Art as Living Amends: Nick Cave on Creativity as an Instrument of Self-Forgiveness and the Necessity of Hope in a Fragile World

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.

  • By showing up, doing the work, and continuing to do “the next right thing,” you will make more progress toward trust-building and repair than with any amount of words.
  • You don’t have to take our word for the success of sober living in preventing relapse.
  • It also shares useful coping tools, and helps the reader reflect on their unique relationship with grief and loss.

If you promised your son or daughter to be there to see them off to college, clean yourself up and show up. You don’t have to be the best son or daughter, and you don’t need to be an ideal parent, but you need to show up when you make promises to do so. If you’re untrustworthy and unreliable, come to terms with those characteristics of yours. Figure out ways to improve upon them, and tell your loved ones what you’re working on to help you improve. Guilt and shame are the unnecessary chains that bind us to our past.

Step Nine Spiritual Principles: Always A Good Day For Humble Pie

However, they may suddenly feel guilty and decide to change their ways. They can make a living amend to change their lifestyle, get sober, and stop stealing from their parent. Undoubtedly, you, too, have a list of ways in which you want to live out your living amends, and that’s great! The more personalized your lifestyle changes are, the more they’re going to resonate and stick with you. At this point in our step work we may be trudging the road to happy destiny, but we’ve reached the point where we must repair what we left behind us on a path of shattered relationships.

  • Avoid initiating a conversation if the other person is distracted or upset by something unrelated.
  • Your AA sponsor, therapist, or another trusted person can help you determine how best to address making amends.
  • This is a time to focus on the hurt you’ve caused, no matter how big or small.

If this is the case, seek the advice of a qualified treatment professional or licensed therapist. Family matters may be best addressed in a proper therapeutic setting when possible. Some people’s greatest wish may be that you remain sober and continue recovering. Others may prefer never to speak again or even wish you ill on the way out of the door. The future of your relationships is never guaranteed, but you will feel better knowing you have done your best to remedy your prior errors. Art does have the ability to save us, in so many different ways.

What is Living Amends?

Sex addicts often feel unworthy of their partner’s respect and love. Many feel unworthy to have their partner in their life at all after everything they’ve put them through. Check out ways to help us provide quality care and services for individuals and families impacted by addiction. We offer same day phone screenings for no cost to determine if our services are right for your recovery.

  • Their parent may feel more pain for their addicted child’s inability to get sober than the material items lost due to the thefts.
  • That is just one small example of what are living amends.
  • In these cases, they make promises of cleaning up their act and changing their behaviors to their loved ones just before they die.
  • It’s important to recognize there may be times when an attempt to make amends could cause additional harm to the other person.
  • We are placing trust in our Higher Power and the program, along with our fellows, that this can do more to bring us inner-peace, happiness, and intimacy than any negative reaction could hurt us.
  • It took time for us to emerge from our chrysalis fully committed to recovery, and the people around us are entitled to go through the process without being rushed.

The complexity of individual situations is why consulting with sponsors and professionals can assist greatly in your recovery process. We understand that fact and don’t choose to run from it, and we understand that words cannot make those painful memories disappear. We can only become who we intend to be, living amends and acknowledge to others that those addictive behaviors have no place in our lives from here on out. It’s not our job to quicken their process of accepting us any more than it was their job to help us get sober. Forgiveness may not come on our timetable, but what gives us the right to set the timetable?

Making Amends Is an Important Step to Rebuilding Family Connections

A loved one might need time to accept amends and feel okay with it. The person may need to know the hurt will never be caused again before working on trust. “Living amends” is about making daily changes, walking the walk, and showing a true commitment to everyone around. True changes show that the person is serious and is working little by little to shift towards a positive space with all involved. It is worth it to cross the bridge on the journey of healing towards making amends.

After acknowledging to ourselves what we’ve done, we take responsibility for making it right. There is nothing quite like experiencing increased humility while making amends in your Ninth Step and recognizing the self-empowerment and self-love that comes with it. When discussing our amends list with our sponsors, if we are open-minded, we can start to think about these kinds of situations in ways we haven’t thought about them before. In fact we usually discover that what we first thought was the obvious method of making amends, might not be right after all. You’ve probably already discovered that by staying clean and sober and by working the Twelve Steps of AA that things are getting better. Becoming a ”better person” means that we are less willing to engage in destructive behaviors, mostly because we are aware of how much they cost us in human misery.

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Therefore, it isn’t unusual to take multiple runs at a 12-Step program or work to practice the principles lifelong. Willingness and determination to clear away the havoc of our past lives pave the way for our new lives. If making an amend doesn’t pan out exactly how you had hoped it would, let it go. You made the amend to clean up your side of the street, acknowledging your wrongdoing and taking responsibility for your actions. Each situation in making amends with someone will look and feel different, depending on the nature of your past relationship and the type of harm caused. There are some general strategies to keep in mind as you make your list of people to see and what to say to each one of them.

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That reason is that each step provides the spiritual preparation we’ll need for the following steps. Never in a million years would we ever have imagined during our using days that we would one day be able to sit down with the people we’ve harmed and make direct amends! This would not be possible without the spiritual preparation we received from the previous steps. Your AA sponsor, therapist, or another trusted person can help you determine how best to address making amends. Often, people with substance use disorders cause harm to others, either intentionally or inadvertently. Step 9 of AA’s 12-step program directs people in recovery to take accountability for actions that may have harmed others and to make amends when possible.

Amends Are Not Apologies—They’re Expressions of Accountability

You should make amends when you reach step 9, if you are working a program of recovery and going through the steps with a sponsor. If you are not working a 12-step program of recovery, we highly recommend it, however, you can make amends during your recovery process. Only make amends that will not cause more harm than good.

living amends

Be willing to listen to their side of the story, opinions, or thoughts on the matter. Validate their feelings by showing them you understand why they were hurt. Attempts to make amends can create more harm if you enter a situation focused only on yourself and what you want to get out of it.

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We blame ourselves for certain things that happened – sometimes rightfully, and sometimes not. Prove to those who love you that you are a person of your word, and they can rely on you when things get tough. How do you prove your worth to others after so many failed chances?

living amends

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