Recovery/12 Steps Series – Step 8

How to Walk the 12 Steps with the HuMethod™ Article 9

Made a List of All Persons We Had Harmed

And Became Willing to Make Amends to Them All …

By Forgiving My Self and Others

By Certified Life Coach Deborah Giddings

Namasté soul friends,

Before I could actually take this step there were many processes I needed to understand and work through.  First, I made the list.  Because the list had everyone I ever met on it, I then discussed the list with my sponsor so I could ‘right-size’ it and really identify who had incurred harm and who didn’t.  Second, I went over the list and asked the God of my understanding to help me become willing to make amends.  This part was more difficult because I didn’t know what it took to become willing, and I didn’t know what amends was.  Thirdly, I needed to trust and have faith that by doing this my life would be restored to sanity.

By reviewing the list with my sponsor I learned that one of my core beliefs was that I didn’t deserve to be loved.  This meant that my ego mind took every action I took and told me that I needed to be sorry. I spent almost the first half of my life saying “I’m sorry” and every time I said that, my ego reinforced my belief that I didn’t deserve to be loved.  In Step 7, when I used the HuMethod™ exercise of Dis-creation, I was able to see where my ego had me in a struggle between my divine ability to be a conscious creator, and my mental roadblocks and emotional baggage (resistance), and therefore kept me walking the same path over and over again.  No wonder I had every person I ever met on my list!!!

I was eager to find relief from the pain I had been living in but I still didn’t know what ‘willing’ meant.  I learned that to become willing I needed to accept what happened so I could detach from the story my ego mind kept trying to get me to relive. Accepting isn’t condoning what happened, but looking at what happened as a witness/observer and accepting “what is” as is so I could detach from the painful memories.  This took some time as I had to review the payoff I was getting by not accepting (i.e.,
people felt sorry for me and I got attention which my ego disguised as ‘love’).  Once I accepted and validated what happened, I needed to forgive because I didn’t want to keep reliving the trauma over and over again and stay connected to the pain of the past.  I tried ‘turning the other cheek’ and being magnanimous about forgiving, and I learned that this wasn’t forgiving at all.  It was just another form of judgment.  I was still attached to the pain.

Amends was another word that I had difficulty with because I thought amends meant saying “I’m sorry” and after saying I’m sorry to everyone for everything, and nothing changed, saying “I’m sorry” didn’t feel right to me.  So I learned that amends means “to change”.  So when I make amends it means that I am going to change my thoughts, words, and deeds which would in turn change the relationship.  I had to accept that I may never have a Spiritual Relationship with the person, based on truth and
integrity, but that my ego would no longer hold ME hostage.  Learning how to Self-parent my Self, in Step 3, and having good Boundaries really helped with making this change.

When I incorporated the HuMethod™ Forgiveness exercise with my 8th, this step really changed me.  Experiencing the forgiveness exercise finally released me from the blame, shame, victim game. I came out of this exercise detached from the trauma and past hurts and felt a freedom that I never knew existed. During this entire exercise, I didn’t have to condone what happened, but that I could detach myself from the painful feelings.  By forgiving I’ve released myself from the pain and trauma of the past because I accept and validate that what happened, happened.  My ego mind is out of a job because I am no longer resisting.

By not accepting I was repressing, suppressing, minimizing or denying my feelings, and until when I could final accept “what is” as is, I was able to feel my feelings.  I can then forgive and release the toxic energy that has kept me tied to them. It’s like cutting the rope that I had around people.  I’d throw people into the river with every fear and resentment, but because we were  connected, I’d go right in the river with them.  I learned how to love the person but hate the disease that caused them to act the way they did.

Today, because of the HuMethod™ Forgiveness exercise, along with setting healthy boundaries, I’ve learned to remember the lesson and forget the experience.

Today my life force energy is freed up so I can experience my birthright of Joy.  Since I am made of love, it is only natural that the real me is love.  When I set my Self free, I am able to be what I am – love.

If you are interested in learning more about Forgiveness click onto any of the hyperlinks in this article or log onto Holistic Learning Center’s website and remember to…

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Join me next time as I share how I learned to make amends using the HuMethod™ exercise of Responsibility Communication along with Step 9.    Keep coming – it works if you work it!

Deborah Giddings, CSLC and Recovery Trainer

If you seek Recovery Coaching help for yourself or for a family member, if you are an HLC CSLC or CIT, an addiction counselor or a recovery coach, or if you are in Al-Anon, AA, OA, GA, NA, SLAA and you want to mastermind with Deborah you can contact Deborah directly via her email Deborah is also available for speaking engagements to share how her recovery journey was transformed by emotionalizing the HuMethod™ exercises.