“We try to remember that when we make amends we are doing it for ourselves.” NA Basic Text p41
Too often I believed that making amends to people I’ve hurt was helping them. In reality though, making amends for the wrongs we have done frees us from guilt and shame. As we make amends, a great weight is lifted off of our shoulders.
Making amends is taking responsibility for our actions, and sometimes for our inactions. We stop blaming other folks for our problems. Taking responsibility though doesn’t mean that personal and platonic relationships will mend overnight or even at all.
One of my amends is taking responsibility for my actions in my last marriage and my reactions to friends during the time of our initial separation. I had to make amends to my ex because it was my actions that led to the mess that I left behind. Some friends are no longer friends. Some relationships will never be the same. However, I made amends where I could and left the guilt behind. Guilt and shame are two emotions we cannot afford to have in our lives. What is done is done. We make amends the best way we can and then move on.
Part of that moving on though requires that I always take a personal inventory of my attitudes and actions daily. I immediately make amends where I was wrong. Making amends for the past frees us from the guilt and shame of the past. Making amends for the present frees us also.