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Post Info TOPIC: Step 8 - AA

Senior Member

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Posts: 228
Step 8 - AA

from the '12 Steps and 12 Traditions' book:

"Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all"

"Steps 8 and 9 are concerned with personal relations. First, we take a look backward and try to discover where we have been at fault; next we make a vigorous attempt to repair the damage we have done; and third, having thus cleaned away the debris of the past, we consider how, with our newfound knowledge of ourselves, we may develop the best possible relations with every human being we know.

"This is a very large order. It is a task which we may perform with increasing skill, but never really finish. Learning how to live in the greatest peace, partnership, and brotherhood with all men and women, of whatever description, is a moving and fascinating adventure... Now the time has come when he outhgt to redouble his efforts to see how many people s/he has hurt, and in what ways. This reopening of emotional wounds, some old, some perhaps forgotten, and some still painfully festering, will at first look like a purposeless and pointless peice of surgery. but if a willing start is made, then the great advantages of doing this will so quickly reveal themeselves that the pain will be lessened as one obstacle after another melts away...

"These obstacles, however, are very real. The first, and one of the most difficult, has to do with forgiveness. The moment we ponder a twisted or broken relationship with another person, our emotions go on the defensive. To escape looking at the wrongs we have done another, we resentfully focus on the wrong he has done us. This is expecially true if he has, in fact, behaved badly at all. Triumphantly we seize upon his misbehavior as the perfect excuse for minimizing or forgetting our own...

"It is usually a fact that our behavior when drinking has aggravaated the defects of others. We've repeatedly strained the patience of our best friends to a snapping point, and have brought out the very worst in those who didn't think much of us to begin with. In many instances we are really dealing with fellow sufferers, people whose woes we have increased. If we are now about to ask forgiveness for ourselves, why shouldn't we start out by forgiving them, one and all?

"When listing people we have harmed, most of us hit another solid obstacle. We got a pretty severe shock when we realized taht we were preparing to make a face-to-face admission of our wretched conduct to those we had hurt. It had been embarrassing enough when in confidence we had admitted these things to God, to ourselves, and to another human being. But the prospect of actually visiting or even writing the people concerned now overwhelmed us...

"Some of us, though, tripped over a very different snag. We clung to the claim that when drinking we never hurt anybody but ourselves...

"This attitude, of course, is the end result of purposeful forgetting. It is an attitude which can only be changed by a deep and honest search of our motives and actions...

"In many instances we shall find that though the harm done others has not been great, the emotional harm we have done ourselves has. Very deep, sometimes quite forgotten, damaging emotional conflicts persist below the level of consciousness. At the time of these occurrences, they may actually have given our emotions violent twists which have since discolored our personalities and altered our lives for the worse...

"Since defective relations with other human beings have nearly always been the immediate cause of our woes, including our alcoholism, no field of investigation could yield more satisfying and valuable rewards than this one. Calm, thoughtful reflection upon personal relations can deepen our insight...

"We might next ask ourselves what we mean when we say that we have 'harmed' other people. What kinds of 'harm' do people do one another anyway? To define the word 'harm' in a practical way, we might call it the result of instincts in collision, which cause physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual damage to people. If our tempers are consistently bad, we arouse anger in others. If we lie or cheat, we deprive others not only of their worldly goods, but of their emotional security and peace of mind. We really issue them an invitation to become contemptuous and vengeful...

"Suppose that in our family lives we happen to be miserly, irresponsible, callous, or cold. Suppose that we are irritable, critical, impatient, and humorless. Suppose we lavish attention upon one member of the family and neglect the others. What happens when we try to dominate the whole family...? What happens when we wallow in depression, self-pity oozing from every pore, and inflict that upon those about us? Such a roster of harms done others - the kind that make daily living with us as practicing alcoholics difficult and often unbearable - could be extended almost indefinitely. When we take such personality traits as these into shop, office, and the society of our fellows, they can do damage almost as extensive as that we have caused at home...

"We should avoid extreme judgements, both of ourselves and of others involved. We must not exaggerate our defects or theirs. A quiet , objective view will be our steadfast aim...

"Whenever our pencil falters, we can fortify and cheer ourselves by remembering what AA experience in this Step has meant to others. It is the beginning of the end of isolation from our fellows and from God."

do your best and God does the rest, a Step at a time

Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 130

Step 8- A.A.

Step 8 is about telling the Truth then confessing it in Step 9. Doing my best and living a loving, kind, thoughful life after the drinking has stopped. I was like a Whirlwind going through everyones life I touched when I drank.

To work Step 8 I have had several Sponsors when working the Steps. The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions(12x12) Then the A.A. BIG BOOk on Pages 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81,82, 83 then the prayer 1/4 of the way down in the Big Book as I was taught on Step 8.
In Memory of my Sponsor Pam C. who taught me "THE 12 STEPS" of A.A.

I had broken marriages, a son I have hurt, parent's, relatives, employers, friends, the community, I lied, cheated, and stole. I did everything I didn't want to become, I lived for myself and wanted to experience, see, do, and meet everyone and everything before I got old without thinking of consequences, it didn't matter what the cost to myself or anyone else. My temper was/is still a defect that needs work, I constantly pray for God to Remove.

I never had an honest friendship only fair weather drinking friends mostly male. Because I am a Female Alcoholic, manipulating what I could to survive.

Step 8 hasn't been to just put down the bottle or say how sorry I am to those I hurt. It is about Defects of Character I had developed over a 28 year period of partying. It is about praying to GOD everyday for him to help me be the person he wants me to be. Kind, patient, tolerant, and loving. It is about regaining TRUST I lost because of my lifefstyle choices from my youth.

Step 8 is FREEDOM from the past, it is a walk into the beginning of a NEW LIFE.

I TRUST in GOD today who knows everything about me and LOVES me and I LOVE HIM. I am FORGIVEN! SO IS EVERYONE ELSE.
After step 10, 11 and 12 Helping others to acheive there Sobriety, keeps my emotional Sobriety that is the PROGRAM.




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