Post details: Willing Amends


Permalink 09:17:58 am, Step(s): 08 Make a list..., 319 words   English (US)

Willing Amends

I mark the beginning of my recovery process at a camp meeting in June of 1994. It was there that I began to understand and practice the third step in conjunction with the first two. The very day after my first real victory, as a result of third-step surrender, an incredible burden of my past mistakes came flooding in on me (Step 4). A few days later (after confessing to God), I confessed my faults to another person (a very difficult Step 5). It wasn't long after that (a week, maybe) when I began to think of all the persons I had wronged, but never made amends to (Step 8).

What continues to be amazing to me is the fact that, at that time, I had absolutely no knowledge of what the steps of the 12-Step program were. And frankly, I had a negative opinion of the program because it didn't seem to help a person, whom I knew very well, who used to attend. But, in spite of that, God was leading and convicting me in those very same steps in my own life.

As I made this list of all the persons I had harmed, it was difficult to become willing to actually make amends. In my mind (intellectually), I knew that it was the right thing to do (Matthew 5:23,24), but emotionally it was very scary. I didn't want to become vulnerable. All my life prior to this I always shunned any situation that would require my vulnerability. But now this unhealthy reserve was beginning to break down, largely because of my fifth-step sharing that I had already done. Even though this was all very hard, it helped me to become more honest, vulnerable, and more accountable for my past mistakes. All these things helped to reduce my feelings of shame and have been an integral part of my recovery process. For this I am very grateful and praise God :-)

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

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