How to Make Living Amends: 5 Top Tips

As the lines between real and fake blur, Americans increasingly chase the idea of authenticity. The first step may be to consider self-knowledge, truthfulness, and other building blocks on the road to personal growth. When my husband misses a turn because he’s in the wrong lane, I say nothing. When what is a living amends he runs out of medicine because he didn’t call the doctor for a refill, I trust he has the intelligence to solve his own problem. When he handles a situation at work “the wrong way” I keep my opinion to myself. If there are any concerns about content we have published, please reach out to us at

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Remember that part of making amends is demonstrating changed behavior. Even concrete steps like repaying a debt aren’t done once you hand money over; you also have to avoid betraying that person in the future. For this reason, amends are an ongoing process without an end date. If you’re familiar with substance use recovery and 12-step programs, the idea of « living amends » might ring a bell. When you cannot directly make up for something to the person you hurt, a living amends is a decision to change your ongoing behavior in a way that is informed by the wrongdoing. Your ‘living amends’ is living in a way that that acknowledges the previous mistake by consistently living in a way that doesn’t repeat it or compensates for it.

Step Series

It’s painful, but it forces us to understand ourselves more deeply and hold ourselves with compassion. It helps us learn from the experience and grow – in our relationship with ourselves and our capacity to love others. When someone I love and care about tells me that I did something that hurt or upset them, my first impulse is to show them how they’re wrong. I want to help them see it from my perspective so they can have compassion for my choices.

  • The theme of making amends is forgiveness, and although it is one of the steps people may not like, it comes at this point in the AA journey for a reason.
  • The spirit of the treaty — that even the original five nuclear states would make progress toward disarmament — has not been achieved.
  • When he runs out of medicine because he didn’t call the doctor for a refill, I trust he has the intelligence to solve his own problem.
  • Both the disarmament objective and the verification process were considered groundbreaking.
  • Early in my recovery, I learned neither my son nor my husband was listening to anything I said.

By working through the list in Step 9 and making amends to each person named there, you will restore a piece of yourself with each conversation. On the surface, making amends might sound as simple as offering a sincere apology for your treatment of others, but there’s more to this cornerstone Twelve Step practice. Sometimes, it’s necessary to make amends to employers or co-workers. Whatever the situation, there are a few ways to get started in the process of repairing wrongs with the people you most care about. 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.

Support Your Recovery

When you go directly to the person, real spiritual transformation is more likely to occur. Remember, this is a Twelve Step process that can provide a platform for healing, but the person we are reaching out to may not be at the same place in healing as we are. We are only in control of our part—making and living the amends. As with alcohol and other drugs, we are also powerless over other people. We cannot control how others respond, whether they will forgive or whether they will hold on to negative feelings or resentments.

  • It’s not one we use too frequently in our everyday language, but it still holds significant meaning.
  • Although you can’t undo what has already been done, you can work to repair damaged relationships with family and friends by making amends.
  • When my husband misses a turn because he’s in the wrong lane, I say nothing.

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