Step Eight requires tremendous doses of humility and courage as we ponder over the courses of our lives who we have hurt while living in our addictions. Sometimes we have mistreated others and were not even aware that we had done so. As we begin to meditate on those who had been affected by our irresponsibility we quickly find that we can list a slew of of people we had hurt.
This was a tough step for me the first couple of times I went through early recovery and now I really try not to hurt others. I may not always be where I need to be but with God’s help thank God I am not where I used to be! Take heart and know that although your healing journey may seem difficult or like a long road to walk on, that it is a path filled with healing and with healing comes many blessings and happiness. And we all deserve to be happy! Most importantly we all need to learn how to treat other people with kindness and love so this is a very important step to accomplish but with God’s help you can do it one day at a time.
Thank you to The Life Recovery Workbook by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop for the following questions.
1. How have I failed to respect the property of others.
2. Have I been so harmed or condemned by others that I have avoided responsibility for myself. By whom and when.
3. What excuses have I used for not looking at my behaviors.
1. In what areas have I unintentionally harmed others with my words/moods/self-pity/depression/anger/or fears.
2. In what ways have I acted thoughtlessly without regard for others’ needs or feelings. When; To Whom;
1. Have I been putting off making a list because I am afraid of some responses. Whose.
2. Have I held on to shame about a certain incident or relationships. What am I willing to do to let go so that I can become willing to make amends.
3. Is there someone I am having trouble forgiving who blocks my willingness. Who.
1. How have I allowed isolation due to shame and guilt to keep me from supportive relationships.
2. What is the role of shame and guilt in my isolation.
3. Am I willing to forgive myself for the hurt I have caused others. Write a prayer of willingness to forgive and ask for God’s grace to heal these relationships.
Forgiven to Forgive
1. Are there people on my list that I am having trouble forgiving for their part in our relationship. Who and Why.
2. What keeps me from letting others off the hook. Fear/Resentment/Caretaking.
3. What blocks me from forgiving others for the wrongs done to me.
a. Fear of what others would think of me. (Pride).
b. Fear of letting others see my hurts.
c. Fear of conflict. Protecting others feelings to avoid conflict.
The Fruit of Forgiveness
2 Corinthians 2:5-8
1. Is there anyone on my list whose behavior I do not approve. Who. Why.
2. Am I willing to let go of judgement and disapproval to open myself to working this step.
3. Have I been so afraid of rejection that I have delayed willingness to make amends. Who could reject me and why.
1. What “crop” did I sow while practicing my addiction.
2. Describe the correlation between healthy living and acceptance of the consequences for my addiction/behavior: