The Eighth Step is talking about a change of heart, a healing change.
This attitude can begin a great chain of repair and healing in our relationships with others and ourselves. It means we become willing to let go of our hard-heartedness—one of the greatest blocks to our ability to give and receive love.
In the Eighth Step, we make a list of all people we have harmed, and we allow ourselves to experience a healing attitude toward them. It is an attitude of love.
We do not, in this Step, dash madly about and begin yelling, “Sorry!” We make our list, not to feel guilty but to facilitate healing. Before we actually make amends or begin to consider appropriate amends, we allow ourselves to change our attitude. That is where healing begins—within us.
It can change the energy. It can change the dynamics. It can begin the process, before we ever open our mouths and say sorry.
It opens the door to love. It opens the door to the energy of love and healing. It enables us to release negative feelings and energy, and opens the door to positive feelings and energy.
That energy can be felt around the world, and it starts inside us.
How often have we, after we have been hurt, wished that the person would simply recognize our pain and say, “I’m sorry”? How often have we wished that the person would simply see us, hear us, and turn the energy of love our way? How often have we longed for at least a change of heart, a small dose of reconciliation, in relationships tainted by unfinished business and bad feelings? Often.
Others do too. It is no secret. The energy of healing begins with us. Our willingness to make amends may or may not benefit the other person; he or she may or may not be willing to put matters to rest.
But we become healed. We become capable of love.
Today, I will work on a change of heart if hard-heartedness, defensiveness, guilt, or bitterness are present. I will become willing to let go of those feelings and have them replaced by the healing energy of love.
From the book: The Language of Letting Go: Hazelden Meditation Series
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