View all:  Voices of Recovery

August 24

“This process of becoming willing to make amends involves a deeper surrender to our Higher Power’s will than we have known before.”

Sex Addicts Anonymous, page 48

Working Steps Four through Seven clarifies our responsibilities to those we have harmed. Nobody really talks about Step Eight; usually we run right into Step Nine. However, my sponsor of twelve years died recently, and this step brings back a flood of memories.

I had just finished my rather long Fifth Step and had done the subsequent Sixth and Seventh Steps. When I asked her how to do Step Eight, she said to go back over my Fourth Step and make three lists. On the first list were the amends I thought I could do—one of which was repaying my mother $5,000 that I owed. The second list included the amends I wasn’t sure I could do—those included an employee that I had fired. That one was tougher. The final list was the “no way” list. Here was my gentle, soft-spoken sponsor acknowledging that we all have our stubborn sides, too.

One of my amends was to do affirmations toward myself. I thought that was the most ridiculous amend to do. That went in the “no way” list because of my utter rejection of myself. Step Eight asks me to become willing. As the years go by, I become more willing to make amends to all those on my list, including myself.

Willingness is the key to recovery. Help me become willing to make amends to those I have harmed.