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Old 08-06-2013, 06:00 AM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2013
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"We made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all."

The destruction of our active addiction has left lasting scars or limitations in our lives. The purpose of the Eighth Step is to find freedom from these limitations in the present and for the future. As with many things, we have a fear of looking too closely at what has only been a source of pain in the past. By recalling where the parts of our leftover pain began, we can cut it out by the roots. The first associated memory may provide a clue. Sometimes, we will find our amends lie in directions that are far different from where our fear and imagination had placed them. We addicts seem to love familiarity. We become familiar with feelings, both good and bad. We become too familiar with good feelings and go beyond our limits. We become familiar with bad feelings and hold on to them. Hasn't anyone ever told us that we don't have to hold on to bad feelings? We develop a better understanding of the nature of harm after a while. We finally own that we have harmed ourselves. Do we still want to carry a load of guilt around? Maybe we do it but that’s only because we think there might be some future benefit from it. We must remember that there isn't and there never will be!

‘Listing’ is merely writing down names of those people to whom we feel we might owe an amend. We may later decide that no amends are called for. The key at this point is that we have to exercise our freedom to write down the names no matter what the outcome may be. As we ask God to remove our defects of character, we set forces in motion that lead us to consider other people. We acknowledge and accept the limitations placed on us by unfinished business from the past. When we feel hemmed-in or restricted by fear or guilt, we can remove it by positive action. Amends allow us to correct what is out of order. The wreckage of the past often leaves us with a desire for revenge or a fear of the revenge of others on us. Either way this imbalance makes it hard for us to live fully in the present. We feel forced to worry about past problems and future retribution instead of being free to live in the present. Working Step Eight helps us restore our balance and resume the everyday functions of life clean.

To be part of the human family, we need to find harmony in our relationships with others. When we lose our humility, we make ourselves targets of envy or victims of pride. The world helps the person who is relaxed and attentive. The world fears the proud and arrogant because they don't care about people. We may think of the earlier Steps as mending us within our own being. To continue the recovery process, we must heal our sick and damaged relationships with other people. We do not knuckle under, making ourselves into doormats, or inviting attack with our vulnerability. We are mending links and building bridges to other people. When we come around to a place where we don't fear others and we sincerely want to help, it creates a change in others. The person they meet in us is the difference. If we are hiding something or keeping a secret agenda, other people will pick up on our dishonesty. It is not a failing in them that they can detect our game and protect themselves from our intrusion into their lives or our taking of their goods. When we learn the art of giving, they will come to us to receive what they need. They, and we, will have no need to fear.

One of the things a person not familiar with spiritual principles may have problems with is the degree or amount of commitment or application they have to apply before getting visible or useful results. Reservations have way of canceling out our spiritual actions in the same way a wire that is broken at some point will not allow your television to switch on. To get results belief must be strong. Having expectations of positive results is useful, as is the willingness to take the necessary actions, and the ability to concentrate on what you're trying to do. These abilities combine with belief to trigger the spiritual shift or miracle we're praying for. It may help from time to time to bear in mind that we are seeking help where all other efforts have failed - and we are getting results! This is why NA is known as a spiritual program. Unless we are totally willing to make the amends, we will feel no relief and experience no positive change from the Eighth Step. The measure or our willingness is up to the individual for who can know the heart of another.
"No matter what you have done up to this moment, you get 24 brand-new hours to spend every single day." --Brian Tracy
AA gives us an opportunity to recreate ourselves, with God's help, one day at a time. --Rufus K.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. --Franklin D. Roosevelt
We stay sober and clean together - one day at a time!
God says that each of us is worth loving.
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