“God willing, we may experience the forgiveness of those we have harmed. If we have been diligent in our amends, we will certainly grow in self-forgiveness too.”
Sex Addicts Anonymous, page 52
I could not do Step Nine until I was ready to let go of the pain and resentment that I had used for forty years to justify my actions. I needed to look at what I had done, not my rationale for doing it.
Looking at what I had done was humbling. I had treated everyone, including myself, with contempt. I had thought the world a lousy place and most people fools. I turned my back on the good and saw only the bad. From Steps One through Eight, I was able to see what I had done, and how I had harmed others and myself. I was now ready to start Step Nine.
This is what I found. There is a spiritual principle that applies whether I like it, believe it, or want it to be so: forgiveness = forgiveness. The chain of forgiveness started when I began making amends to people I had previously used as excuses for selfishness.
Until I was ready to forgive, I was not able to accept forgiveness.