Wondering if I’m willing

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

Okay, well, I think I may have gone far enough with this twelve step program, what about you? Up until now, all has been well and good. Without admitting to anyone my personal struggles, I’ve been able to glean some important things from these steps. Of course I’m not an alcoholic, so it’s bound to be limited how far I can go with this, and now that I get to the part where I start involving other people, well, this may be where I have to get off. I mean I’ve got a list of people that I have harmed along the way, but I don’t need to actually go to them and make amends, do I? Isn’t it enough to imagine doing it? Won’t that sort of teach me the same things? I mean, it’s hard enough just to imagine doing this, much less do it!

Really, what am I going to say? “Hi, er … I’ve been playing like I’m an alcoholic trying to learn from the Twelve Steps and I’ve gotten to the step about harming others and I think I may have harmed you, will you forgive me?” How’s that going to go over?

Sincerely, this has all been well and good in my own head, but I don’t think I want to go dragging anybody else into it, especially somebody that didn’t ask to be. I feel a little like I’m on a scavenger hunt asking a distant neighbor for some long-forgotten item that will help me reach my goal, but do little or nothing for his. As you can see I have a bit of work to do on this step.

And there’s also the fact that if I draw someone else into this, I will have to mean it; I will actually have to do something about the harm I’ve caused in order to make it right, and I’m not sure I signed up for that. I know they didn’t.

You can see how this step is sort of a watershed. As soon as you involve someone else, especially a bunch of someones, things get messy. This isn’t a game anymore. I’m a real person with a real problem and I have hurt people.  Forget whether I’m an alcoholic or a drug addict, or a person with some kind of chronic syndrome, I’m a sinner, and sin is messy. It messes up other people’s lives as well as your own.

Luckily tomorrow is Friday and that means I have a weekend to think about this and decide if I’m willing to do it or not. Plus, I’m going away this weekend. All the more reason to take it slow. I wonder if I decide I don’t want to go through with this right now, can I still come to the meetings? Will I still get something out of it?

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10 Responses to Wondering if I’m willing

  1. Jesus Aguilar says:

    Let’s not get confused. Step 8 and step 9 are two different steps.
    Step 8 is: We made a list, we do not says that we make amends.
    Step 9 is where we make the amends.
    Step 8 is a preparing ourselves to take the action indicated on step 9
    God bless all

    • Mark D Seguin says:

      TY, my brother Jesus and to me & me alone. These steps so much remind me of things Dale Carnegie teaches in his great people skills book: “How To Win Friends… ” And the book I’ve re-read each month for close to a year and still one of the books, besides the Bible and Dr. Robert Rohm’s The DICS Method of Understanding Personality Types I enjoy re-reading…
      PS did u ever get the chance to consider reading The Song Of Solomon? To think about and consider sex is 4 pleasure between a married couple and not just to make babies… 🙂

      • Jesus Aguilar says:

        Oh, yes brother Mark. Thank you for the north, read it and read it again. I consider using it on new couples bound to be married, what do you think of that?. I pray that our LORD gives me the opportunity. These steps guided me from the darkness of my disease to a new relationship with our LORD and SAVIOR. How cool is that? Today I am a free man, no longer depend on a drug or alcohol, my whole dependence is in God’s will for me. May God richly bless you Mark. Let’s keep up the good work.

    • Sandie says:

      As someone who hasn’t been a substance abuser (my sins lie elsewhere), I can understand why it seems the rest of us are seeming to rush The Steps sometimes (all the time?). For me personally, Step 8 and 9 would be intertwined in my heart. As soon as The Spirit impresses on me that I have injured someone, I am compelled to act immediately, or as soon as possible, to admit fault and seek forgiveness and repent.
      Again, because of my work with teens, I am painfully aware of how short a life can be; so therein lies my desire to make things right ASAP. I don’t take time for granted, because I cannot.
      There was a boy named Stephen C., who was a ‘regular’ sitting in front of my desk waiting to see his principal.Not really a bad kid, but impulsive and easily led into trouble. One Friday,there he was in his usual spot, excited about going to Walt Disney World for the long weekend. In 24 hours he would be dead.
      Sometime before they left for Orlando, Stephen (as usual) did something stupid, and as punishment his mother left him behind. Saturday night, he went to a party where there was drinking and drugs, He left the party; a passenger in a car driven by another young man who was severely under the influence. They drove through a stop sign and landed upside down in a lake. Stephen died, drowning, hanging upside down by his seatbelt. He would never sit in front of my desk again with his cheerful smile.The kid driving the car would never be the same again.
      So I never take time for granted; for me – if the Spirit compels – the time is now because I may never get another chance.
      Blessings to you and thank you for the insight of someone who has walked the Steps.

      • Jesus Aguilar says:

        Sandie, good morning. What a moving story, thank you for sharing.
        I agree with you all the steps are intertwined. All the steps have a particular principle and you are referring to step 10 – “When we are wrong, we promptly admitted”, here for me promptly is the key word, recognize and take the action to make it better. This step is used constantly through our day and as we get gear to go in our day, when I am confronted with the situation that I perceive is trouble. I pause and ask myself. Am I willing to do this and then make amends? Or can I avoid it? I think you know the answer. Do not put your hand on the hot iron!
        I admire your willingness to follow these steps and I encourage you to keep on sharing, gives me the opportunity to learn. May God richly bless you

  2. TOM says:

    WOW!! The disadvantage of not being alcoholic or addict is there is no fear of relapse if I don’t work steps. When I would balk at working the next step my sponsor would say ” maybe you need to drink some more”. He would also remind me of the decision I made in step three which rely included working the rest of the steps. Steps 8 and 9 are what Christians would call steps of repentance. I’ve confessed my sins in step 5. I’ve asked God to remove everything that stands in the way of my usefulness to Him in step 7. Now in step 8and 9 I go to the people I’ve harmed and try to set things right. Many alcoholics will tell stories about the miracles of God’s grace experienced in working this step. By making amends I am able to look the world in the eye without fear. Like Earl H. says ” How free do you want to be ?”

    • Sandie says:

      Believe me Tom, there is a fear of relapse. Jesus tells us if we clean out our house and don’t fill it with things of The Spirit, we will be worse off than if we never cleaned in the first place, because Satan will be back…with reinforcements! My sin is just easier to hide…that is, until everything hits the fan!

  3. Jesus Aguilar says:

    Tom, relapse is not unique to us with the illness of the body, mind and spirit, (drug and alcohol addicts). We learned from the very beginning that Peter slip 3 times and a saint falls down 7 times a day. Some of slip, mentally, or emotionally, or spiritually — and because we remain physically sober we think we have not relapse, but yes I personally went back 2 steps and one step forward many times in my 28 years. I am trying with all I have to run the race. Many blessings Tom and keep sharing please

    • Sandie says:

      Tom and Jesus – one of the scriptures I hang onto for dear life when I am screwing up is 1 John 1:9…if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. These verses were written to, and for, believers. God knew. that even though we accepted Jesus as Savior, the business of making him Lord of our life would be full of successes and failures. The verses preceding this one say that, if we say we have no sin. we are liars, and are calling God a liar, and the truth is not found in us. Whew! Kind of ends the argument as to whether believers can fall back into sin. Choices, choices…thank God for GRACE!

      • Jesus Aguilar says:

        Good morning Sandie, what a great point, thank you – one more time this is what we need each other to encourage each other and shine the light so others can see, and I am willing. Amen

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