Step 8 | 12 Step Meetings and Anonymous Groups

Step 8

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



    Like the 1st Step, the Eighth Step has two-parts . The first part is making the list and the second part is becoming willing to make amends for the damage I caused in the past.

    Making the list wasn’t as easy I thought it was because I had to take a closer look at what harm really was. Once I did this, I found that my list became much longer than I had originally anticipated. Reviewing my 4th Step helped me to look at the destruction I caused in the past and how my defects of character caused me to harm others. In order to make my list, I had to be done with blaming and resentments.

    This step tells me that I have to do whatever it takes to become willing, and for me this was a prime opportunity to demonstrate the willingness I gained in the previous Steps. Although I had an overall willingness to make amends and do whatever was needed to continue my recovery process, I found that my level of willingness varied from case to case, and time to time. To put it bluntly, there were some to who I just wasn’t willing to make amends. Namely, the financial amends.

    Then it hit me…. Being willing to make amends isn’t the primary focus of this step (although it’s very important). The literature tells me that some willingness will come about simply by writing my amends list. In this step, it’s important to realize that we don’t just make a list and become willing to make amends for others…we do it to free ourselves of our past so we can continue our spiritual growth and live more fully in the here and now. I found it important for me not to get stuck on whether my willingness was great or small because becoming willing isn’t an event, it’s a process. If after writing the list I find myself lacking willingness, I can always pray that my Higher Power will provide me with what I need and add to my list later.




    So when did you decide exactly whatthe amends would be? Was that a part of step 8 after your list was complete or did you see that as a part of step 9 as you made the amends? (and yes this is a question for my sponsor, only I want to know your experience)

    edited to say dang I no good at italics!! lol

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