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No regrets - Beazley H.

Beazley H. No regrets - Wiley publishing , 2004. - 234 p.
ISBN 0-471-21295-4
Download (direct link): noregrets2004.pdf
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make. Chrisís amends were further complicated by his fatherís fits of rage, especially prevalent when he was drinking, that had led to beatings when Chris was younger and to threats of beatings when he was old enough to defend himself.
Chris made a list of all the ways in which he had harmed his parents and for which he wanted to apologize. The list was as complete as he could make it and included many different categories of harm, each with specific examples. Those categories varied from the worry he had caused them by repeatedly not coming home or telling them where he was to the legal fees they had incurred to get him out of trouble with the law.
In contemplating his apology, Chris worked closely with his confidant and used various spiritual and psychological tools to prepare himself for making it. He knew that his parents would accept no responsibility for their abandonment of his emotional needs or for the physical abuse they had administered over the years, but he was not there to ask for their apology. Chrisís goal was to make his amends without getting angry or attacking them for all the ways in which they had hurt him.
When he was ready, Chris made an appointment to see his parents at their house. When he arrived, they were drinking, which made the encounter even more difficult. After he had refused a beer for the third time and had been lectured on not staying in touch with them and not helping with things around the house that needed to be done, Chris was finally permitted to speak. He explained that he had come to apologize for the behavior of his teenage years and for the fear and pain he had caused them. He said that most of what he had done was the result of his alcoholism and drug addiction but that he was not using that as an excuse. He was accepting full responsibility for his actions.
Chris went down his amends list, apologizing for categories of misdeeds, illustrated by specific examples, and assuring his parents that he would never behave that way again. He was often interrupted by his father, who expanded on the problems he had caused, sometimes getting angry at the memories, and by his mother, who cried intermittently. Chris refused to take the bait when they blamed him for things that he hadnít done, simply dismissing it in his mind and trying to listen patiently until he could move to the next item on his list.
As Chris went through the long list of amends, his father grew increasingly angry. He had continued to drink, and he started cursing and calling Chris names. At that point, Chris explained that he would not be subjected to abuse, that he was leaving, and that he would send the rest of his apology by letter. That challenge to his parental authority further enraged his father, and Chris left immediately and quickly under threat of physical attack.
Chris completed his apology the next day by writing a letter to his parents, explaining that he could not finish the apology in person because his father had physically threatened him, and he would no longer take that kind of abuse. Although Chris would have preferred an apology from his parents, some sympathy for his struggle with alcohol and drugs, and an expression of admiration that he had been clean and sober for eighteen months, he did not get them. From Chrisís point of view, however, his apology was a success. It had not gone the way he had hoped it might, but it was not far from what he had expected it would be. With his apology over, Chris felt a great burden of guilt lifted from him. He had no reparations to make to his parents. With the change in his behavior that he had already engineered, his amends were now complete.
When reconciliation with an estranged party is one of your goals, your amend will be somewhat different from the amends you make to those you donít like or even despise and never want to interact with again. The structure of the amend itself wonít change. It will still require an apology, reparations, and changed behavior. The difference is in the apology: You will hold open the possibility of a reconciliation. You may offer to continue the conversation when the other party is ready, for example, or to develop ground rules for a renewal of the relationship. You canít insist on such a possibility, of course, but you can express a desire for it.
Reconciliation is not an essential part of an amend. From the standpoint of being relieved of guilt, completing Step Five, or letting go of regrets, no reconciliation is necessary. In some cases, a reconciliation isnít possible and perhaps would not be desirable. For example, you might not
seek a reconciliation because of the nature of the harm done to you or because of the emotional state or distorted beliefs of the other party. It is possible to forgive and still not be reconciled, as you will discover in the forgiveness steps (Eight and Nine).
Amends to the Deceased or Unreachable: The Healing Letter
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