“Projections about actually making amends can be a major obstacle both in making the list and in becoming willing.” Basic Text, p.39
The Eighth Step asks us to become willing to make amends to all persons we have harmed. As we approach this step, we may wonder what the outcome of our amends will be. Will we be forgiven? Relieved of any lingering guilt? Or will we be tarred and feathered by the persons we’ve harmed?
Our tendency to seek forgiveness must be surrendered if we expect to receive the spiritual benefits of the Eighth and Ninth Steps. If we approach these steps expecting anything, we’re likely to be very disappointed with the results. We want to ask ourselves if we are pinning our hopes on gaining the forgiveness of the person to whom we are making amends. Or maybe we’re hoping we’ll be excused from our debts by some sympathetic creditor moved to tears by our hard-luck story.
We need to be willing to make our amends regardless of the outcome. We can plan the amends, but we can’t plan the results. Although we may not be granted a full pardon by everyone to whom we owe amends, we will learn to forgive ourselves. In the process, we will find that we no longer have to carry the burdens of the past.
Just for Today: I will let go of any expectations I have on the people to whom I owe amends.
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