Now that we are free of the force of our addiction (see Steps One through Seven) we are fortified with the force of our beginning to heal from the addictive race for money. Good thing, because Whoa! here is Step Eight: we
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
Can you imagine doing this for those you’ve harmed by your addiction to money?
Me neither. So I got support: here are some great words and more from alcoholics, alcoholics, and other addicts who have worked and counseled others to work Step Eight. (You can see my digest of tips below.)
Here is a start at my Step Eight list, in no particular order. I have harmed, in my race for money (and in that race, my sacrifice of all I listed in Step Four*)
- my child
- each of my former partners in different ways
- the people who make cheap consumer goods I have bought rather than buying goods from companies that pay a truly living and usually unionized wage to people to make those goods
- employers and customers on jobs where I hated the work but “needed the money.”
I’m lucky that I don’t have debt. If you have harmed others through debting, it goes on your list. For debting, you could work with financial organizer and counselor West Beth (as we call this soul-colleague) and/or with me, moneycoaching.
Digest of Tips for Working Step Eight
- Separate Step Eight into two parts: make a list + become willing (actually making amends is in Step Nine)
- Use divine timing (intuition, work with a sponsor or advisor or trusted friend) to help you identify when to make your amends, in what order, and to help you identify how, so you make nothing worse and receive the promises of Step Eight (see promises at bottom of this link)
- It’s ok to write a letter to someone who has died to whom you want to make amends. You can even read it aloud to a trusted friend
- It’s not best to put yourself on the list, and surely not at the top, though it is normal to put yourself on the “searching and fearless moral inventory” you made in Step Four (mine’s on display in Step Five)
- A starter grid (+ sample list) to help us name people we’ve harmed, and how we’ve harmed them, is here
- A list of what is meant by “harm” is here, for we who need that spelled out
- It gets easier after this and Step Nine, in which you actually make amends
- You don’t have to think of all of them at first, this can be a long-term thing and usually is
- Make easier amends first and use the energy you get from that to fuel you to make more
- When we do Step Eight, “rarely do we fail to make satisfactory progress.” (See the very bottom of that link.)
*”Here it is [my Step Four moral inventory], my start at feeling and acknowledging all I abandoned of my precious self to the Great God Capitalism (the chase for money, remember, not money itself): my self-esteem, my identity, my reason for existence, my intrinsic goodness, my worth, my knowing what needed to be done next for real (whatever made the most money, right?), my friendships, my interests.
Here is the link to all Twelve Steps at a website written for folks with any type of addiction.