Made a list of all persons we had harmed, . . .
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 77
When I approached the Eighth Step, I wondered how I could list all the things that I have done to other people since there were so many people, and some of them weren’t alive anymore. Some of the hurts I inflicted weren’t bad, but they really bothered me. The main thing to see in this Step was to become willing to do whatever I had to do to make these amends to the best of my ability at that particular time. Where there is a will, there’s a way, so if I want to feel better, I need to unload the guilt feelings I have. A peaceful mind has no room for feelings of guilt. With the help of my Higher Power, if I am honest with myself, I can cleanse my mind of these feelings.
Alcoholics Anonymous World Service Inc.. Daily Reflections: A Book of Reflections by A.A. Members for A.A. Members (Kindle Locations 1610-1611). A.A. World Services, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
This sounded simple enough. Wrong. I could make a list of the obvious, the people I had harmed, did things to. But it didn’t even cross my mind that I had harmed more people through omission. What I should have been doing. There weren’t a lot of people or so I thought, the list grew as I got “weller.” How was I to make things right, what if they didn’t like me afterwards, what if they got up and walked out on me? What if, what if…??? Some of the things I did weren’t awful and come to find out in a later step they people had no idea what I was talking about or that I even did or didn’t do anything to hurt them. But as it says in the reflection. the things I did bothered me. I was reminded by my sponsor, it is just a list. Keep praying and the willingness will come to make amends to these people when the time is right. Little did I know she was going to be the one that told me when the time was right.So I became willing with her help, my Higher Power and the fact I didn’t want to feel this guilt any more. Pain was an awesome motivator for me. Afraid? Of course. However having done all the things that were suggested to me up to this point had made me start to feel better and I liked the feeling. So with fear as my motivator I made the list. Low and behold it worked. Today I don’t make lists I make amends as needed. Not necessarily for the person I am making amends to but for me. It helps to keep my mind clean and helps keep me honest with people and especially myself.
24 Hours a Day
A.A. Thought for the Day
For awhile, we are going back to the big book, Alcoholics Anonymous, and pick out passages here and there, so that they may become fixed in our minds, a little at a time, day by day, as we go along. There is no substitute for reading the big book. It is our “bible.” We should study it thoroughly and make it a part of ourselves. We should not try to change any of it. Within its covers is the full exposition of the A.A. programme. There is no substitute for it. We should study it often. Have I studied the big book faithfully?
Meditation for the Day
All of life is a fluctuation between effort and rest. You need both every day. But effort is not truly effective until first you have had the proper preparation for it, by resting in a time of quiet meditation. This daily time of rest and meditation gives you the power necessary to make your best effort. There are days when you are called on for much effort and then comes a time when you need much rest. It is not good to rest too long and it is not good to carry on great effort too long without rest. The successful life is a proper balance between the two.
Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may be ready to make the proper effort. I pray that I may also recognize the need for relaxation.
Anonymous. Twenty-Four Hours A Day (p. 90). Martino Fine Books. Kindle Edition.
My Thought… The big book is definitely my Bible and my go to book. Yes I have studied the Big Book and attended countless Big Book meetings and they defintiely became one of my favorites. It taught me how to live a day at a time without a drink. I first was told to read the stories, the rest of it would make little or no sense at the time. Never has it entered my mind to change the book, why would it? It saved the lives of countless people before me, then me, and who knows how many people after me. If you drink, and want to get well this is the book, the only book that will get you from that “seemingly hopeless state of mind and body” and the main purpose of the book is to “show other alcoholics precisely how we have recovered.” http://www.aagrapevine.org/node/27554
My Meditation…meditation became my rest, relection, prayer before the start of a day, no matter what I was and still no matter what I am doing in a day. It has become more a part of my life as I have gotten older and “weller.” I can sit much more quitely. I find that my day goes better, the way it is supposed to in spite of if I continually try to practice meditating. Keeps me calmer, at least starting out. If things go a little crazy along the way there is obviously a reason for that… not my job to figure it out. My job is to keep going and I do that by stopping, and sometimes starting my day over again. How, by finding a quite spot, or a minute or two to close my eyes, take a deep brathe and saying a prayer and then getting to the footwork again at hand, whatever tha may be. With my kids, at, work, with my friends, wherever I am and whatever I am doing that day or night.
My Prayer…I pray to learn how to balance my life. Not easy. I am not sure that there is a balance. But there is and everything gets done that needs to get done in a day. I have learned how to prioritize much better by keeping “my I need or want this done” attitudes out of it.