Amends without expectations
about actually making amends can be a major obstacle both in making the
and in becoming willing.”
Basic Text, p. 39
Eighth Step asks us to become willing to make amends to all persons we
have harmed. As we approach
this step, we may wonder what the outcome of our amends will be.
Will we be forgiven? Relieved
of any lingering guilt? Or
will we be tarred and feathered by the persons we’ve harmed?
tendency to seek forgiveness must be surrendered if we expect to receive
the spiritual benefits of the Eighth and Ninth Steps.
If we approach these steps expecting anything, we’re likely to be
very disappointed with the results. We
want to ask ourselves if we are pinning our hopes on gaining the
forgiveness of the person to whom we are making amends.
Or maybe we’re hoping we’ll be excused from our debts by some
sympathetic creditor moved to tears by our hard-luck story.
need to be willing to make our amends regardless of the outcome.
We can plan the amends, but we can’t plan the results.
Although we may not be granted a full pardon by everyone to whom we
owe amends, we will learn to forgive ourselves.
In the process, we will find that we no longer have to carry the
burdens of the past.
Just for today: I will let go of any expectations I have on the people to whom I owe amends.