By now on step 8, we are well on our way in a spiritual and healing journey.
I believe that each step should be taken individually, I believe especially step 8 and step 4 should be done, without forward looking to the next step to come. Because if not done that way, it is easy to get into fear in my head, of what I “may think” lies ahead, in the step to follow. “First Things First”
I feel this step is about taking the most honest look at ourselves than we’ve ever taken in our whole lives, over the years and decades of self deception, denial, self centeredness, pride and over inflated ego.
It is important to look at and “list” the people “I” have harmed, however little or small, I may think the harm was, even if I think I may never see that person again. This is an examination of ones self, and no one else. Some examples of the people that were on my list are family, mine, yours, theirs, friends, neighbors, co-workers, pets, ect… the list goes on.
I’ve said to myself and to others over the years that, the step 8 list is mostly finished, from what I had listed on my 4th step list. I’ve said this mainly because, that is what I had been told by my sponsor when doing my steps for the first time. But over the years and with more thorough examination of what the step say’s, and means, I believe step 4 is about me, and my morals, and step 8 is about other’s and who my lack of morals and bad actions have affected, and more importantly hurt. It was easy to say when I was drinking that I was hurting no one other than myself. I told myself, after all I was paying the bills, and I was the one who had to deal with the hangovers, tardiness, missed appointments and engagements, crazy behavior and the embarrassment and humiliation of the next morning, and day or two until I could mask the memory with another bender. I was the one who felt like crap about my self more than anyone else could. It was all about me, me, me….. I do have to say, I feel this is a place where step 4 and step 8 do have their common denominators, because by step 8, the pattern of self manifested in so many different ways, has started to be revealed to myself. This is a eye opening and humbling step (as they all are) if done with all the honesty one is capable of at the time, it will change the way you view the world and the people in it, and add so much more mortar to the foundation we are building, for freedom from self, and oddly enough, help build self respect, and self esteem.
I am starting to get busy at work right now, and thinking to much in my brain rather than my heart.
So in closing I would like to thank the person who asked me to write my thoughts on step 8 and am honored to be of service. I can’t help but to take this opportunity to pass on a couple of things that were said to me early on in my sobriety.
Our goal is to wear sobriety like a loose garment.
Don’t take life so darn seriously, it is short. So lighten the **** up !
by Rod G.