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This 8th step was truly amazing for me. I made lists of people from my past that I needed to forgive and people that I needed to ask for forgiveness. And also a long, extensive list of those that blessed my life. As I made that list I discovered that many that I had hard feelings against were very good to me and helped me learn and grow. This process of thinking about others that were examples to me for good took my broken, humble heart and filled it full of love. I took my list of those that I needed to forgive and took it to the Lord. I spoke out loud to Him and told Him that I forgive and love each of them. As I said this my heart filled with even more love and kindness for everyone that was part of my past. I suddenly had a strong desire to reach out to people that I had closed off for many years and renew friendships with love and kindness. I gained courage as my heart filled with love and I completed my list of who I would contact and meet with for the 9th step.
This was a hard list to make. Thinking of all the people I hurt and needed to make restitution to was a hard memory lane to go down. It was also hard to admit all the people that I needed to forgive. My inventory from step 4 helped in both of these situations. I had thought I had complete list for step 8, but I was wrong. One day, after going to another state to visit a brother, I found myself in a difficult conversation with my sister-in-law. She mentioned things about my divorce that hurt. I thought about saying something confrontational back, but I did not. As I thought more the conversation and prayed, I came to realize that I had hurt her - that my addiction to pornography and my divorce from a 14-year marriage had injured my family member that I hadn't seen in 8-10 years, in another state. I felt humbled by this knowledge and began to seek out how I could resolve the damage I had cause with her.