• David Smeltz

The 12 Promises #3

3. We will not forget the past nor wish to shut the door on it.

Everything I have experienced in the past has paved the way to my current life. I couldn't fathom the benefit of my experience while in the midst of my active addiction. Only in hindsight do I see the value as well the value to others that are trying to find a way out of the madness. Looking back on my past is another tool I use to remind myself of where I never want to be again. Although, in the midst of addiction I tried to forget about the past and present because they were just too painful. No matter what type or quantity of mind and mood altering poison I ingested, it was never enough to forget my wrong doings for any length of time. My past had become one of many (so called) reasons for me to get wasted. Not until I actively worked the amends process in the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous did I fully understand that my past could not harm me. Meaning that I had to make personal restitution for either what I had done to or taken from another. In other words: how can I make it right? If I stole something then I had to replace it. If I owed money then I had to repay it. A good number of people I made amends to didn't care in the least that I was trying to get sober; they just wanted their money that I owed them! I was able to set up payment plans in order to fulfill my obligations. There were also non material things that I had taken away from others. Things such as love, compassion and consideration. I make good on these amends by being more loving , kind and considerate. If those I offended are no longer living then I make living amends in their name to humanity as a whole. Any wrong I have done in the past I have either made direct amends or have vowed never to perform the offensive act again. This way I'm free from the past, but, I keep the door slightly ajar to remember what I never want to be like again. My past has been transformed into an asset. It is no longer a liability.

Gratitude is revealed by my actions. Not by my convictions.

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