Making A List

Making a List

Blog – 3-29-17

The song for Step 8 is fun and sassy, and I can’t wait for you to hear it. Think bluesy like Bonnie Raitt! Doing what Step 8 asks us to do, however, is definitely NOT something I would call fun.

That’s why Rachel and I very intentionally wrote the song with a whole lot of attitude. It’s a bold step, and the song needed to be bold as well.

Step 8 reads, “We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.”

Say what? You want me to write down everyone I’ve hurt. Seriously?

I could easily write a list of people that have hurt me. Give me a pad of paper and we’re off to the races. But people I’ve hurt? No thank you!

Can you relate?

The verse that goes with Step 8 makes it clear why it’s so important. It says:

Do unto others as you would have them do to you.
Luke 6:31

This step requires intense honesty and gut-level self-reflection. It requires us to get past the “but-she-hurt-me-first” excuses that keep us from being real about our own part in negative situations. It requires a huge amount of that pesky little thing called humility we talked about in last week’s blog in order to actually write that list.

The problem is we are human, so our natural tendency is to justify our actions or reactions to people in life based on their behaviors. “Well, they snapped at me, so it’s no big deal that I said what I said.”

“They started it.”

“They make me so mad when they do that.”

Here is a little nugget of truth to chew on: no one can MAKE you mad. You choose to be mad. You choose to react in anger. You choose to say harsh words.

I know it doesn’t feel like you have a choice to not react in anger when you’re in the middle of the fire, but you absolutely, positively do have a choice.

It’s easier to hang our hat on the belief that we don’t have that choice, that we have to fire back anger for anger, but that’s simply not true.

Once that truth settles deep in our soul and we get real about our part in negative encounters, the list for Step 8 becomes easy to write. The list of people we have harmed grows by leaps and bounds when the justification for our negative behaviors is taken away.

I think about how my sharp tongue can seem harmless when it’s coming out of my mouth, yet it cuts like a knife when someone else speaks to me in the same tone…Do unto others.

I try to exercise more patience with slow service at a crowded restaurant when I pay attention to how quickly my waitress is running around…Do unto others.

I hold back that comment I’m about to make to one of my kids when I remember how I felt when I received a similar comment from my Mom…Do unto others.

On the flip side, I remember to say something encouraging to my husband when I remember how good I felt when he complimented me the day before…Do unto others.

Step 8 is hard, it’s painful, it’s ugly, it’s not for the faint of heart, but it can be life-changing as you get real about your own behaviors and honestly reflect on your behavior.

So when you finally do get a chance to hear the songs on the new CD, which will be very soon, let the sassy attitude of the music make you bold enough to look closely at your life and the people you have hurt along the way. Then start praying for the willingness to say two simple words…I’m sorry.

Here are the lyrics for “Making a List.”

Making a List
Words and music by Jill Miller and Rachel Barrentine ©2016

Verse 1:
I’m staring at this blank paper
It’s staring right back at me
I wish there was a fix that came easy
But redemption ain’t free

I see the faces of people
The ones I’ve hurt on the way
It’s time to put their names on this page
No better day to be brave

Chorus:
I’m making a list and checking it twice
Gonna ask for forgiveness to set things right
I won’t forget what you said to do
Do unto others as you want them to do unto you

Verse 2:
It’s time to get my hands dirty
I gotta keep this thing real
Push through regret and shame that I’m feeling
I gotta face it to heal

Chorus
I’m making a list and checking it twice
Gonna ask for forgiveness to set things right
I won’t forget what you said to do
Do unto others as you want them to do unto you

Bridge:
Forgive, reset, it’s never too late for that
Make peace, move on, dig deep to right the wrongs
Lay down my pride, we all mess up sometimes
Make amends, believe there’s a fresh start for me

Chorus
I’m making a list and checking it twice
Gonna ask for forgiveness to set things right
I won’t forget what you said to do
Do unto others as you want them to do unto you

Hugs and love,

Jill

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