STEP EIGHT

Made a list of all persons we had harmed,
and became willing to make amends to them all.







Essay

  • Open your diary/notebook and write the step 8 sentence.
  • Think thoroughly through what it means to harm.
  • Think thoroughly through what is really an amend?

Please read the following;

BB: Chapter 6 "Into action", page 76 (3.edition) "Letís look at steps eight to nine". Finish page 84 "They will always materialize if we work for them."
OA: Step 8
AA: Step 8
Big Book: story 17 "Doctor, Alcoholic, Addict" p.439

While reading, take 3 colours of your own choice.
1. Colour/ underline everything that you recognize in yourself,
2. Colour/ underline everything that you find important, and
3. Colour/ underline everything that you can die from.

Daily exercise for diary:

Daily powerlessness list
Daily gratitude list
Daily surrender list (with motives included)

Pray the 8th step prayer of your own choice:



God, help me love people again, and not blame them for my own mistakes.

Forgiving Father, give me compassion for those who have harmed me.

Compassionate God, you see me as a real person with real needs. Help me see others in the same way.





Talk to your sponsor everyday!
If you think you have "nothing to say", write her/him anyway!

Step eight principle is LOVE!

Itís time to write your list, of whom or what youíve harmed. People, animals, institutions etc. There is no need to be scared, you are doing this to be free and make up for what you have done. You are now able to do what you were not able to do before. You are not alone, you have a companion that loves you unconditionally, you know you have a disease of mind, spirit and body and you were not able to handle situations differently before, and you have the strength, courage and willingness to go out and clean up your mess. Take responsibility and pay up! Then we grow up.


Write the list first with 4 columns, the amends that I can do:
  • Right now
  • Later
  • Maybe
  • Never


The point is to start writing this list and be honest, talk to your sponsor as you write.
Because we are not only addict, but most of us are also co addicts and adult children, we need to establish a renewed opinion on what "harmed" really means. It doesnít say hurt and it doesnít say made sad. We are going to be straight up honest about our mistakes, but WE ARE NOT TAKING ON WRONGS THAT WERE NOT OURS. Please have this in mind.
Example: by leaving an abusive relationship and hurting another human beings emotions by leaving, is not harming them, but taking care of yourself. This is not a mistake to make up for.
By being a totally nutcase throughout the break-up, you could have used better manners? This is a mistake to make up for.
So, donít blame all the problems in the world on your shoulders, be fair to yourself, but still gut ripping honest.

Summary questions:

  • Define what harming is?
  • Define what an amend is?
  • Why do you have to write this list?
  • When you remember how honest and courageous you were writing your fourth step inventory, how does it feel to write this eight step list?
  • Can you see that your wrongs often are happens when others do you wrong as well? Or at least you have the impression of them doing so.
  • Are you ready to add even the smallest wrong you did, when you know this burden of sins need to get out of your system to stay abstinent and free from compulsive overeating and addiction?
  • Do you understand that the big ones are just as important, you canít leave any out?
  • If you have committed serious crime or not so commonly wrongs, have you spoken to your sponsor about it? Read what the BB says about crime or actions that can be prosecuted.
  • Remember that this is ONLY a list, you have to write it all down. This is no action but to write a list. Donít worry about the next step, we are not there today. Can you be 100% honest?
  • Spend some time each day of this week to think about your actions, we want it all down on this list. Go through incidents that you are not sure about, and discuss them with recovery friends or your sponsor. Are you being reasonable?

Step 8 guarantees:

You will now have a good list of confessions, in black and white. This is what you did, and you no longer need to do. You are different today, you have grown in heart and spirit.

This is the biggest gift you can give yourself! With the strength and support of God, these miracles are turning into real life experiences. I am so grateful!

All the best to you,
Mariam





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