1. The original name of the Ninth Step was the Restitution Step.
2. In the dictionary, restitution is defined as: "The act of restoring something to its rightful owner, or making good for any loss, damage, or injury."
3. Therefore, the purpose of this step was, and still is, to give us the opportunity to restore conditions to what they would have been, if we had not done whatever we did to hurt others or ourselves.
4. This step probably produces the greatest amount of fear in newcomers.
5. However, once someone works the first eight steps, and realizes that their character defects are what caused them to harm others and themselves, the fear recedes, and this process becomes easier.
6. Consider someone standing on a corner, looking up at a twelve-story building.
7. From the ground floor, the ninth floor seems quite a distance away.
8. However, once you are standing on the eighth floor, the ninth floor is just a short journey away.
9. Therefore, we suggest that you not worry about the Ninth Step until you are at the Eighth Step.
10. You will find that going through the first Eight Steps using the "clear-cut directions" in the Big Book will remove most of your fear.
11. Like many of us, you may even look forward to all of the positive changes the Big Book promises will come about for us before we are half way through this vital part of the recovery process.
12. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book, on page 38, starting in the third paragraph, it says:
"If you are painstaking about this phase of your development, you will be amazed before you are [half way] through. You are going to know a new freedom and happiness. You will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. You will comprehend the word serenity and know peace. No matter how far down the scale you have gone, you will see how your experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self pity will disappear. You will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in your fellows. Self seeking will slip away. Your whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave you. You will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle you. You will suddenly realize that God is doing for you what you could not do for yourself.
"You say these are extravagant promises. They are not. They are being fulfilled among us—sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will materialize in you if you work for them."
13. While the Second Step is the first promise of the program, these are some of the other promises in the program.
14. Many people in other programs, when they are new, are told to read the "Promises" starting with the second sentence in this paragraph.
15. However, we suggest that you carefully read the first sentence of this paragraph.
16. The pioneers are saying that if we are painstaking about the NINTH STEP, we will be amazed before we are halfway through.
17. Therefore, if you don't yet have these "Promises" in your life, do not be discouraged. They are there with the Ninth Step.
18. In the current Big Book, the last sentence of the paragraph quoted above is slightly different. It says, "They will always materialize if we work for them." The pioneers add the word "always." They are saying that these promises will ALWAYS, not sometimes, not maybe, not perhaps, but will ALWAYS materialize if we work for them. They will be there for you when you do your Ninth Step.
Please use R.A.'s Questions and Answers Forum to ask any questions or make any comments about any of this.