STEP EIGHT

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







Essay

I would earnestly hope that you would read chapter 8 in our 12/12 or the AA 12/12. They will be so helpful.

First the list. Pray about it. Look at your step 4 and 5 and if you did yours 33 years ago and have destroyed it after step 5 as was then suggested, look at the literature for suggestions. Think of people you are estranged from. If you do not understand what hurt is the literature suggests remembering how you have been hurt and then ask "Have I ever dealt with another person in a similar way?" What relationships are broken? What was your part? DO you have money owed or legal matters that have to be taken care of before you can receive peace? The list may never be acted on entirely, but put everything on the list.

This list is for you to start repairing these issues. It is for your peace not for the other person. Remember they may be as sick as we are and they don't have a program of recovery. So list everyone you can think of. Pray about it. Have you hurt yourself? Your body, your mind, your spirit? You have already begun making amends in this area by helping your body eat healthier and living the first 7 steps to the best of your ability today. Again this list is to repair your side of the street without excuses and again to give you peace. In a way this is a very selfish step. The wonderful benefit is that it may bring the other peace also. If you have started to make amends before reaching this step I suggest you put that on your list and write what you did to make amends and how that worked. That will give you a hand up.

Before you go to far talk with your sponsor. This step like all others is not to beat you up as most of us have done for a long time. Our sponsor should be able to help you see the difference, if not more meetings, phone calls and readings. THIS IS A WE PROGRAM. Also when you have your list and are planning the amends you might wish to do a dry run with your sponsor or here her experience.

The second part is to become willing to make amends, to make your wrongs right if possible. We no longer have to be weighed down with the burden of guilt we likely are carrying. We are working on forgiving others and forgiving ourselves. Sometimes this is harder than knowing we are forgiven by our HP. I finally realized if I was not accepting forgiveness for myself I was making myself more powerful than God. Now that's a weight I didn't need to carry all those years. Being willing means we with our sponsors help are ready to take action not just think about it.

Suppose we still are not willing. The following really works! Whether you believe it or not pray for the other person every day to have everything you want for yourself. See them as sick people that need to get well and leave the rest of the process to God. The BB says pray for 2 weeks. It often doesn't take that long for your feelings to change about this person you are separated from..

Again, remember only step one is done perfectly.


QUESTIONS:

How do I understand what is harm to another?
How did I make my list?
How did I become willing?
Am I patient with myself but not denying this step?
Is there any question in the body of this step work which particularly hits you and you would like to share about it?





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