Step 8: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
Principle - Brotherly Love
We have to live a spiritual life, not just believe in it.
Now that we're willing to make amends to everyone who is on our list, it's time to actually approach those people and make our peace. Remember, we approach these people in a spirit of peace, focusing on cleaning our side of the street. We don't concern ourselves with what they have done or what amends they owe us. This step is for us, so that we may be free of the resentments, guilt and shame that bind us and sometimes feed our addictive gaming behavior. Remember that excessive gaming was just a symptom of a deeper problem; beneath it are layers, and sometimes, years of pain involving unresolved, troublesome issues with people. When these relationships became bothersome or when the thought of them brought us down, the more we plunged into addictive game behavior to drown out the painful memories that haunted us. But now is our opportunity to be freed from the stronghold of resentment, unforgiveness or shame and guilt that we've had about hurting someone else.
So how do we go about making those amends? First it is important to note the phrase "when to do so would injure them or others". Say we have a spouse with whom we have been dishonest, perhaps an affair was involved. If the spouse has no inkling of such event, then it would be better not to tell them, since doing so would cause devastation. To keep this information from them is not a matter of dishonesty but more adhering to the rule, "when to do so would injure them or others". Remember, included also in the list of those who could be injured are ourselves. When it may hurt another person to make a direct amends, we may write a letter to God asking for forgiveness and healing of the other person.
There may be situations when we are not quite up to making our amends, and if the other person holds a great deal of resentment against us, they may treat us offensively, thus provoking us to respond in defense, offense or some unkind manner. If we feel that we are still weak, unable to handle the worst reaction from those whom we are going to approach, then we are better off waiting, and doing so would qualify under the exception of "when to do so would injure them or others", where "others" would be ourselves.
Now in terms of making direct amends, we simply approach the person in a spirit of peace and forgiveness (if they have offended us), and we simply give them an apology for whatever wrongdoings we have done or pain we have caused in their lives. If you find that the person is amiable and accepting, you may want to add the reason for your apology -- that you have had problems with compulsive game playing and that you are now following a spiritual program of recovery.
What about those situations where we have held unkind thoughts towards others without them knowing? In such cases, it may not be necessary to make a verbal amend. A changed attitude and improved behavior towards the person is good enough.
Remember that there will be cases when the person will not accept you in a spirit of forgiveness, but this must not stop you from making your amend(s), unless of course the exception applies. If in doubt, consult with your OLGA sponsor or another member of OLGA who has done this step.
We begin to see "The Promises" within our lives.
We begin to feel self worth, self respect, dignity, honor, and love for self and others.
We are no longer controlled by our secrets. We moved from the darkness into the light.
We accept life on life's terms with a renewed sense of inner peace.
Best wishes on your amends!
a) Using old records, telephone books, people you know, and the Internet, tell how you plan too seek out the persons listed in Step 8a above and make direct amends to them, except when to do so would injure them or others. If the person has died, write a letter to that person, and ask for their forgiveness, than burn the letter.
b) Write out and recite a prayer to your Higher Power to help you be willing to make direct amends to the people listed in Step 8b above.
c) Describe how it makes you feel to be unwilling to make amends to each person listed in Column 8b.
1/24/2015 Formatted for new website. Liz W.