Good Morning all! The last few weeks I have been working on Step 8 which includes making amends. I wasn’t meaning to take this long on it but I admit I been kind of distracted lately. However, the times I was able to concentrate on it I was able to really think about things.
About 3 weeks ago I did start writing a list. It was hard because I had thought I owed a lot of people amends but it turns out I either A. already had B. I wasn’t as horrible of a person as I thought I was and there was nothing to make amends for. Let me elaborate; a few years ago even before joining Al-Anon I called a bunch of people I lied to throughout my life. Why did I feel the need too? Well my Christian beliefs have made it very clear to me I must apologize and ask forgiveness from people. I really felt “convicted” to call them up and fess up to my deceitfulness. I was lucky all of them responded well and some even laughed because it was so long ago. Other times admitting it to God was enough. Just like Al-Anon sometimes you have to face them and say it other times it is just between you and God. A lot of times it is for safety, sometimes you just can’t get in touch with the person you wronged and sometimes bring up old things can end up causing more damage than good.
It was a bit stressful to make my list at first. I thought I had to make amends with anyone I offended or hurt. I couldn’t even remember who I “hurt” with my words and opinions. It honestly would take years to even track people down. I have very strong viewpoints sometimes and not everyone wants to agree with me. As I prayed about this I got a sick feeling in my stomach. I said “if I hurt people doesn’t that mean my belief is wrong”. God showed me it wasn’t so much what I believed but perhaps the way I went about expressing it. If my beliefs and my opinions hurt that is something I can’t always help. What I can do is think about why I said my opinion or belief in the first place and how I delivered the message. Did I really need to state it? If not then I owe that person an amends. Was I asked for my opinion/belief how did I deliver it? Did I say what I had to say out of love and respect or was I condescending and judgmental? I can’t remember who I all hurt by wrong approaches but from now on I will be a lot more conscience of that. Having strong beliefs and opinions can be dangerous when dealing with others and should be used cautiously. I did make a list of about 5 people and they will be spoken too when I am given the opportunity. I actually added someone to that list this week because I got into a pretty heated issue with a friend of mine and I want to talk about it.
I am not going to post the list but I will say my sponsor told me not to forget to put God and Myself on that list. She also be told to write a letter to him and myself. I totally understood why God had to be there but I thought it was strange for me. I thought “surely I don’t owe myself an apology. I am too easy on myself already! Then I realized maybe that’s what I needed to make amends for. Surprisingly when I made my amends letter for myself there were lots of things I was hard on myself and things I let myself get away with. Like everything in my life there isn’t just a one way answer.
This was another great step for self-evaluation! And well that’s all I got folks!