Step 8, and the Willingness to Make Amends

Healing starts when we begin believing there is something to hope for.

Thought for today:

When we talk about harms done as compulsive debtors, we should probably put ourselves at the top of the list of those affected.  Years of compulsive debting can leave us feeling ashamed, scared, and frustrated.  The debts we incurred may take time to sort out.

Our creditors suffered, too.  They expected to be paid on time and weren’t.  They set up terms that we didn’t abide by.  They may not know where they stand.

Family and friends were also affected by our compulsion to debt as well.

Step Eight asks us to look at these harms, and to be willing to work on healing the damage we have done.

A member shares:

“My kids went to school without proper clothing or school supplies because we had overspent during the summer months.  Creditors called all the time, and I would promise to repay when I knew I couldn’t.

“In DA, I needed to write the situations that my debting had caused. I named my children and spouse and the effects they felt.  I listed all the debt collectors and their phone numbers and amounts I owed.

“With that list in hand, I was able to meet with my Pressure Relief Group to work out a Spending Plan that put our needs first, and an Action Plan to contact creditors.”

DA Step 8:

Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.

Humility:

Making a list and becoming willing is all that this Step asks of us. It is not asking us to contact anyone or take any other action yet.

If we want solvency, we need to know the scope of our indebtedness, and we need to acknowledge the people we harmed.  We need to find our truth before we can find our solution.

Once we put these things on paper, we can communicate with fellow DAs who can help bring perspective and help us work out a new plan for living.

Ask:

Am I willing to make amends?

Meditation for today:

Some say the word humility means to know the truth about oneself, and to know that we are not the center of the universe.

When we find humility, we become freer.  We no longer need to prove anything.  We acknowledge that we are human with weaknesses and strengths.  We no longer prop ourselves up with pride, hiding our wrongdoings.  We can deal with the truth.

Affirmation for today:

“I am a loving, capable person.  I don’t have to do life perfectly.  I just have to show up and do my best.”

Recommended reading: 

DA’s Eighth Tool is D.A. and A.A. Literature: “We study the literature of Debtors Anonymous and of Alcoholics Anonymous to strengthen our understanding of compulsive disease and of recovery from compulsive debting.”

Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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