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Post Info TOPIC: Step 8 alanon (6-13-2017)


Guru

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Date:
Step 8 alanon (6-13-2017)


Step eight,

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

 

C2C page 299 " making amends is not just saying I'm sorry it means responding differently from our new understanding."

 

My share

I did have to be very careful of working this step for the first time because I thought I had harmed everybody that I ever came in contact with. My very wise sponsor insisted that I first of all understand what harm this step is referring to. so that I could make my list.

After many meetings and  and discussions. I finally understood that the harm that I was attempting to make amends for was my gossiping, criticizing and judgment of others, my doing for others what they could do for themselves, my giving advice and taking over their lives.

I must note that much of my judge and criticizing of others was done in my head and not obvious to anyone but myself. Apparently it made me feel better, because I was I always judging and criticizing others so that I felt better than.

Today I think I have been able to become honest enough to be able to look at my behavior, evaluate where my actions and attitudes may be hurting others and put them on my list of amends.

This program is a process, as we are constantly reminded it is progress not perfection that we seek.The first go around on the steps we do not capture all of our issues, so that is why I  continue the process of  working the steps once a year, it is amazing what new enlightenment will occur within a year.

Step 8 opened a door to my inner self and I am glad I walked through.

 I became wiling to make amends by attending meetings, sharing , praying and finally I could see and accept the harm I had done and understood how the guilt and shame of my actions had hurt me  That was when i become willing, 

 

 

Step Eight Questions

 

Do I understand that willingness is different than making the actual amends? Describe the difference

 

How willing you might to be completely honest?

Have I included myself on my list why or why not?

 Do I recognize when my minding someone else's business may have harmed them or others? Am I willing to recognize the need for my amends?

In reviewing my list is there a pattern reflecting new defects and my character? Can I see how these defects harmed goes on my list? Is this a pattern identified in working step five and six

How can I encourage those I sponsored to begin working this step based on my own experiences?

 



__________________
Betty


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C2C page 299 " making amends is not just saying I'm sorry it means responding differently from our new understanding."


This reading hit me in a different way this time, especially in the quote above. When I did the steps the first time, I got a bit stuck at step 3 for a while, and felt that I really needed the lightness that making amends would offer. I think that I made some amends before I was ready to, and before I fully understood the process. The part of the reading above that sticks out to me is the "responding differently." Not just apologizing for what I did in the past, but making a commitment to do better in the future. And, since I am committed to progress, not perfection, responding a little bit differently is exactly where I should start.

One thing that I struggle often with is having the same emotional reaction to a situation that I have had in the past, despite my wife being sober for almost two years now and my own program work. Because I can't change that "gut reaction" or the emotions I feel, I've started to give voice to it. "I feel X because that is how I felt in the past, and although I know Z now, I am still feeling the same emotions and having the same anxiety that I did in the past, and I am struggling with that." By giving voice to my inner turmoil, I am responding to it differently than I did in the past, when I would retreat and bottle it up.

My Questions:

Do I understand that willingness is different than making the actual amends? Describe the difference
- being willing to make amends is more about being willing to be different, act different, respond different, than actually apologizing. I think I might see a willingness in making amends through a decision to start to behave differently. This willingness has to do with an internal commitment to change, and does not necessarily involve other people.

- Making amends is patient, waiting until the time feels right, not forcing a conversation, and not engaging in a conversation that would be damaging. It means identifying when making amends is appropriate, and when it is not. (I would not make amends to someone who is actively using, for example, because they would not be in a place to receive the amends.) It involves an honest conversation and apology for actions and impact that does not make excuses (no "...., but...") It is a commitment to try to respond differently in the future.


How willing you might to be completely honest?

Honesty is one of those words that gets my hair up. My wife, when she was actively drinking, would think she'd caught me in a lie often and chide "Be honest..." It grated on me because I was always as honest as I could be, to the best of my understanding, at the time.

I think that at my current place in my program, I am able to be more honest with myself than I was when I took my last 8th step. This time, I can be more honest about things that are not in my control.

Have I included myself on my list why or why not?

Yes, and I always initially forget to include myself on my list. I am hardest on myself, and I expect too much of myself. I need to continue to work on being gentle with myself.

Do I recognize when my minding someone else's business may have harmed them or others? Am I willing to recognize the need for my amends?

I tend to overstep and solve problems for other people, which prevents them from their own personal growth. My wife and my little sister are the most frequent recipients of this "help." I have been trying and somewhat succeeding with my wife with taking a step back and letting her take care of her own things, but I think that by not insisting that she contribute financially when she moved back in, I set us both up for disappointment. (She didn't feel like she was a full partner, and I was unhappy with her allocations of funds and the growing accumulation of things in the house.) I thought this was a good way to go, because I would not have the financial worry about whether or not she'd paid the power bill or rent, and she would have more money to dedicate to paying her court fees and fines and paying off old debt. What happened is that I spent all my income on bills and resenting her shopping habits. My sister wanted to apply for graduate school, but was afraid to apply and didn't know where to start, and since I have been through the process and was short on time, I took a rather hands-on approach to the application process. However, doing this did not help her to get over her debilitating fear of failure or anxiety over change. Yes, she got into grad school, but she didn't do so on her own time and she doesn't believe she could have gotten in by herself.

In reviewing my list is there a pattern reflecting new defects and my character? Can I see how these defects harmed goes on my list? Is this a pattern identified in working step five and six

There is a pattern - I am willing to "sacrifice" myself to help people I care about reach my definition of their own potential. In doing so, I take away opportunities for growth that they would otherwise have, and I hamper their own progress on their journeys.

In step 6, I identified that I tend to take too much responsibility for the actions and behaviors of others.
In Step 5, I identified that I tend to try to "smooth the path" for others because I fear that I will not be able to "weather the storm" of their negative reactions.

I see these as fitting together in a nice pattern, and it goes back to my inability to deal with other people's negative emotions and reactions. If they don't happen, I don't have to deal with them. I didn't have to deal with my wife being stressed about bills, because she was not responsible for them. I didn't have to deal with my sister not following her dreams and building a better life for herself because of my heavy-handed approach to her application.

how can I encourage those I sponsored to begin working this step based on my own experiences?

I can share how I looked ahead with an expectation about how terrible working the steps and making amends would be, only to find that it was not at all what I expected, and that working the steps, like working the alanon program, is about me and my personal development. Taking things slow and not moving too quickly is the best way forward. I share often that I benefit from working the steps each year, and that I use them as a way to improve myself and grow as a person.

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Guru

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Date:

Helos Skorpi thank you fpr sharing your ESH on tis important step with such honesty and clarity.I too viewed the steps with trepidation, however, after embarking on this journey and trusting the process, I found, as you have indicated that this step is all about discovering what I am doing to hurt myself and then determining to stop reacting in the same fashion. I was at an eight step meeting last night and someone pointed that amend is derivative of the word amendment which means to change. Not to simply saying I'm sorry. I had no problem saying I'm sorry and that was my go to response even though I really was sorry and nothing changed. Today I worked the steps diligently and then moving to amend my behavior

Thanks for sharing this journey

__________________
Betty
Nix


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Do I understand that willingness is different than making the actual amends? Describe the difference.

This distinction is very important for me; it takes away the terror of having to actually MAKE the amends until I feel stronger in my recovery. Willingness to me simply means that I am surrendering my will to my Higher Power in this area. I am allowing my Higher Power to lead me to where I need to be with respect to amends. I am letting go of my fear and my preconceived notions, as well as my false belief that I have any control over anything but my own actions and thoughts.



How willing you might to be completely honest?

This is a work in progress. I am improving day by day. Honesty can be very painful as we acknowledge how our lust for power and control over others has harmed the very people we told ourselves we were "helping" by our meddling.



Have I included myself on my list why or why not?

Yes I have. I've hurt myself badly and I am important enough to receive amends.


Do I recognize when my minding someone else's business may have harmed them or others? Am I willing to recognize the need for my amends?

I am recognizing this much more in hindsight and I'm trying to be more mindful and aware of it in the moment. I definitely recognize the need for amends.

In reviewing my list is there a pattern reflecting new defects and my character? Can I see how these defects harmed goes on my list? Is this a pattern identified in working step five and six.

There is a pattern, though I identify it more with long standing and existing defects. I will continue reflecting and meditating to see if HP guides me to new defects as well. I am gaining awareness of existing defects and using that knowledge to help me make better choices today.

How can I encourage those I sponsored to begin working this step based on my own experiences?

I can share my experience, strength and hope as it is unfolding.

__________________


Guru

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Posts: 818
Date:

Hello Nix Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am pleased that you have placed your self on the list of people to make amends to. I found I could do that by attending meeings and sharing. Thanks fore sharing the journey.

__________________
Betty
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