Making Amends SUUUUUUCKS
I don't know if there is anyone else out there working the 12 steps- if you are- speak up! I'm sinking! I remember slipping into a bad funk when I did Step 4 and it's happening again. I wish the past really was in the past...
So making amends doesn't really suck. It just sucks if you are a validation junkie like me. I thought (although at the time I would have denied this) if I wrote letters and emails and made phone calls to friends and family members it would be well received. My sponsor suggested that it might not always go well, and I thought (LYING TO MYSELF)
"Even if it doesn't go well, I'll feel peace. Because I'm taking the high road. I'm the better person."
It definitely required courage- but the kicker is, I was sure I would get a great reward. I sent out four letters about two weeks ago and got zero response. (And I'm friends with these women on Facebook. Easy enough right?)
I poured my heart into these letters and I was fully expecting something like this
"Jane! Oh my gosh, your letter came today and made my day. It was so sweet. It was so brave of you to reach out and share those vulnerable feelings. But girl- don't worry! I've never thought twice about that. You were always a great friend. Thank you so much for being so thoughtful. Love, Friend."
Not only was my letter not important or meaningful enough to them (speculation, hypothesis contrary to fact) but it's quite possible they were annoyed by it, or they hate me.
Fortunately, as soon as feelings of hurt and resentment started to surface I recognized them and realized that I had ridiculous expectations. And I was making this about me. This isn't a self-esteem building exercise from the outside. It's an inside job. It's a clear conscience, which is the most loyal friend of all.
It's time to approach Step 8 the right way, instead of turning it into a contrived way of getting recognition.
"There is a quiet, honest place that this Step takes us to, a place of dropping defenses and pride, a place where we shed victimization. We become willing to clean our slate, in peace and honesty."