Ready to pursue the Eighth Step? That's the one that reads, "made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all." Well, I don' t know about you, but when I was back on Step One early in my program..... I could sure think of one or two people to whom I vowed NEVER to make amends. They did not deserve it!
I have heard that we can better complete this step by separating our "harmed persons" into three categories: those to whom we are willing (even if it scares me to think of it), those to whom we MIGHT someday make amends, and those to whom we would NEVER make amends.
Guess which list I started on first. Um. I started on the last list of course. And it backfired. Because I was not ready to make amends to the unmerciful. Such "peeps" bit my head off when I approached THEM expecting forgiveness.
In hindsight, I would do it differently, practicing on the "willing" list first.
I've heard from others experience that, with practice and time, they found those on the "maybe" list shifted to the "willing" list. And that sometime later, even "never" people appeared on their "maybe" list. Eventually some amends got made to "absolutely not" people. The amend maker's reward was that friendships were rekindled and family ties too. This might not work exactly so for me, but I can see that I might have a greater ability to " face the new day without guilt, because I had owned up to my responsibilities."
As I look ahead, I will not deny myself a thorough Step Eight or Step Nine because I am at first unwilling. Nothing is done perfectly overnight. I will take my time and accept myself where I am, and only do what I am able to.
"It does not matter how slowly you go
So long as you do not stop." Confucius
Adapted from June 10th's Courage to Change