Welcome back to Your Heart’s Desire!
Now that you have the key
to clearing the channel
so that you can hear the voice of God,
you will need some practical suggestions on how to make amends,
and forgive others as well.
This part of Your Heart’s Desire
will answer the main questions and concerns
about making amends.
We will resume with paragraph 18 next week.
Practical Aspects of Making Amends
The art of making amends is essentially simple. Here are some general guidelines you can use:
If you owe money, find a way to pay it back, even little by little—it’s not yours. Of course do not wreck your present financial circumstances by paying off tons of debt. Just commit to paying it all back little by little in payments agreed upon by your victim.
If you broke something that doesn’t belong to you, fix it or pay to have it repaired or replaced.
If you stole something, give it back or pay to have it replaced.
And yes, it is crucial, where ever possible,
to seek out the people you’ve harmed
and talk with them face to face.
Go to the people you have carried resentments towards and tell them you’re sorry for thinking ill of them for so many years, and then change how you think about them and how you act towards them.
In the Big Book of Alchoholics Anonymous, how to make amends is discussed at length since it is the Ninth Step of the 12 Step Program of recovery. In the Big Book, one very important caveat is mentioned when making amends:
Make the amends “except when to do so would injure them or others.” If we’ve harmed someone to the extent that they might have blocked out that hurt—then leave it go—there is no need to ease our guilt at their expense. Find a different way to make amends without discussing the harmful incident. God will show you a way to make it right. Direct amends are best, but sometimes it isn’t possible. We need to take into account the person receiving the amends. If we think they cannot handle what we’re telling them, we find a different way. Likewise, if making the amends will harm your or your family in any significant ways, then leave it go and find an indirect way to make the amends.
Some of your amends might actually require that you go to the police and confess illegal things you’ve done in the past—
Remember you want to live your Heart’s Desire,
so, in the long run, learning to accept the consequences
of our actions is crucial
to learning to live responsibly.
And Your Heart’s Desire
is calling you to be responsible.
Your Heart’s Desire needs to know you will live a life of integrity.
Forgiving others and fixing what you broke in the past
is the most positively life-changing action you can ever take
—both for your life and the life of the person
you are making amends to.
The person or organization you owe money to might staunchly refuse to accept repayment. Insist they do. Tell them your future depends on it. If they still refuse and say things like: “Oh you’re just honoring me for even coming to me. Keep your money.” You need to try and fix it still. Saying sorry or having the other person forgive you is not enough—you must pay back what you’ve stolen or else it will be taken from you later on.
What about making amends to yourself—forgiving yourself? Fox makes it clear you need to forgive ourselves. However, may I suggest the way to doing this is by truly living Your Heart’s Desire and by forgive others first. As you move through that process—of accepting their forgiveness and clearing your side of the street, you will naturally begin loving and accepting yourself in a way you probably have never experienced before.
And some of them will not forgive you. They might accept their money back from you and still hate you or hold a grudge against you, that’s OK…Well, you know what I mean—if you’ve tried, and you’ve made restitution, then leave the rest go. Move on to the next amends, allow that person to have their own process of forgiveness. Rest assured, somewhere in the back of their minds they will always remember what you did, and that can only have a gradual and positive affect on them.
One last thing, obviously you will not finish all of your amends in one week. It may even take the rest of your life. As long as you get the process started and are willing to make all of your amends the channel will clear. It is the willingness plus taking the actions, even the barest of beginnings that will begin cleaning the vessel. So fear not, just begin the process. Once you do, the way will not only open, but will open with a clear, unobstructed path.
Copyright Joseph Anthony of the Wonder Child Blog