In my personal recovery walk I focus my daily devotions on the Step that coincides with the month of the year. For the month of August I’m focusing on Step 8.
Step 8: Made a list of all persons we harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
In Step 8 we start to grow up. We begin doing things that mature people do–taking responsibility for our actions and the wrongs we committed.
Prior to this we have focused mostly on ourselves. In Step 4 we took our moral inventory. In Step 5 we admitted our wrongs. In Step 8 it’s time to look beyond our self to see how we affected those around us.
Step 8 is a very humbling experience. We must recognize our part in the harm that has been done to others. Removing our need to blame others and accepting full responsibility for our actions.
Like our personal inventory, remembering the faces of those we have hurt, can be a very painful process. We must write their names down, carefully considering our relationships and how we harmed them.
Total honesty with ourselves is important in making restitution and going forward with peace of mind. But along with the pain of recognizing the damage we have done, comes a welcome relief that we’ll no longer cause these injuries to our self and others.
Once the list of those we have harmed is prepared, we must ask God for the willingness needed to make the amends. With His help and in His time we can.
Do to others as you would have them do to you. ~ Luke 6:31