Home Steps Connection Bridge

Connection Bridge

5 min read

Step Eight: Made a list of all persons we had harmed and become willing to make amends to them all.

The list of people I had harmed was very fresh in my mind the day I walked into OA. In fact, it was branded on my conscience and burned fiercely as shame whenever I encountered someone I had harmed. But the first miracle was that God put the making of this list way down in the Steps so I had time to realize what he meant me to do.

A typical compulsive, I attempted my first amends before even reading the First Step. You can imagine the comic tragedy this provided my sponsor as I came back weeping and bewildered.

The list would have to wait.

By the time my sponsor requested I find pencil and paper, a good deal of my ego had been purged. I listened carefully to make sure this part of my recovery went well, and my sponsor brought me to a place where I could be present for those who are part of my life’s journey. The essence of Step Eight is brotherly love. It is not guilt removal but for offering ourselves to those we love.

The essence of this wonderful program is to make me a part of the world my Higher Power created, so I must connect and reconnect with those he sent into his world with me. The timing of this truly belongs to God. It isn’t mine to force, but I can be prepared when God puts someone in front of me.

Making amends does not mean saying “I’m sorry.” It means rebuilding a bridge of love between two people in God’s kingdom. I had a lot of mending of the past to do and a real need to come clean. But something happened when I became willing: I was fully free to be the me I’d always wanted. The transformations of Steps One through Seven built a person I could be proud of, one that others could choose to connect with, and not the broken wretch they’d lived with for so long.

Step Eight was important for me, not only to sweep the pain of the past, but also to build better, more loving relationships. Even in cases where direct amends were not possible, I could remain at rest. I had guidance and was provided with everything I needed to be whole and alive.

I found my list many years later and looked upon it with tear-soaked eyes. Each name no longer signified the pains of the past but instead the joy of today and the gift of brotherly love. Thank you, dear Lord, for the gift of Step Eight. And thank you, my sponsor, for guiding me.

— Edited and reprinted from Looking Up newsletter, Tri-County Intergroup, August 2015


  • From Great Fall to Grateful

    I would like to tell you how I think the character, Humpty Dumpty, can be like some compul…
  • Eight Other Tools

    Here I sit, self-quarantined in the middle of a viral pandemic after returning home from t…
  • Learning More Each Day

    After several starts, I found myself knowing that OA was for me, thanks to the acceptance …
Load More Related Articles
  • Low-Tech Outreach

    I am on my intergroup’s public information committee. We make flyers with a tear-off porti…
  • Available to Everyone

    Here are a few ways I carry the message to other compulsive overeaters. I print out OA’s C…
  • Radio-Active

    I was listening to a commentary about obesity on our local radio station. The commentator …
Load More By admin
  • Reach Out: Support Within

    Every December 12, OA groups and service boards around the world are encouraged to plan ev…
  • Carried Clearly

    I was recently at an OA retreat in my area with the theme “Carrying the Message,” and one …
  • Meditation and Awakening

    Like many in OA, I found that my compulsion to overeat originated in childhood. I came fro…
Load More In Steps
Comments are closed.

Check Also

Low-Tech Outreach

I am on my intergroup’s public information committee. We make flyers with a tear-off porti…