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Old 12-08-2007, 09:35 PM
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Arrow Step 8

8. We made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
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Old 12-16-2007, 06:33 PM
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Like the 1st Step, the Eighth Step has two-parts . The first part is making the list and the second part is becoming willing to make amends for the damage I caused in the past.

Making the list wasn’t as easy I thought it was because I had to take a closer look at what harm really was. Once I did this, I found that my list became much longer than I had originally anticipated. Reviewing my 4th Step helped me to look at the destruction I caused in the past and how my defects of character caused me to harm others. In order to make my list, I had to be done with blaming and resentments.

This step tells me that I have to do whatever it takes to become willing, and for me this was a prime opportunity to demonstrate the willingness I gained in the previous Steps. Although I had an overall willingness to make amends and do whatever was needed to continue my recovery process, I found that my level of willingness varied from case to case, and time to time. To put it bluntly, there were some to who I just wasn’t willing to make amends. Namely, the financial amends.

Then it hit me…. Being willing to make amends isn’t the primary focus of this step (although it’s very important). The literature tells me that some willingness will come about simply by writing my amends list. In this step, it’s important to realize that we don’t just make a list and become willing to make amends for others...we do it to free ourselves of our past so we can continue our spiritual growth and live more fully in the here and now. I found it important for me not to get stuck on whether my willingness was great or small because becoming willing isn’t an event, it’s a process. If after writing the list I find myself lacking willingness, I can always pray that my Higher Power will provide me with what I need and add to my list later.
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Old 01-15-2009, 01:59 PM
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Gmoney,

So when did you decide exactly whatthe amends would be? Was that a part of step 8 after your list was complete or did you see that as a part of step 9 as you made the amends? (and yes this is a question for my sponsor, only I want to know your experience)

edited to say dang I no good at italics!! lol
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Old 01-15-2009, 05:38 PM
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I talked with my sponsor throughout the process of writing my eighth step, so that I could look at my amends, and willingness. For each of the amends I owe, we talked about how I could make things right. What kind of amends would best rectify the harm caused. For times when I was a poor friend, and there wasn't financial or physical harm caused, a sincere apology, and an ongoing process of thinking of others more, and myself less is about all I can do.

In my active addiction I harmed a lot of people that I don't know, as a thief, and a destroyer of property. (translation, I stole cars, parts, and got into barfights that usually ended with me breaking something on my to being 'invited' to leave). Where I can make financial amends, to business owners whose property I've broken, my sponsor suggested I be prepared to contact them and confess to what I had done, and offer to pay for, replace, or repair what I had broken.

In cases where I don't know who I harmed, or harmed those in the community, I'm trying to volunteer where I can, to give back to people who need help, and working on being prepared to make amends to the people I'm no longer in contact with as I find them in my life.

I made the list of my amends, and part of my process of becoming willing was to honestly look at what I could do to make things right. Seeing that there were often ways that I could help repair the damage I caused was a big part of my becoming willing to actually make amends.
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Old 01-15-2009, 07:46 PM
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yes of course Im close with my sponsor on this. I like hearing others experiences too. Thank you very much.

See I feel like if I know exactly what the amends ought to be then that will reveal more about my willingness, honestly.
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Old 01-15-2009, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Missybuns View Post
Gmoney,

So when did you decide exactly whatthe amends would be? Was that a part of step 8 after your list was complete or did you see that as a part of step 9 as you made the amends? (and yes this is a question for my sponsor, only I want to know your experience)

edited to say dang I no good at italics!! lol
Missybuns,

I actually didn't cross the bridge of envisioning how I'd make amends until the 9th step. I don't know about anyone else, but the biggest part of Step 8 was understanding what "harm" was. And once I had a clear picture in my head as to what harm was...formulating how I would correct the harm (making amends) wasn't difficult. SCT gave some great examples, but like I said, I didn't really concentrate on what or how in Step 8 because Step 8 was more of an exercise of looking back...not forward. In Step 9 we make direct amends, and this was done after carefully considering my options and lengthy discussion with my sponsor.

G
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Old 01-16-2009, 12:26 PM
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Thank you.

Anyone else?
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Old 04-11-2010, 12:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug View Post
8. We made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
What is meant by "When we've stripped away the distracting influences and have exposed that solid core of serenity, humility and forgiveness, we're ready for the Ninth Step." What are the distracting influences? Would that be the reaseons that we wouldnt want to make the amends, like having a resentment toward the person we owe the amens to?
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Old 04-11-2010, 12:30 AM
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What is meant by "When we've stripped away the distracting influences and have exposed that solid core of serenity, humility and forgiveness, we're ready for the Ninth Step." What are the distracting influences? Would that be the reaseons that we wouldnt want to make the amends, like having a resentment toward the person we owe the amens to?
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Old 04-11-2010, 12:45 AM
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Yes. Since a big part of Step 8 is about becoming willing to make amends, I believe anything that can distract me or influence me from becoming willing has to be out of the way before I can move forward.
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Old 06-16-2013, 01:32 PM
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I was told in treatment, I needed to make amends to people who hurt me and I can't seem to wrap my mind around this. My mind keeps telling me they were the ones in the wrong. I absolutely didn't deserve the abuse inflicted upon me. I have forgiven them for my own peace of mind, but I don't think that is making amends. I've, also, forgiven myself for putting myself in that situation, but again that is not making amends. Some of the abuse continues to haunt me, so I know there is more work to be done. As I was struggling with this this morning, it suddenly dawned on me, maybe I need to make amends for the horrible thoughts of revenge I've had and the hatred I've held in my heart. Do you think this could be it?
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Old 06-16-2013, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by nadaurz View Post
As I was struggling with this this morning, it suddenly dawned on me, maybe I need to make amends for the horrible thoughts of revenge I've had and the hatred I've held in my heart. Do you think this could be it?
Absolutely. You are on the right track. Well done.
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Old 06-16-2013, 06:24 PM
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Is realizing this and letting go of the hatred making amends? I really don't know how to go about this. I know it's definitely not an "in person" amends as they are no longer in my life. Working this step has made me realize the importance of a sponsor, but unfortunately I don't have one and it just isn't possible right now. Thanks for your input!
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Old 06-16-2013, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by nadaurz View Post
Is realizing this and letting go of the hatred making amends? I really don't know how to go about this. I know it's definitely not an "in person" amends as they are no longer in my life. Working this step has made me realize the importance of a sponsor, but unfortunately I don't have one and it just isn't possible right now. Thanks for your input!
You've hit on something important again in this post; this time regarding sponsorship. I've walked people through the steps before but honestly, I have no idea what to tell you at this point because you and I don't have history through the rest of your steps. I might suggest that one person 'go about this' completely different than the next based on what I have learned about the person through working the steps up until this time with them.

That said, very little harm can come from you praying for them to receive all you wish for yourself and more (assuming that you are religious and believe in prayer). You may not wish it for them now, and find that the words stick in your throat or feel dishonest. In that case I would pray for the willingness to wish for them all the good things in life. Pray every day for them for a month... if you are sincere, even if you only sincerely wish that you were willing...you will very likely experience a change. I've never met one who hasn't and I've been around for a while.

And, just a little personal share... I'm an atheist, so prayer didn't work for me, but I nevertheless spent some time meditating on those who harmed me. Within my list was the folks who left me a sexual abuse survivor and those who tortured me during my time in the military. In every case, I have gotten to the point where I wish I could let these people know that I forgive them so that they don't have to carry the burden of what they did around any longer. I really have forgiven them...and they, nor the past, has any hold on me any longer.

They may not deserve your forgiveness, but you deserve to be free from the resentment. Do it for you. Tomorrow you may find that you too are doing it for them. *hugs*

P.S. If no one has told you today that they are proud of you for attacking your step work so diligently...I am.
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:08 AM
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I am working on my 8th step now and find even though this thread is from 2012, it is very pertinent a year later. I have 33 years of harms caused from addiction and it feels somewhat daunting that it will be a long list. However, I have found that most of my freedom and spiritual growth comes WHILE I am working the steps, and if it takes longer, that means I have a lot of growth to look forward to!
If I viewed someone else with the same "list of harms", I would surely cheer that person on, and be encouraging throughout the process of making the list. Sometimes it helps me to view myself from another's eyes in order to be more self supportive. My Higher Power's view of me makes me feels extremely emotional and humbled. Loved yes, and oh so flawed!
As I work this step, I am encouraged that it IS for my benefit that I become willing to make amends, as the second part of step 8. I have done a lot of things from day one of my journey in sobriety that I was scared to do. I have become better for all of them. My large step 8 list is going to heal me so much more, and I am confident increased self-acceptance is in each harm I am willing to correct.
Thanks for this forum, it is great to learn about others experience, strength and hope here!
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