WTS ~ WORKING THE STEPS

2009

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



I am totally convinced God has a sense of humor.. This is the third time I am writing on this step this week. Both times prior to this one, somehow, the document was lost.

So I am sitting here thinking, OK, God. Direct my thinking. You obviously have something very special to say to us and I am not hearing you!

Oh my. I get it. I have been trying to do this step "RIGHT." I have not been speaking from my heart--my higher self.

I know there is some controversy over addicts putting their name at the top of the amends list so I was just going to bypass that! Walk on the safe side and be politically correct so to speak. (I guess that kind of violates a tradition anyway so glad it didn't work out!)

HP has a better idea. Why not just share from my heart what I have come to know as true?

So, where do I start? What are the ways I have harmed myself?

 PHYSICAL                           

 MENTAL

 EMOTIONAL

 SPIRITUAL

By pushing myself to work more hours for employers, family, and other entities than was reasonable.

 Allowed others to over-inlfuence my thoughts and thinking intelligence was more important than love and relationships--being right and smart in other words!

 Accepting more emotional abuse and even abusing myself long after abusers had stopped

 Believing my dear sick parents were the last word on spirituality even though they were avowed atheists. Refusing to allow anyone to love me once I became disappointed in childhood.

 Lifting and doing other physical labor that was beyond my capacity and injured me.

 Negative thinking

 Allowing myself to stuff emotions with food and activity to distract me from my grief and pain

 Trying to keep God in a box instead of putting prayers in a God box!

 Always in a hurry to people please and then being accident prone (once a car even ran over me because I was too busy to put it in park)

 Untreated depression and PTSD

 Neglecting to encourage myself and to allow myself to be nurtured and loved and supported.

Believing human beings were an adequate representation of God instead of going within myself and trusting my truth.

 Put off medical care

 Too little stimulation and development of talents and gifts and learning.

 Very little development of my artistic side which is a large part of my God given personality.

 Believing in cultures and manmade society and man-created communities more than the aliveness and truths of nature and spirituality.

 Not enough sleep

 Living in fantasy and escape thinking

 Being dishonest when scared and angry and sad and hurt. Denying it so no one knew where my boundaries were.

 Believing God was wrong for giving us free will--that he/she should have drawn the line somewhere! (Especially before I was harmed!)

 too much sedentary time

 entertaining pity parties

 Being silent when I needed to stand up for myself

 Trying to seek the God of intellect rather than opening up to the Spirit of God within me and without. The force of the universe.

 overeating/binging

 Hanging on to resentment and thoughts of worthlessness

 Allowing fear to paralyze me and keep me from enjoying life.

 Believing so little! Trying to make my world small enough to control it!

 large weight gains

 thoughts of low self esteem even when I had assets I was very aware of.

 Keeping up walls to avoid being abandoned or betrayed or hurt in any way

 Expecting far too much perfection in an imperfect world.

 eating foods that were harmful to me

 all or nothing, black and white thinking, always thinking in extremes and drama

 Took life way too seriously and did not cultivate the enjoyment of humor and fun.

 More interested in criticizing than being part of a spiritual solution.

These are the basics. So how can I make amends to Linda?

Top number 1: Continue to abstain from compulsive overeating and work the steps until I no longer "want" to eat compulsively but truly have a consistent desire to stop eating compuslively! And then keep right on abstaining.

2. Let alot more love into my life. Then be a channel of love--overflow to others!

3. Let wonder, appreciation, awe, nature, the universe influence my life each day rather than old thoughts and feelings that are from another time and place where addiction ruled.

4. Believe very deeply, as deeply as I possibly can muster, that God loves us all equally and unconditionally--always has and always will. Just like a new born babe!

5. Truly let go and let God. Relax and let God direct my thinking each day. Listen to the still small voice and if I can't hear it, then listen to the wind in the leaves, to the gurgle of water, to the songs of the birds, to the chirping of insects. Even the ticking of a clock will do, if there are no sounds of nature. Just be at peace as much as possible.

6.Then after practicing these living amends to myself, begin to move into the opposites of the behaviors above such as getting good rest, medical care, etc.


I believe that we deserve love. Peace. Joy. Time to reflect.

I offer the reading assignments below if you would find them helpful. As you read, invite the spirit of the universe to stir up within you and around you an atmosphere of great love. But do spend some time reflecting on the table above, inserting your own neglect and abuse of your higher self/ inner child / however you choose to connect with yourself at this time and pray for willingness to begin "living" in touch with the aliveness of the "spiritual dimension"!

See if this week you can just hear with spiritual ears, the heartbeat of your God. The Wings of the Spirit. Listen to the birds and insects celebrating life. They do not hold back their praise! Look at the beautiful innocence of a newborn child. Look at the adoration of that faithful dog. See beyond the aloofness of your kitty knowing we as human beings act like this too. But we all need love despite the aloofness don't we? Watch a silly squirrel flip his tail at you and enjoy being "sassy" and know we too were made for joy!

I pray as we begin to make sincere amends to ourselves we will just naturally overflow in amends to others. That's the great commandment. Love you neighbor "as you love yourself!"


Reading Assignments this week

AA BIG BOOK: 7 pages

pages 76-82

AA 12x12: 6 pages

Summary of step 8 on page 7, table of contents

Step 8 pages 77-82

OA 12x12: 7 pages

Step 8 pages 67-73

Reflections to share with the loop:

It would be my highest prayer this week that each of us would have a spiritual experience of love. Instead of responding to questions out of our heads, let's open up to the possibilities of a spiritual experience. If we have had these in the past may we go deeper and open up more to love and maturity. If we have not yet felt that "quickening or life giving force" may we act as if it is entirely possible to happen any day now! May we see all those little synchronicities of life, those little or big coincidences as true "GOD things." Ways that higher power is choosing to connect with us both in the illusive unseen and in the practical moments of life through nature and circumstances. May we hold ourselves ready to embrace the happenings with gratitude and joy!


So that is our only (required) assignment this week--to open up to a spiritual experience. Please share your spiritual experience with the loop.

Next week we will reflect a bit more on amends and how to make them from a heart of love and usefulness.

With surrender,
(3rd times the charm!)

Linda S



 
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