Made A List (Reflection From Bill M)

Step 8 is in two parts. First I made a list. Every time I started to think about how I would make amends, I was gently brought back to the task at hand. I needed to make a list of all people that I had harmed. All people meant I had to make it as complete as I could at that time. I did not wait until I was sure I had 100% of the people accounted for.

My first list had plenty of people I had actively harmed. My family was at the top. I looked at my fourth step inventory. Most of the people I had resentments towards I had harmed in some way. Some of them had harmed me, but this was a list of the people I had harmed.

As my spirituality grew I realized I had harmed people by not being there for them. I withdrew and lost touch with friends, colleagues and fellow students. By removing myself from their lives I had harmed them. I added them to my list, but that was later. Some alcoholics put themselves top of the list and that works for many people. For me, I needed ego deflation. I had to turn outwards first before I could turn inwards.

Then I became willing to make amends. I did not need to make amends yet, I had to become willing. Willingness is an action for me. I was willing to make amends to most of the people on my list. For others I was willing to be willing. If the opportunity presented itself I was willing to make an amends even though I was not sure I wanted to.


6 thoughts on “Made A List (Reflection From Bill M)

    • You know what makes me feel like I don’t have any closeness to God?

      It is distraction of various kinds.

      Since late yesterday afternoon I have been working on installation of a new printer and so far I haven’t been able to get it correctly configured and connected so this somewhat OCD old coot can get this off my mind and even though I am trained in compartmentalizing, that is setting some things aside so I can go on with what at the time is most important but the ongoing problem still plays in the background and intrudes on my consciousness much like the obsession of every alcoholic that one day they will be able to drink with impunity comes forth and seemingly compels one to drink.

      Since drinking is absolutely not an option and this obsession has been blotted out or totally replaced by good old common sense and gathered wisdom I now go forward with a clear and sane mind to an astonishing degree but I still am gripped by the same old drive of persistence and determination when I take on a task.

      So what?

      So I have to pray for God’s mercy that I might on his timetable comes back into consciousness of his powerful and omnipresent grace.

      I’m Harry, grateful alcoholic and devoted 12th stepper.

  1. Top of the morning family,
    Willing to be willing. Nicely put/reflection Bill M
    His forgiveness and mercy from step 7 permits His power in us to pursue peace
    Step 8 is the counter to self’s – purposeful forgetting.
    Willing to be willing: willing to be honest, willing to be vulnerable, willing to be willing even if what we discover about ourselves and others is painful to accept.

    When I no longer live under the dictates of another or of alcohol, I live in a new freedom. When I release the past and all the excess baggage I have carried for so very long, I come to know freedom. ABSI, p.50

    Its a good day to have a good day.

  2. Such an honest and real world reflection, Bill! It helps me so much when the people who have what I want, spell it out and make this way of life simple. So often it can seem too big and complicated. I strive to do this with my sponsee’s and myself. Willingness. Another crucial part in HOW it works.
    Take each step in its parts. Very good reminder!

  3. Thanks Bill.
    The opertunity to make amends to some people didn’t present itself for many years.
    But they finally did in some cases, sometimes by very peculiar circumstances.

  4. By removing myself from their lives I had harmed them. There were quite a few people I just up and left, because I was in the disease and I was leaving location, and moving on. I felt sad, but it took along time for me to make my amends. Thank you Bill, for the reminder 8 still need to pray for the opportunity and guidance to do so. Kt

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