Steps to Peace
Nighttime brought anxiety and guilt over past mistakes, for which I relived events and feelings. Peace of mind eluded me until I thoroughly worked Steps Four through Nine.
In Step Four, I identified troubling incidents and character traits that contributed to them. In Step Five, I owned the mistakes of my past, shared them with my sponsor, and offered them to God. In Steps Six and Seven, I became ready to let go of old behaviors. And in Steps Eight and Nine, I made amends for my wrongs. I cleaned house and it was done.
Then the miracle happened. One night the old memories returned, but I didn’t ruminate or torture myself with guilt. I was free. Anxiety no longer accompanied them, because I knew I had done everything I could to bring peace to the situations.
Soon the troubling memories stopped. What a relief. I experienced the freedom promised on page 75 of our Twelve and Twelve: “This step has freed us from the shackles of our past mistakes in a miraculous way. Our lives are changed, our broken relationships mended, and the ill will which poisoned our hearts for years is washed away” (The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous).
Through daily practice of Step Ten, I no longer accumulate guilt and shame. When I behave badly toward someone, I soon realize the need to apologize. If I treat myself badly, I make amends by recognizing it and taking action to nurture myself. Living this way frees me of the need to abuse food because I am at peace with others, God, and myself.
— Lifeline, June 2006