STEP EIGHT ~ INTRODUCTION
I have worked on this step for a while. I cannot come up with anything to say any better than what is already written in the OA 12 & 12. I am copying some of the most important parts straight from the book. I do not want to make this step complicated or scary. The most important thing to remember about this step is that if you skip over it you will not recover to the degree that you will if you do it. See how complicated I am making this. So if you have an OA 12 & 12 you can turn to page 67 and read straight from the book. If you do not have the book you can read here.
"In step eight, we look at our relationships for the purpose of discovering those patterns which have done harm to us and to others. Here we meet guilt head-on and get rid of it. Here we learn about the healing power of forgiveness as we discover how to forgive ourselves and others. Most important, we begin here to become willing to make amends-that is, to make changes-in the way we deal with people who share our lives." (Pp67-68)
Here is where we begin to make the changes that we have been working toward since we began climbing these steps.
"The written moral inventory we did in step 4 will help us make a list of the people we have harmed.... If it was lost or destroyed the questions used in the step 4 inventory can be used to make a list now. ..Many of us have found that our own name belongs somewhere near the top of the list..We have learned that a complete willingness to make amends to ourselves and to forgive ourselves for past mistakes has been essential to our recovery.
It might help us to remember that our purpose in doing step eight is not to judge others, but to learn attitudes of mercy and forgiveness...We're not doing step 8 to make other people feel better or like us better, we're doing it for ourselves, so that we can recover from compulsive eating.
After years of running from any kind of unpleasantness and hiding ourselves in food so we wouldn't have to feel embarrassment or pain, we're now asked to admit our failures and face all their consequences. And we're asked to do so while being abstinent, without eating compulsively to numb our feelings.
First of all, an experienced OA will be able to help us by making sure we actually do owe amends in each case, Further, a sponsor's suggestions about how to go about making amends will help us to become willing. As we frankly discuss the actions we might take and words we might say, the making of amends begins to seem less threatening. For the first time, we begin to feel that we really may be able to face the people we have harmed.
As long as we have not forgiven people for harms they have done us, we will find it impossible to make sincere amends to them for our side of the conflicts.if we have not truly forgiven them.
Writing clarifies emotions which have been confused and buried in us, sometimes for many years. Also by setting down our grievances in black and white, we place a boundary around them...Our grievances are only so big and no bigger. The hurt had a beginning, and it can have an end as well.
If we still have bad feelings toward the person who leas done us harm, we might try another powerful technique for ridding ourselves of resentments: prayer. People with long experience in living by the 12 steps have found that prayer can bring the ability to forgive to even the most divesting wrongs. ...The action of praying for those we resent will work even if we don't mean a word of what we're saying. If we keep praying for them faithfully, sooner or later our feelings will change.
We need to remember, however, that we can be willing to do something we don't want to do...With this in mind, we turn once more to God, asking for the willingness to do the things we fear, to make amends we owe. Having said this prayer sincerely, we are now willing, and we move quickly ahead to step nine."
As someone keeps saying here on TRG "don't mess it up" I am hoping you will not feel cheated this week because I have lifted the words from the OA 12 & 12. When I finished my step 8, after pussy footing around for way too long a time, I was relieved and ready to take on step nine.
The book tells us to be ready to move quickly to step nine. If during this holiday week you meet some whose name appear on your list do not wait for next week to make the amends. Do it when you have the chance. You will be glad you did.
You will enjoy the holiday this week if your forgiveness includes yourself. Please don't forget that you are worthy of complete forgiveness. God had already forgiven you. Now you can follow suit.
"How shall we accept charity toward others, when we are uncharitable to ourselves?"
~Sir Thomas Browe, For Today page 290
Step Leader 4th Quarter
STEP EIGHT ~ QUESTIONS
Just so you know I did work on this step myself the questions come from me along with the help of God.
Do you now understand why this step is so important? Share with the group your thinking on this step.
Where is your name on the list? I hope it is #1. If not move your name to the top of the list and take time to forgive yourself. If your name does not head your list of people to forgive why not. Remember nothing is too big for God to forgive.
Are you willing to pray for the resentments that appear on your list? If not why not? Resentments wilt under the power of prayer.
Step Leader 4th Quarter
The Twelve Steps
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