The Principle of Restitution

12 steps by Jamie MoonThe dictionary tells us that Restitution is made up of an equivalent, compensation for loss. The restoration of property or rights previously taken, made as nearly possible to the original state. Isn’t that exactly what we are trying to do I Step Nine? The Step where we, Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

So the process of mending our relationships is done in part through restoring our unity with others. If it is with family members it is our responsibility to re-build what was once a close relationship. Or, maybe attempt to build for the first time what was meant to be? The same holds true with friends, acquaintances, business partners, etc. As stated in and around Step Eight and its Principles, the only way that we can truly feel comfortable with others is to recognise our equality with them.

The more we feel “better than” or “worse than” anyone, we separate ourselves from them. In separating ourselves from them we create an unconscious rift that widens as we gather evidence to prove that that separation is genuine. There are often things that we are unable to restore to their previous state. In that case we do the best we can and ask if there is anything we could do to heal our relationship? Because remember there are three relationships that are promised to be healed via the Steps. The first being our relationship with people. This healing goes a long way to heal the second relationship—with ourselves. Having healed our relationship with ourselves we find that our relationship with God or a Higher Power if you prefer is healed.

The reason this happens is because we have removed our separation from God. I don’t remember whether I mentioned this before. Even if I have it is worth repeating. I once asked my Sponsor George F. who died a while back, “George, how can I tell whether I am in fit spiritual condition?” He told me to take stock of my life and find the person that I was the most separate from. And that as far away from being connected to them (on my part) is as far away as I am from a true connection from God.

As I see it today this is the purpose of Restitution—removing the separation from others automatically removes my separation from myself, which removes my sense of separation from God. Not only is my foot healing nicely but also my relationship with HP is too.

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