Thought: ‘Everyone longs for forgiveness. Who will you forgive today?’
As number Eight of the Twelve Steps we “Made a list of all persons we have harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.”
It is essential as part of any process in relationships that we seek reconciliation.
But “it’s not all about me”. Our focus is so often on the wrongs we have done that our shame and guilt risks becoming self-centred and self-indulgent.
The Christian “Lord’s Prayer” speaks of fairness and reciprocity. If the Christian is to expect forgiveness from God then the deal is that he has to be ready to forgive others.
So maybe there should be a Step 8½: “Made a list of all persons who have harmed us, and became willing to forgive them all.”
Never underestimate the power of your own resentment and bitterness to block your road to recovery.
And people with whom you are reconciled and “friends again” become another source of support and encouragement, even if that comes only from the comfort of removing one more focus of stress.
Forgiving others makes you feel better (and makes you a better person) but it’s not all about you – it’s about offering the reconciliation that brings them comfort, support and closure.