Step Eight

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

Leader's Share and Step Questions

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

“We had to find better ways of dealing with other people.” (OA 12 & 12)

I want to state upfront that the idea of amends frightened me when I first got into program. I was sure that if I did enough self examination that I would find something terrible. If you are worried by amends, relax, God will tell you what you need to do.

Steps 6 and 7 are focused on change of behavior. Steps 8 and 9 are focused on change in relationships. The OA 12 & 12 reminds us that we are looking to make changes in the way we deal with people who share our lives. Making a list of persons we have harmed leads to important conversations with our sponsor. As compulsive people we sometimes have trouble indentifying what is actual harm.

The OA 12 &12 suggests we think about ways that we have been hurt, and then ask whether we have behaved that way to other people. We come back to the issue of always considering what is our part in it? This is the solution for any difficult situation. Do we owe amends for our part in it?

We also need to acknowledge the ways that we have practiced self harm. Most of us need to make amends to ourselves.

What about people we have resented? In step 9 we will consider the issue of “harm.” It is my belief that if I have resented or disliked someone, the appropriate amend is not to go and tell them how sorry I am for disliking them, but to learn to treat difficult people with love and compassion. The OA 12 & 12 reminds us to pray for people who have hurt us, because they are ill. This is the tool I use to uproot what I call “baby resentments.” When somebody hurts me, they are ill. I must let it go, and pray God’s blessings for them.

How do we become willing? First, get down in your notes the specifics of your proposed amends. Review them with your sponsor. Specifics are much easier to navigate then generalities. Then we offer the list to the God, and ask for willingness.

Have you begun your 8th step list?
Have you identified specific amends?

Robin B

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Step One
Step Two
Step Three
Step Four-part one
Step Five
Step Six
Step Seven
Step Eight

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