The Principle of Justice by Susie S.
In my old Big Book, the word I wrote that corresponded to Step Nine was “discipline.” In the lists I found online, still other words were used. The lists were extremely similar with only slight variations on some of the steps. When considering the word, “justice,” I find that I that I have an immediate and aggressive response. I like the word. Justice is something that I wish I could render with a heavy hammer on some individuals by my own hand, but that of course, is my knee-jerk, human-nature response. We all know that justice ultimately belongs to our Higher Power. Knowing this makes living so much easier for me, I had to learn the hard way.
I got busy with this step a couple of months ago. Receiving good advice from different people in the program and applying it, things worked out well. Like anything else, I learn by doing. Each time I made an amends it was different, as were the outcomes. Nothing happened like I had envisioned in my head. People are just weird; you never know what you’re going to get from them. Better to know this ahead of time and not let the “weirdness” unhinge me and make me question myself in times of vulnerability. This is what I learned; to be true to myself and trust the process of my recovery. I do these things for my, my God and for my spiritual health first.
I suppose justice can be thought of as the correction of mistakes. When justice is served in our legal system, it is the righting of a wrong done to someone else along with a “punishment” of sorts. While we don’t get to decide all the particulars about the wrongs we’ve perpetrated, we do have the power, the ability and the obligation to set things straight as soon as we are aware and able. I have discovered that I am much more able to live with myself and quiet the incessant chatter in my head when I’ve made an honest effort to humble myself, take my part, and sincerely attempt to correct myself in future behavior.
But I have other problems too! I have the tendency to point out the how your side of the story helped me stumble to my end. I also had a compulsive need to let you know just how badly you had hurt me! After much personal research, I found out that this does not work. I realized I was attempting to exact some sort of punishment on you while at the same time apologizing! That is not justice. I’m not a Higher Power nor do I care to be. I am a recovering human being who accepts being flawed. It’s like the concept of, “Do the footwork and leave the results to God.” Justice is His. My part is doing the footwork with an honest effort. I can’t exact my own brand of justice; that’s not how we live in society and it doesn’t work in the spiritual realm either. I can begin the process by doing the simple action of opening the channel and inviting something positive to the situation.
So –discipline, justice, amendment, forgiveness – these are the words that were used to highlight and describe Step Nine. Together these words complete the idea for me. Step Nine is the most freeing step of all twelve, for me.