Today’s blog topic covers something I don’t speak about too often: sobriety.
Starting in February of 2008 (the 8th, to be exact), I set out on a new path in life, and because the situation was so dire and because I was on a life and death errand, I took the application of the spiritual tool kit handed to me with all the earnestness, dedication, thoroughness, and honesty I could muster.
What followed was life changing, and a lot of that probably had to do with the amends portion of my recovery.
You see, I was taught, and I believe rightly so, that we make amends to all people we have harmed (unless to do so would injure them or others). But really, I found I could make direct amends to most people (and I probably covered about a hundred… 😂) and if direct amends weren’t possible – amends were STILL POSSIBLE.
The reason for this is found in the understanding of true amends: amends are not just words, but changes of behaviors (actions) within us. And they are not just for the people whom we have harmed – they are for ALL people, including ourselves, because the type of behavior we’re “apologizing” for is harmful to anyone we might do the behavior towards. And it includes ourselves. Because harmful behaviors to others is harmful to ourselves as well. So we are making amends for an ACTION we once took, and we can only amend it by CHANGING THE ACTION, not with words alone.
So as I’ve walked my sober path, and tried to live and love by the lessons I’ve been taught, the goal has been to keep my side of the street clean, make amends quickly if I’ve harmed anyone, let someone know at once if I’ve had any thoughts that should be let go of like a hot potato etc., but sometimes big stuff crops up and we may realize HOLY MOLY it is time for another inventory!
Such was the case recently, and I’ve worked through my steps again and when I got to my amends portion, I had nothing. The only person I had down on my inventory that needed amends to be made to was MYSELF.
And I realized I HAVE NEVER EVER MADE AN AMENDS TO MYSELF. Never. Not once. I was so set on rectifying everything else, and certainly I didn’t need to spend even MORE time on my pity-pot back then, so ALAS! No amends to myself. But now, I see how it’s fitting that maybe I should be included… and I’m sharing here in case this resonates with you, too.
So here it goes:
Dearest love of my life, Freedom,
I am so sorry I have taken you for granted. I am sorry that I have time and again put you in harms way for the sake of being a helper or not wanting to cause waves or because it was just the “loving” or “Christ-like” thing to do. I am sorry that I haven’t loved you like you deserve to be loved. I am so sorry that I have slandered you, been your harshest judge and critic, physically harmed you, punished you with shame and self-doubt and persecution. I am sorry I haven’t protected you. I am sorry that I haven’t listened when you tried to say you weren’t comfortable with something or that something felt off. I am so sorry that I haven’t allowed you your emotions for most of your life, and required you to suppress your feelings, your voice, your body, your presence. I’m sorry I haven’t seen the beautiful wonder that you are, that was uniquely designed by the Creator and has a Divine purpose, as we all do on planet earth. I am sorry that I have been so quick to see God in others and yet denied the fact that God lives within you, too, on many occasions. I’m sorry that I have constantly expected perfection and high performance from you in every aspect of your life, and when you fell short of my expectations, I cut you off from your supply of love. I have not loved you unconditionally, sweet Freedom, and you deserve so much more.
So this is my amends to you, dear one. Here is what you can expect to change from here on out to my highest capability:
I promise to love you unconditionally. I promise to give you grace and ease as we flow through life together. I promise to HEAR you. I promise to SEE you. I promise to FEEL you. I promise to love you for your humanness AND for your divinity. I promise to treat you with the same dignity, respect, care, love, concern, compassion, and gratitude that we treat everyone else with. I promise to allow you to BE human – to mess up, to take the wrong steps, to fall short – and I promise that instead of criticizing or judging you I will hold you while you cry and love you with such a gentle heart. Freedom, I promise you that I will protect you FIERCELY against any who try to harm you, take advantage of you, manipulate you, disrespect you, devalue you, lie to you, or treat your kind, sweet heart as if it is a doormat to be stomped on with no regard. In other words, Freedom, I will be protecting you because *I* will value you. *I* will respect you. *I* will honor you. *I* will be honest with you. *I* will physically remove you from and if need be not allow you to remain in physically unsafe situations. *I* will do those things, instead of finding reasons to justify other people’s actions and behaviors towards you.
I will be your warrior. I will be your champion. I will support you in following your dreams, believing and knowing FULLY that the things you are capable of and that you are growing towards are beyond your wildest imagination! I will remind you when you are down that you’ve been through a lot in your life and have managed it all with relative grace, a willingness to learn and grow, and with a compassionate and open heart- and you will do so again and again and again. Because you’re not a survivor- you’re a THRIVER. And I will dedicate every.single.moment to helping you thrive so you may help others, so that you may have joy from within, so that you may know God more deeply and intimately, and so that you can live out your life’s purpose and accomplish what we came here to accomplish.
When you forget, I will remind you that you are: beautiful, loving, caring, joyful, carefree, compassionate, heart-felt, creative, intelligent, intuitive, artistic, a great mom, a loving friend, a devoted partner, giving, grateful, happy, Light, Love, abundant, incredible, magnificent, transparent, an alchemist, a flittery faerie of fun, honest, authentic, true to yourself, kind-natured, generous, silly, positive, divine, a good listener… all the things!
I promise to hold you in high regard and to remember that the God Light lives within you as it lives within us all. I will remind you to not play small so that others can feel more comfortable or out of fear that they will leave. I promise to never abandon you. I promise to show you EVERY DAY my deepest sincerity in these words. And if I fall short, I promise to reread this “note to self” so that I may take back up my mantle of action so that my words and my thoughts are in alignment with these actions. In this way, I hope you can learn to trust me again, and because I care so deeply to regain your trust once more – to see the joy sparkling in your eyes and radiating out your being – I will make it a priority not to falter. I love you forever and with my whole heart and I have every intention of spending the rest of this lifetime proving it to you and watching in awe as you grow and being grateful for each step with you along the way.
Yours in Oneness🧡Freedom