Step 8: We considered any hurt we may have caused others while we ourselves were in pain, and we made direct amends where appropriate.
We recognize that on our journey, like others, we may have made mistakes, caused hurt and taken our pain out on those closest people to us. At times when we misdirected our anger and pain we often created memories that we regret and wish we could take back. In moving forward, we attempt to make amends for those wrongs and the hurt that we have caused to others. We look at our behavior with honesty and compassion and consider if any hurt that we caused to others still plays on our minds. We often also caused pain unintentionally when we used old coping mechanisms to deal with our own struggle. We need to have the strength to look outside of ourselves and look at the secondary victims of the abuse such as our kids, our parents, our family, our partners and our friends. We did the best we could with the knowledge and the skills that we had at the time, but now we know better so we admit the hurt we caused to others.
Guilt is an emotion that can hinder our progress. When we carry guilt because of hurt we may have caused to others then it weighs on our mind and we feel less deserving of recovery. Sometimes it can help to try make amends to those people once we are in a strong enough place to address it. We are human and it is impossible to never cause hurt. Owning our mistakes and addressing them can be very empowering and healing. Sometimes making amends may not be appropriate and that is ok too. The most important thing is to learn from mistakes and to try get to a place where we forgive ourselves for the pain that we may have caused in our past.
This step encourages us to basically make peace with ourselves and say sorry for the times in our lives that we got it wrong. Doing this may also give closure and reduce our resentment against ourselves. Owning our mistakes brings us closer to maturity and having the ability to admit the times when we did wrong and attempting to make amends make us a better person. We try to make this step without excuses and as honestly as possible. We are all imperfect beings living in an imperfect world, each of us will mess up , it’s what we learn from the experience that matters.
“Sometimes we hurt people that love us and we love people that hurt us” Kendrick Lamar