I have a friend that works on this process daily, so I called him. I told him what I was writing about. He's been in A.A. for over twenty years, lost his medical license, attempted suicide twice, helps train Emergency Responders on the border to assist refugee kids, and works with his community to build homes in Tijuana. Here are his thoughts:
"Amends has been a key in my recovery. Taking account daily of the corrections in your emotional steps. It helps me focus on the moment and stay there. An amends to the ones you've hurt has to be followed up with the behavior of correction."
"When I first started this process, I had a sponsor tell me,"Your life has to be an amends. Through your past behaviors, you've surrendered your right to be treated fairly, with reason, and within what you assign as "normal." People see you as you were, not as you are, and they may never see this new person through the cloak of pain you've inflicted." He said that the past damage I caused to people as a result of the behaviors that came from my issues, "will continue to cause those in your life to run for emotional cover."
"I was told that the only thing that will help my relationships will be a change in my behavior. The only thing that helps people risk being close to me is consistency in my behavior and my spirit."
"And the one thing that brings change and consistency is staying in the moment. Staying in the moment helps me decide, minute by minute, where my flow will go."
"I cannot repair the past without being grounded in this minute. I cannot keep myself calm without the routine of mediation and coming back to the moment for that balance, that emotional set point that establishes a retrieval with the present. This is where my self assessment starts, my judgement begins, and my acceptance of life breathes life into my actions."
"Where that focus goes, the energy flows."
"I focus is right now. This energy flow is a result of being conscious of the person I want to be, moment by moment, today. Right now. It's the only way I know how to live. I've become more accepting of myself, of others, and more understanding and patient."
"It's the only tool in my emotional and spiritual toolkit. It's the only one I'll ever need.