STEP EIGHT: MADE A LIST OF ALL PERSONS WE HAD HARMED, AND BECAME WILLING TO MAKE AMENDS TO THEM ALL.
. . . we will never get over drinking until we have done our utmost to straighten out the past. (The AA Big Book, page 77)
Next to working Step Four, Step Eight can paralyze me . . . Why?
It’s not as if I don’t know how to make a list. But this list confirms that however much I may have been an injured party — I was no slouch at hurting and harming other people. Making that list is an action that flows directly from a changed attitude about the disease of alcoholism, and taking responsibility for my actions and words.
Alcoholism may be our own personal hell – but our embers have a far reach. ( See The Big Book, page 82)
I can’t skip it – even if making amends is not possible or practical: “Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God.” (The AA Big Book, page 77)
Refresher: An AA member in a meeting I attend developed a way to start working the Twelve Steps with AA literature. Again, on this step, I have added my suggestions, too. Remember we are making progress – not aiming for perfection!
- Read from the Big Book from the middle of page 76 to the middle of page 84.
- Also read in the Twelve and Twelve.
- Make your list of the people you have harmed by thought, word, or deed.
- Become willing this week to make direct amends to them all.
- Practice forgiveness of yourself and all others this week.
- Give a blanket forgiveness for all past events that are unhealed in your life. And know that in Christ, God has forgiven, is forgiving and will forgive all our transgressions because of Christ.
- Pray for the people on your list and quit judging and criticizing yourself and others. Look up these WORDS: harmed, willing, amends.
- Read Psalm 103 . . . especially verses 8-14.
Thanks for reading; I hope each day in recovery you are doing well, and making progress on working the 12 Steps. Any comments and suggestions?
Love in Christ,
Sober and Grateful