September 15

FREEDOM MONTH: DAY 15: “Freedom is the only worthy goal in life. It is won by disregarding things that lie beyond our control.”― Epictetus

This is sometimes easier said than done. Ego insists on hanging on to our version of what “should be” or “should have been”. We cling to those ways of believing about life and they destroy all possibility of happiness or peace in our lives.

Step 9 is our work to clean up our messes. It does not matter how that work is met by others, nor is it an attempt to make peace with those we have harmed. It is ONLY the work of cleaning up our messes. One of the best writings, in my opinion on Step 9 is in the book “A New Pair of Glasses.”

Chuck C. speaks about it from the moment he gained some mental clarity in his early recovery. After only a few days, he returned to his place of employment  and asked his employer to not throw him out the window, which is what he knew he deserved; but to allow him to just clean up the mess of his desk and clean up the wreckage he had created. He went on to work there for many years and eventually became the owner of that business.

He did the same in all relationships. He asked NOTHING from others, just a chance to clean up his mess. With NO expectation of healed relationships. And he became incredibly humble and served only his God in doing all these things for the rest of his life. An incredible example of Step 9 in action!

I only wish to do this in some areas so well. I know there have been some bad feelings in me when I have worked this step. A great deal of “fake it till  you make it” on my part. And yet, I have performed these things, over and over again to the best of my ability.

I never really wanted to pay money back that I owed. I have reaped unimaginable rewards for doing it anyway. I never really wanted  to clean up relationships with people I still resented, but I did it anyway. I am free today by taking action when Ego told me it was really their problem, not mine. No matter what. And I see the difference in how things have unfolded in my life versus those who have done nothing but keep apologizing and never really working through their shit. I am grateful to be sitting in the difference.

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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