“The Eighth Step offers a big change from a life dominated by guilt and remorse.”
Basic Text, p. 39
Remorse was one of the feelings that kept us using. We had stumbled our way through active addiction, leaving a trail of heartbreak and devastation too painful to consider. Our remorse was often intensified by our perception that we couldn’t do anything about the damage we had caused; there was no way to make it right.
We remove some of the power of remorse when we face it squarely. We begin the Eighth Step by actually making a list of all the people we have harmed. We own our part in our painful past.
But the Eighth Step does not ask us to make right all of our mistakes, merely to become willing to make amends to all those people. As we become willing to clean up the damage we’ve caused, we acknowledge our readiness to change. We affirm the healing process of recovery.
Remorse is no longer an instrument we use to torture ourselves. Remorse has become a tool we can use to achieve self-forgiveness.
Just for today: I will use any feelings of remorse I may have as a stepping-stone to healing through the Twelve Steps.
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