From the October 1965 magazine.

Amends

There is more to taking the Eighth and Ninth Steps than squaring things with other people

A LITTLE rigorous honesty will reveal to any alcoholic that he "roared like a tornado through the lives of other people." But when you start making a list of people you have harmed do you put your own name on the list? You are apt to be the person you most harmed. You are very likely the one in most need of repair. This is selfish you say? I think not. Remember the old lines: "To thine own self be true, and it must follow as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man."

First things first. Make amends--but start where the trouble starts, with yourself. Learn to forgive yourself, then you can forgive others. Accept yourself, and then others will begin to accept you. Feeling accepted--or rejected--is important to us alcoholics. As drinkers we often experienced rejection, so often that we developed hair-trigger reflexes. Despite our present abstinence from alcohol, these reflexes are still with us. We're quick to sense rejection, real or fancied, and this breeds resentment. AA experience, as well as the words of our Big Book, tell us that resentment is one emotion an alcoholic can not afford.

-- Dr. Hal S.

Hollywood, California

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