It means mending, or (quite literally) fixing, the relationship. The first step is to know that your questions and feelings are normal. The next step is to talk to someone about those feelings. For example, if you were driving under the influence, crashed your car, and injured your friend, your friend may have severed all ties with you and refuse to meet and relive the trauma. To repent, volunteer your time to educate teens on the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. I tend to hide the memory of past transgressions under the ever-handy umbrella of “Didn’t do it if I don’t remember”.

what is a living amends

If you’re on the fence about Step 9, remember that making amends can help you and the other person. Say, for example, you’re preparing to make amends to a former coworker, whom you once stole from to pay for drugs. In addition to apologizing and asking for their forgiveness regarding the incident in question, you might offer to repay them in full for the money you stole. Along with reinforcing new behaviors and outlooks, making amends can also reduce stress. Many who lived with addiction have past behaviors they’re not proud of.

My Loved One Needs Help

Are you taking the step to clear your conscience at the expense of another person? If so, then you should avoid approaching that individual. Before approaching Step 9, you need to complete the inventory in Step 8. This is a list of all of the people in your life whom you believe you have harmed. It can be a challenging list to write, even for those who want to embrace forgiveness and inner peace—but the list is important. It represents many of the feelings and struggles you’ve had.

what is a living amends

You have to put in the work to repair the damage and heal those relationships. To make amends, you must do more than just make apologies for your past behavior. Instead, making amends means you apologize for what you’ve done and make it right. Similarly, making living amends means you completely change the way you live and remain committed to that lifestyle.

What Is Step 9?

Thankfully, there are tips you can take to help make your living amends permanent and lasting. One of the best ways you can make long-lasting changes to your relationships is by being true to your word. Essentially, don’t make promises that you can’t keep and do everything you can to live up to the promises you do make. The unfortunate truth is that we’re all human and we all fall short sometimes. However, that doesn’t mean you’ve failed at your new, honest and sober lifestyle. You can still be true to that by making an honest apology and not making excuses for why you didn’t follow through.

  • You must demonstrate with actions, not just words, your remorse, and how you aim to fix the broken relationships.
  • The FHE Health team is committed to providing accurate information that adheres to the highest standards of writing.
  • In the midst of your ninth step, you say to him “I’m so sorry that I stole that money from you and used it for drugs”.

In this way, you can take the focus off of yourself and choose to live a life of greater meaning. Should others be unreceptive or outcomes aren’t as planned, don’t blame yourself. What you can control is how you’ll continue what is a living amends to make positive changes and live an authentic life free from substances. I also realized that in my childhood, that I had blamed my Dad for things my Mom actually caused by trying to get him to stop drinking.