Dear TS Members:
Step 8 brings us to the up close and personal step whereby we are willing to make amends to those we have harmed.
Life has been awfully difficult for me at times--so much so that I realized that I had gone through most of my life on "auto pilot", closely resembling an amoeba swimming around in a Petri dish. My subconscious drove my child to school, fixed meals, yah-dah, yah-dahed my way through arguments, and so on and so forth.
Sometimes I was not aware that I had harmed others. Only a small handful of people would ever tell me that I had hurt their feelings, allowing me the chance to apologize, change, and "grow up."
On my inventory list where I listed out my life events, situations, and the people involved, I found the thread of willingness to look at my part in all things. I thanked God for giving me "new eyes" so that I could see my way to heal by working the Steps.
As I looked at my life events, I realized that my identity as a person had been formed by these things, yet they were not completely the real me, or the best representative of my best nature, had I only been paying attention. My ups and downs are actually only a small part of who I am.
My new-found, hard-won, Program knowledge taught me by learning the art of living "One day at the time," in honesty, Making a list--checking it twice, and learning how to keep my proverbial bags unpacked.
I became willing to make amends to others over time so that I could get on with the gift of healing and wonderful recovery that God had planned for me. With gradually increasing levels of willingness, I don't have to remain forever huddled in the dark cave that I had lived so miserably, yet comfortably in, for most of my life.
For those of you who are somewhat resistant to making amends, please know that I had experienced this too, at one point. It is a common thing, actually.
However, I did some heavy re-thinking about the cost to me in wasted energy, wasted time, by not making amends. I make amends to others, but I forgave others for myself, so that I don't have to live with resentment.
Behind my procrastination and dread of making amends was fear, damaged self-esteem, and my mind wanting to trick me into focusing on the rear view mirror of my life events.
Ever tried to drive while continuously looking in your rear view mirror? I was driving like this through life. I know I hit a view figurative walls and had to pick up the pieces and go on. For me, making amends was about learning how to PAY ATTENTION.
By looking backward, I missed a lot of opportunities that were occurring right underneath my nose.
Learning how to do my amends recovery work has helped me to keep moving properly forward, onward, and upward. With all my heart, this is what I wish for others.
I am never happier than when my prayer list decreases because Higher Power is intervening and granting miracles of growth and physical recovery to folks who kept on doing the work in spite of everything that life tossed upon their doorstep.
1) The taking of Step 8 involves accepting a new level of self-esteem. Does this step cause some fear for you about making the amends?
2) What immediate choices are you exploring in regard to making these amends? (Share your thoughts on how it will feel for you to make amends). How did you make your amends to others?
3) As life events cause healing within us, this often opens a time and energy space for other, better things to come into our lives.
Share with us how you will fill these new and maybe, unexpected life gaps of energy and emotion?
4) Could you feel a release? As though a weight had been lifted?