Step Eight…Brotherly Love

Step eight is a very somber step. We are asked to make a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all. Now it is true I started to take responsibility for all those that I had harmed, but was I willing to make amends to them all. That was the rub. Working steps four through seven I was making it clearer as who did the harming. Now in step eight I wanted to be responsible. I made my list and like the Christmas song, I checked it twice…even three and four times. I wanted to be clear on who I had harmed. I asked my sponsor for support in this area just to make sure I was doing it right. There were two people on my list that I was unwilling to make amends to. Those two people I went through the process but each time I tried to make amends towards them I just couldn’t. My sponsor said, “In time you’ll change your mind.” I hope he’s right. With step eight we clean our slate and move towards step nine.

7 thoughts on “Step Eight…Brotherly Love

  1. I think I have stumbled upon a big missing piece of my recovery puzzle. Last night after avoiding my sponsor for a week, cause I just don’t have the energy for a “recovery conversation” a brother in recovery called me. He asked point blank, “How is your recovery today?” silence “How are you doing with your bottomlines today?” silence. “Other than yourself who are you hurting when you actout?” Silence but major tears inside. Which brings me to step eight, I have not be willing to look at how I have harmed my husband or children. So often I hear in the rooms about the pain wives are in from their husbands acting out… a big part of me still feels that my husband does not have any hurt feelings about my addiction. What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him. But what I am realizing is that 90% of my life is still a secret. 90% of my heart does not trust him, I know his hurting me does not give me permission to act out. I know the little girl in me takes rejection MUCH MUCH harder than my grown up.

    So even though I am still slowing, very slowly a year later coming to terms with step one and acknowledging my powerlessness. I think I really need to think and FEEL how my actions affect my family. All I have ever wanted in my entire life is unconditional love. My husband loves me more today than he has in the 14 years we have know each other. He thinks I am an amazing woman, mother and wife… it is really tough to live up to his expectaions…..

  2. Step 8 has been my hardest step so far. I have been in the program for 14 months and I felt like Steps 1-7 were going well, I can easily admit my own faults and commit to doing better in the future but dealing with my past has been something I have avoided my whole life. As a child, I remember avoiding my parents when I did something wrong and eventually they would forget about it, as I grew up I did the same thing with relationships, hiding my addiction, growing guilt and unhappiness always led to the disastrous end to my relationships, but I always avoided the last confrontation and never took responsibility for my part of the problem. I have gotten to the point of amends and it is still uncomfortable for me. I have realized how ingrained my conflict avoidance is in me and it is by far my biggest character flaw, next to the addiction. But I have learned that the steps build upon themselves and I am always the better for getting through them so I am pushing through my discomfort and doing my best to get this one done. I can tell you, at least from my perspective Step 8 has kicked my ass and I hope I can learn from it.

  3. Step 8 – Here I am. I was so excited to complete Step 7, but not so excited to start step 8. I feel like this is where the REAL work starts. Yikes! It is a little daunting to have this step in front of me. But I know I just need to dig in and go. I am glad that I am here and that I am finally moving on with my steps. I have taken a long time with them and I really want to get through them. But I enjoy doing a thorough job so for me it is not about time, it is about doing a good job. Nevertheless, I need to work on this step everyday and keep it moving for myself. It is after step 8 and 9 that the final transformations happen in this program from what I hear and I am ready. “Cause there may be times, when you think you lost your mind, and the steps you’re taking leave you three, four steps behind, But the road your walking might be long sometimes, you just keep on steppin, and you’ll be just fine, yeah! Ease on down, ease on down the road!….”

  4. Brotherly Love – I think this is appropriate for me right now. However, I am looking at this in a more literal sense. I approached my brother a few months ago to make my amends and he was not ready at the time to talk to me. He did not respond to my calls for weeks and then after I returned from the trip where I was able to see him, he contacted me and said he was ready. Unfortunately I was back in Florida and getting ready for surgery and it had to wait. Since then there has been communication from him and it has been very negative, nasty and hurtful. Now he is ready to talk to me again and is asking me to see him. So I need to decide what is the right thing to do. Yes, I want to make my amends. However at the same time I need to take care of myself and not subject myself anymore to abuse that I do not need to take. If I feel that the situation is going to be abusive, it may not be a good idea. I need to review this with my sponsor and therapist. The bottom line is that today I know how to take care of myself and I know how to set boundaries. I don’t need to run and jump when other people say so which is how I ran most of my adult life before recovery. So I need to treat myself with brotherly love and I need to determine what is the best way to treat the situation regarding my brother. It is complicated and simple at the same time. But I know if I pray on it and take suggestions I will get through it the right way.

  5. I’m still fighting my way through Step 4, but thought I’d tackle this one anyway. The idea of making amends has been attractive to me already, and there’s not shortage of people to make amends to. But the worry to me is the part about making things worse in many cases. I know some of my “victims” do not ever want to hear of me again. I’m interested in hearing more about the practicalities of how to decide these matters.

    What is for sure is that I feel much more empathy now for those I’ve hurt, that I would very much like to make amends if there is a practical way of doing so. It is a big contrast with how I felt when I was actually doing the hurting – that I was entitled and clever and irresistably manipulative. Pride controlled me then, now regret and sorrow is my consciousness when I think about those days. And the desire never to be that way again.

    I know that means

  6. I fought my way through the first 7 (If you SURRENDER, the fight should be over). Step 8 has been A SPEED BUMP for me. I was asked to answer the following questions for each person I had harmed.

    -Describe the memory of the harm done
    -Describe your thoughts of the harm done
    -Describe your feelings about the harm done
    -Describe your intentions related to making amends
    -Describe the amends

    These may appear as normal questions, BUT MY LIST OF PEOPLE IS LONG. So answering these questions for each person is a PAIN. I believe my HP, is giving me a chance to SURRENDER before I continuing on this journey. I am still TRUDGING through Step 8. And I am still struggling with SURRENDER. Another Step that seems like something far away on the MOUNTAIN TOP. One day at a time………………….

  7. I have a ways to go before I reach step 8. I am in step 4 working on my resentments very hard. So this brings up a lot of thoughts because some people that I have resentments for will be people I must make amends to. At this point I can’t really dwell on making amends. Yes there are some that I want to make amends to the most important being my wife and children. Which I have already begun. And I work on everyday. But there are others where I know I will struggle so I do what I can and the rest I turn over to God for he has not let me down once since I allowed him back into my life. Father I pray to you everyday for strength and you always are there. Therefore I give to you what I cannot control and trust in you.

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