For steps seven through nine we begin to clean up the garbage we left behind us during our addict days. Let's just say there's a lot of cleaning up to do and this process is one that needs to be repeated many times through your working the steps. As you approach these steps the first time, be gentle with yourself and don't attempt to "do it all" the first time around. The Big Book suggest that we be "fearless and thorough" from the very start but, I must caution newcomers that being too overconfident has lead many a newcomer into relapse and worse into death. So, I suggest taking it easy and going slow with this part of the steps. The past is difficult. We hurt many people during our addiction and it will take more than one attempt to make it right. Ultimately, it will take us changing and living a lifestyle different than the one we lived before. Remember, actions speak louder than words. Your words have been hollowed out by your empty promises, lies, and despair that the addiction encapsulated you in. The best way to make amends to the people, places and things in your life is to become a new person in Christ and become a living example of generosity, responsibility and respect for yourself, your family and the world.
In step seven, we humbly ask God to remove our shortcomings. This is an important step because it requires working in conjunction with God on our faults and finding a way to overcome them through an inner power known as our Higher Power. When ready, according to the Big Book, we should say the seventh step prayer: "My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen." After saying this prayer and releasing to God our shortcomings on a daily basis, we have completed step seven.

Step eight asks us to become willing to make amends to people we have harmed and to make a list of those people. Remember, "Faith without works is dead." This is where we get to the business of cleaning up our past. There are many AA and NA related booklets and forms which can assist in the process of creating your list. Doreen Virtue suggests just writing a list of everyone you harbor resentment towards and start from there. You can make it as simple or as complex as you'd like.
The ninth step is where we actually make the amends to the people we are resenting or to whom we have hurt or injured. The only exception to this rule is if to make amends would injure them or others. The ninth step is an action step. It's where we put our feet to the pavement and actually do some leg-work for our sobriety. It is tough work but the rewards we gain are miraculous: we stay sober.
With God working to clear our character defects, with our lists in-tact and while we are working to clean up the past, there is a spiritual awakening brewing in us. In the next edition, I will discuss steps ten through twelve where amazing things begin to happen in sobriety, even for newcomers! Stay tuned...

Author's Bio: 

angelmoonfairy is a UC Berkeley graduate and a trained Reiki Master and certified CA credentialed teacher. She is a psychic reader and healer specializing in angel readings and reiki attunements.