Step Eight—Easy, Right? By Jamie Moon

step 8Jamie Moon looks at step 8 of the 12 steps to recovery.In Step Eight we, “Made a list of all the people we have harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.” So, the first thing we are asked to do is make a list of all the people we have harmed. That seems easy enough and in the quick version of doing the Steps the list can be quite manageable. And that’s great for the first time through. But when we do a real thorough inventory we may find a bunch more amends to make. Because you see, I believe that when we are done with our housecleaning we should be able to walk down any street in any city anywhere in the world comfortably. Running into anyone and being truly glad to see them and wishing them well.

We do the above by becoming “willing to make amends to them all.” Is this a tall order? Sure. But we are on a spiritual journey. This is a spiritual awakening that ends in freedom—freedom not only from our drug and alcohol addictions or a real treatment for bulimia and anorexia—but freedom from our fears, our shame and our selfishness. We are looking to gain Power where there was none. We can have life where there was a feeling of death. I am certainly a survivor not because of my will to hold on to my once hatreds but because of my willingness to mend relationships. I have had to have the willingness to face and except the responsibility for horrible violence against my wives both verbal and physical. Through this treatment there is peace where there was once war.

Became willing to make amends to people that I felt caused the downfall of my business. I had to see that no matter what other people had done to me, real or imagined, I had to take responsibility for my part. I do not care if anyone that has ever caused me any problem ever makes amends to me. This is my housecleaning not theirs. What they do or do not do will never bring me peace.

Every single event in my life that I use to blame for my present life circumstances is healed by my seeing my part and mending that. Nothing has ever been healed in my life by others taking responsibility for their part. I spent way too many years trying to correct other people’s behavior only to find out that it was me all along. In this Step I begin to fully take responsibility for my part by becoming willing. Remembering that our goal is not unlike Martin Luther King’s to be, “Free at last, free at last, thank God in heaven, I’m free at last.”

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