The Road to Recovery :: STEP 8

IN THE ROAD TO RECOVERY COLUMN WE ARE WORKING THE EIGHT PRINCIPLES OF CELEBRATE RECOVERY THAT ARE BASED ON THE BEATITUDES ALONG WITH THE TRADITIONAL 12 STEPS OF RECOVERY AS THEY ALIGN WITH THE MONTHLY CALENDAR.

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

 “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”  ~ Luke 6:31

PRINCIPLE 6 (Celebrate Recovery): Evaluate all my relationships. Offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I’ve done to others, except when to do so would harm them or others.

“Happy are the merciful.” ~ Matthew 5:7
“Happy are the peacemakers.” ~ Matthew 5:9 

After all the searching and confessing it’s now time to take responsibility for our actions.  Similar to the moral inventory of Step 4 we will list all the persons we harmed when acting out in our addiction or dependency. In fact, using our inventory list can help us determine who belongs on our amends list.
 
Reliving how we have harmed others is difficult. But with God’s help we can recall the names and faces, making notes as thoroughly as possible we prayerfully examine each person and our relationship with them. 
 
Remembering the faces of those we have hurt, can be a very painful process. But we must write their names down, carefully considering our relationships and how we harmed them.

Total honesty with ourselves is vital so we can go forward with peace of mind. With the pain of remembering the damage we have done, comes a welcome relief that we’ll no longer cause these injuries to our self and others.

Step 8 prepares us to continue the work of making amends. After making our list we are ready to ask God to give us the willingness to make those amends. As God helps us work these steps we will have the strength and the tools to heal our broken relationships. 
If you can’t see the video screen below click here for our Road to Recovery theme song.

 

RESOURCES:
Celebrate Recovery Bible
Celebrate Recovery Leader’s Guide
Life Recovery Bible
Life Recovery Devotional
The Twelve Steps for Christians
Prayers for the Twelve Steps-A Spiritual Journey
Serenity: A Companion for Twelve Step Recovery
Recovery: The Twelve Steps as Spiritual Practice

Image Credit: alexmillos

Originally published Aug. 7, 2013

12 Principles of Recovery :: COMMITMENT

MY RECOVERY WORK THIS YEAR IS FOCUSED ON THE PRINCIPLES BEHIND THE 12 STEPS; ASKING KEY QUESTIONS THAT WILL HELP TO LEARN THESE CORE VALUES AND PUTTING THEM INTO PRACTICE. 




STEP EIGHT:

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

PRINCIPLE EIGHT:
Commitment

KEY QUESTION:
How am I responsible?






Searching the Internet for images that convey the word “commitment” brought multiple pics of marriage proposals. Strangely enough I had much difficulty finding images which displayed the concept of commitment…

So I went to the dictionary and found the words: Pledge, Promise and Obligation. All of these words are hard to put into a visual image. They must be lived out.
As addicts living in addiction we knew about commitment. We were committed to finding our next fix. We would go to great lengths to get it, pushing others aside and often leaving destruction in our wake.
Now the recovery life challenge is to take that same determined commitment and turn it around for the purpose of our health and personal relationships.
If we break down the dictionary definition words from above: pledge, promise and obligation, we see words that imply a personal decision, thought processes, words spoken, documents signed, physical actions taken. 
The idea of commitment isn’t to be taken lightly. Though as addicts it’s sometimes difficult to grasp and maintain the seriousness of it within ourselves.

The key question asks: How am I responsible?


Am I responsible to keep boundaries in place so my triggers don’t snap?

Am I responsible to be honest with myself, friends and partners when I am weak and struggling?


Am I response-able?
My recovery-abled response: Pause and then do the next right thing!



RESOURCES: 
A Gentle Path through the Twelve Principles: Living the Values Behind the Steps by Patrick Carnes ** 

Working the Steps: Step 8

Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all. ~ Step 8


In the previous steps we’ve been focusing on our own stuff. Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over our dependency. Step 2 and Step 3: We came to believe in God and made a decision to turn our will and lives over to Him. Step 4 and Step 5: After taking a fearless moral inventory we admitted our wrongs to God, ourselves and to another person. Step 6 and Step 7: We became ready for God to remove our character defects. 

After all the searching and confessing it’s now time to take responsibility for our actions. Much like Step Four’s moral inventory, in Step 8 we will list all the persons we harmed when acting out in our addiction or dependency. In fact, using our inventory list can help us determine who belongs on our amends list.

Reliving past behaviors and looking honestly at how we have harmed others is hard work. But with God’s help we can recall the names and faces, making notes as thoroughly as possible we prayerfully examine each person and our relationship with them. 

Three categories to consider how we may have caused harm to others:

  1. Material Wrongs: Actions that affected an individual in a tangible way ( borrowing money not repaid, withholding money to gratify ourselves, damaging personal property, etc).
  2. Moral Wrongs: Inappropriate behavior in a moral or ethical action or conduct (setting bad example for children, infidelity, broken promises, verbal abuse, lying, etc.).
  3. Spiritual Wrongs: Neglecting our obligations to God, ourselves, our family, or community (avoiding self-development such as health, education, recreation, being inattentive to others in our lives)
Step 8 prepares us to continue the work of making amends. After making our list we are ready to ask God to give us the willingness to make those amends. As God helps us work these steps we will have the strength and the tools to heal our broken relationships. 

Do to others as you would have them do to you. ~ Luke 6:31

Take this journey Step by Step with @Bryan_Duncan http://youtu.be/swNgb9ya6WM


Resource:
The Twelve Steps for Christians.