I was concerned about what was going to happen next. In my mind, I was going to have to look a few people in eye that I never wanted to see. My friend smiled, nodded his head and said, ‘It’s really pretty simple. There is no need to make it any more complicated than this, make a list and become willing.
Willingness. Yes, I got all wrapped up in the guilt and shame of the past. My head was thinking way too much. Imagining all kinds of things.
Our friend above was doing what many of us have done all too often getting ahead of the situation. It’s just all too easy to let the fear create a mental movie of what was going to happen. So we did what we thought any person would do, we avoided the problem. But for us, that was the real problem. Avoiding what we didn’t want to deal with. We had get past this liability or we would continue to be handicapped by our fear driven imagination.
I got through all my worries and made the list and eventually I got right with people. I did what thought I could never do before; face up to what I was ashamed of. The difference now from before was that I had tapped into the Power that could make an amends possible and because of this, I have come to rely on this Power in all of my affairs. Really. You see, I would have never known how real God is unless I had done this step. True faith will result in works of faith and will keep faith alive. For my faith to be life giving I must act upon it. Otherwise it’s just a nice pleasant idea.
By acting upon our faith we acquire spiritual experience for it is extremely important for faith not to be an intellectual exercise. We each must reestablish our lives upon a spiritual basis if we are to live a life of meaning and purpose. Being guided by, and acting upon the principles of love of God and the love of our fellows, our actions bring our faith to life.
In the 8th Step, you will use the names from your personal inventory, however, you may also need to include some others. This is why reflection is the principle of this Step. We have to be honest if we want to live in the Truth. Your appraisal in this amends is of yourself, not the other person. So if there is even a thought that there is cause for an amends, you should add that person to our list. That may seem extreme but it is just a list made in the same way we learned in the fourth Step. If a person come stop mind, write their name down. Don’t over think this; You are not doing anything other than reflecting on the past and writing a list.
You see, this denial of damage done has been the root of our suffering; the manifestation of our character defects that has led to the perpetuating of a lie that we were innocent. We thought of ourselves as victims when we were not. We shifted the blame to another when it was actually ours. We lived a lie but subconsciously we knew that we had played some part in the problem. You may have done the same. So write the list!