the eighth step in the program of recovery
8. Make a List of All Persons We Had Harmed, and Become Willing to Make Amends to Them All
Until now the steps have been preparing us for a level of humility beyond our conception: A level of humility before God and God’s kids that truly sets us free to live in the sunlight of the spirit. Admitting our powerlessness — and doing some work to access that power — we now must humble ourselves before that power and clean up the mess we made of other people’s lives. There’s no room for ego. There’s no room for pride. There’s no room for “me”. Just God.
We, of our own power, would never consent, much less commence, to making amends, to add to, to take away from, or to set right our harms. But with the willingness that can only be accessed through God, we can face the people we’ve been avoiding, blaming, and resenting for a lifetime.
I have my list. It was given to me by my sponsor after my fifth step. But do I have the willingness? Am I willing to go to any lengths for victory over dope? If I want to live free, I must. So I pray. I meditate. I ask for the willingness to humble myself. To walk up to that person I used, I cheated, I lied to, and admit my wrong. To ask how the action made them feel. To ask if I’ve left anything out. To ask what I can do to make it right. To be willing to go to any length for victory over dope. And as the willingness creeps in, the fear is pushed out. As I trust God, all doubt leaves me.
As God comes in, I go out. Then more God in, more me out. And then the courage born of grace catapults me, rockets me, into the next step. The 9th step. The step when I’m finally back with God’s kids. But this all comes as a result of humbly asking God for the willingness to make the amends. Humbly accepting that I am nothing without God.