Big Book on Step Eight | 12 Step Meetings and Anonymous Groups

Big Book on Step Eight

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    Bill W. made a list and became willing 13:11-12

    We made a list of people I had hurt or toward whom I felt resentment. I expressed my entire willingness to approach these individuals, admitting my wrong.



    Made a list and became willing 59:15

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

    The authors said earlier that they would tell us specifically what they had done to recover. If we have decided to adopt the methods that were successful for them, we msut meet a few simple requirements.

    Here the program of action is laid out for us to examine. If we have taken the first two steps toward recovery, we can now decide whether we want to continue. To go on as we have been, or to accept a way of life based on the conscious awareness of the existence of God, what is our choice to be?

    Awakening spiritually does not stop us from being human. At times we willfully disregard the will of our Higher Power. We try to apply these principles in every area of our lives, but being human we sometimes fall short. The benefits of trying to lead a spiritually based life are so great that we return to the path as soon as we recognize the errors of our ways. As we progress spiritually, the time we spend in the darkness of self-will lessons and the time we spend in the Sunlight of the Spirit lengthens.



    Directions for the Eighth step 76: 11-15

    Now we need more action without which we find that “Faith without works is dead.” Lets look at steps eight and nine. We have a list of all persons we have harmed and to whom we are willing to make amends. We made it when we took inventory. We subjected ourselves to a drastic self appraisal.

    Amend: to change for the better.

    True faith will result in works and works will keep our faith alive. For our faith to be life giving we must act upon it. By acting upon our faith we acquire spiritual experience. Faith is not an intellectual exercise, we must reestablish our lives upon a spiritual basis if we are to live. Being guided by the principles of love of God and love of our fellows, our actions bring our faith to life.

    These are the directions for the eighth step. We use the names from our fourth step lists, however, we may need to include others. We may want to examine our relationships with any additional people we add to our list in the ways we have learned in the fourth step. We have become willing to make amends to these people as we now can clearly see the harm we have caused.

    The commentary on the book entitled: “Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions” contains detailed instruction for a thorough examination of harms done to others. That text suggests we analyze our actions and motives as a way of determining exactly which of our character traits are the source of the harms we cause others.

    Our appraisal is of ourselves, not the other person.

    We falsely believe that by avoiding our responsibility to right our wrongs we have escaped punishment for them. When we think of many of the people we have harmed, we feel the cringe of guilt and hope never to see them again. This self-imposed punishment is far worse than the humiliation or judgement from others we fear we will receive when we admit our mistakes. The replacement of our fear with the feeling of release brought about by our amends is proof positive that this spiritual way of life works. This is spiritual experience that we can draw upon when faced with fear and doubt of what to do when we are in conflict with others.

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