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On Steps 8 and 9
Step 8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
Here again in Step 8 we take pencil and paper in hand and proceed with the action of writing out a listing of all we have harmed with our behavior and reactions caused by our alcoholism and our boozing. Referring to our 4th Step Inventory, we list ALL the people, businesses, institutions and organizations noted there, even though we may not as yet be willing to make any amend to them.
The willingness will come in time, as we complete the amends to those we are willing, and witness and feel the marvelous freedom each brings to us. We can actually feel the "monkey" sliding off our back. We can begin to walk down the street, on either side and in either direction without looking back over our shoulder, with the constant fear that someone/something is going to catch up with us.
But for now, not to worry about any confronting, or actual making of amend. All we are doing is making a list and becoming willing to become willing to make amends to them all.
When the list is complete, even with some whose names we don't know or remember, the next action is one of prayer to become willing to begin making the amends, one at a time, one day at a time, as God presents the opportunity to make the amend.
With our willingness to begin, Step 8 is "started", but again notice that the step contains the word ALL twice. Step 8 is not complete until ALL are included in our willingness, even though we may never, or not in the forseeable future, cross paths with some. That is in God's Hands, and in my experience He put them in my path when the time was right.
Step 9. - Made direct amends to such people, wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
We should waste no time beginning the actual amend making. We can begin immediately making amends to our loved ones who have most been affected by our insanities, our self-serving unlovingness, our fears and resentments. Although one purpose of doing the 9th step is to bring our lives to order, our REAL purpose is to FIT OURSELVES to be of MAXIMUM service to God and the people about us, setting all past relationships right, and establishing new ones on that solid bedrock.
Remember this when it comes to making amends, that the RESTORED FAITH, of those about us most affected by our alcoholism, will come to pass as the result of our LIVING the Steps in all our affairs, and will be worth much more than all the words of amends we can express.
Remember also that the way we make amends to society and those we may never be able to contact is by staying sober a day at a time, practicing all the steps in all our life's affairs, continuing to help one another, doing all things out of LOVE. In this manner we come to peace within ourselves, and able to carry a message of Love and Hope and Peace into the world.
With the willingness to make complete amends to all, and the making of amends to those about us where we are able, the 9th step is "started", as it is unlikely that we shall complete the step in this lifetime.
Love and Peace, Barefoot
KEEP COMING BACK!
On the Web Feb 2004 in the Spirit of Cooperation
Three mighty important things, Pardn'r, LOVE And PEACE and SOBRIETY