The more I learn of others’ problems, the more my own problems automatically dissolve.
–Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche
The second part of Step Eight says, "became willing to make amends to them all." I have to admit that this is a lot harder for me than simply recognizing that I’ve caused harm. I don’t know if I’m ready to talk to certain people.
The willingness to make amends to everyone we’ve harmed, even those who may have harmed us, is something that we don’t have to force or strive for. We become willing as part of yet another gradual process in recovery. We have begun to recognize that everything is interrelated, that whatever we’ve done to others, we’ve also done in some measure to ourselves. This is true not only of any harm that we’ve done, but also of the compassion that we’ve begun to feel. As we come to understand the impact of addiction on our lives, as we release our secrets and are met with gentleness and understanding, as we participate in the healing laughter at meetings, we replace old feelings of shame with compassion. Our new capacity to feel compassion for ourselves restores and revitalizes our understanding and care for others.
We become willing to make amends when we realize that in doing so, we are healing ourselves.
Today, I cultivate openness and compassion toward others.
You are reading from the book:
If You Want What We Have by Joan Larkin
If You Want What We Have. Copyright 1998 by Joan Larkin. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without the written permission of Hazelden.