Sunday, 19 June 2011

Step Eight instructions

Step Eight instructions

For each person on your Step Four whom you have harmed and anyone else who comes to mind whom you have harmed when you pray to be shown who ought to be on the list, take a separate small sheet of paper or index card and write:

(1) What action you took.
(2) What you should have done instead.
(3) How that person suffered as a result, physically, intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, or socially.

The second question is relevant because not every action that causes suffering causes harm:
e.g.
(1) taking razor blades from a child
(2) an examiner failing a student who has not reached the required standard
(3) leaving a relationship one has no business being in.

Harm can be caused only where we have diverted from the path of right action.

What does not belong on Step Eight: complex analyses of motivation; how we felt; rationales, excuses, and rationalisations; back-story; other people's conduct; what we were thinking at the time.

We want bare facts: our action or, rarely, inaction.

We also do not make amends to ourselves.

The harm we have done to ourselves is best amended by making amends to others and adopting all Twelve Steps as a way of life.

The amend is essentially a conversation. This requires two participants. There is only one of me. I do not need to have a conversation with myself.

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