How often do I have to think about this step? I guess as often as I harm people. But, you know, like, really harm people. Stuff that I need to make amends for; not the day-to-day belligerence and sour eggs I serve up as point of order. The little nicks and cuts I toss out like yesterday’s coffee? That’s my sweet spot, my hole in the doughnut.
Step 8: made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
If I think it would both look and feel stupid to spend my day apologizing the moment I recognized harm was being implicated, that’s true only because of the volume. It would come off as though I had some sort of spastic tick or something. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Besides, isn’t this moment-to-moment stuff reserved for step ten?
Well, yes and no. Throughout my time interacting with the world and the people around me, one thing is clear: we hurt each other, usually with me going first. And it’s the little build-ups, the slow-but-steady annoyances, that eventually will transport me to the Land of Far Beyond the Pale. I, of course, will view my banishment as only the wrong-sized martyr can: for the sake of the whole, I shall become the scapegoat.
Different dynamics are at play, depending on my surroundings. Fortunately, I know that most of my immediate reactions are inappropriate, regardless of the situation. Little frustrations grow into “where’d that come from?” moments, leaving me exposed as the fear-based being I am. The sad part is that no one looks at my antics and thinks, “what a poor, misunderstood genius”. They just think, “what an asshole.”
For today: Catch myself. The more right things done, the less asking for forgiveness. And most times, the right thing to do is nothing.