The Hardest Part of the Twelve Steps

The 12 Steps is a reoccurring theme here for multiple reasons. But first among them is I believe in them and I live by them.

The hardest part of the 12 Steps is Steps 8 and 9:

  • 8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  • 9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Of course, with these two steps the difficulty begins the first time through the steps. Part of the difficulty is not so much Step 8, it’s easy to make the list of people you’ve wronged. Step 9 is difficult in and of itself. You have to swallow your pride and apologize for things you’ve done that hurt others.

Step 9 is further complicated by a couple of caveats in the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions: 1.) “There will be other cases where action ought to be deferred, and still others in which by the very nature of the situation we shall never be able to make direct personal contact at all.” and 2.) “While we may be quite willing to reveal the very worst, we must be sure to remember that we cannot buy our own peace of mind at the expense of others.”

I mention this because part of the responsibility of a 12 stepper is a constant inventory and review. For me, it seems like every time I review through these two steps, someone who was on a previous Step 8 list and was unavailable for Step 9 contact suddenly becomes available for Step 9 contact.

And, once again, this happened recently.

Clipart stolen from Clipartmax.

2 thoughts on “The Hardest Part of the Twelve Steps

  1. The greatest gift from 8 and 9 for me was the freedom. Freedom from guilt, freedom from shame and the freedom to move on. Step 9 gave me a clean slate and 10 helps me keep it clean.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree. It is incredibly freeing once you take the step. I know for me it seemed overwhelming at first because there were so many. At the recommendation of an old sponsor, I regularly review, because sometimes circumstances change.


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