Learning to Make Amends for My Sexual Harms Through Sexaholics Anonymous
The other day I was thinking about how I should make my Step Nine amends to those I have harmed. Step Nine says: "We made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others" (followed by Step Ten, which says: "We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it"). The wisdom of the Sexaholics Anonymous Twelve Step fellowship says that I should "keep it simple." Sometimes I try to explain away all of my guilt, instead of simply saying, "I was wrong and I am sorry." I need to accept my part of the guilt without shifting the blame to everyone else or pointing out their faults. And I also need to give others time to accept my amends. They may need time to think about about what I have said, or they might want to pray about it.
Then this morning I was reading the chapter on Step Ten in the Alcoholics Anonymous Twelve and Twelve: “Continued to take a personal inventory, and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.” Often I have looked at this suggestion in a negative way, looking mainly at my failures and feeling discouraged. But through SA I have learned that I can look at the positive side also. I can ask: “What are my assets and what am I grateful for today?” Another Sexaholics Anonymous member reminded me that I can also ask where my Higher Power is calling me to growth. The chapter on Step Ten concludes: "Having so considered our day, not omitting to take due note of things well done, and having searched our hearts with neither fear nor favor, we can truly thank God for the blessings we have received and sleep in good conscience (12&12, p 95