8th Step question

12 Steps: Discussions related to the 12 Steps and using them as a treatment to recover from alcohol and drug addiction.
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8th Step question

Postby Jebtion12345 » Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:18 pm

Hi all,

I am just curious to hear input on how literally to take this step or if there is "room for interpretation." My sponsor has her thoughts and I think she is right on I am just curious to others ideas or most importantly experiences with this sort of thing.

Can a pet (or any non human being) be put on an 8th step list and possibly also warrant an amend in the 9th step? I think so and in this case with a pet I was unkind to while drinking it seems logical to absolve feelings of guilt and shame.

Has anyone seen this or heard of it in meetings?


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Postby Dallas » Mon Feb 27, 2012 6:08 pm

To this day -- I'm still making amends to a little bird that I shot with a BB gun, when I was 8 yrs old. I go out of my way to be more conscious of the birds around me -- and to feed them, especially during winter months, by setting out feeders. When I notice them building nests in trees or bushes in my yard, or sometimes on my porch -- I go out of my way to try to help them and support them, and to do what I can to keep the cats away from the feeders and the nests.

I call these "Living Amends" -- where I'm trying to rub out the record of my past living -- that hurt and harmed others. Yep. Some has been for neglecting to be a good dad to a pet. So, I learned how to be a great pet dad. And, I'm sure that my pets would vouch for me and my goodness towards them. :lol:

I think the answer to your question is found in the Fourth Step, and the Third Step, in addition to the 9th Step.

In the 4th Step, I also had a list of institutions that I resented. And, I had a list of institutions that I had harmed.

In the 8th & 9th Steps -- the book indicates that we're working from a list "that we made" -- in Step 4. It came from the list of "harms done to others." (for those of us who did do that part of our 4th Step. Some people seem to avoid that part of the 4th Step Inventory).

In Step 8 -- I began to review my list from Step 4. And, I discovered people and things that had been left out of my Step 4, but they, too, had been harmed. So, in Step 8, I added them to the list that I already had started.

Then, in Step 8, as it instructs -- I became WILLING to make amends to them all. Some of them, I was NOT WILLING to make -- but, I made them anyway. :lol:

What's more important for me "to be willing to do the right thing" is to "just do the right thing regardless if I'm willing or not."

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Postby Jebtion12345 » Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:41 pm

Thanks Dallas :D
Yes, the cat mentioned on my 8th appeared on my fourth. At one point I had actually resented this sweet cat due to my jealousy of my ex's attention to her. As a result I was not the kindest step dad to her :cry:
So I had to put her on the list of those I harmed (I used the worksheets on here). My sponsor is a big time cat person and I was so relieved while doing the 5th she did not admonish me at all!
So my kitty cat I now parent gives me a new shot and being the best version of me possible and showing up for her :)
Thanks for taking the time Dallas

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