Spiritual Coaching Vol 2 #212 The List…. http://www.dennymeyer.me
Are you a list maker? Lots of people make lists of things they need to remember, things they need to get at the store, gifts they want to buy, bucket lists of places they want to go, and it goes on and on. What about people you have harmed? Oh, my, that is quite another story. In the list of our endless lists, Advent brings an awareness of the need to “off-load” some of the hurts we have caused. Here is the sad truth – “irregular” people – the people who are pronoid – don’t think they have hurt anyone. They think everyone likes them and what they do is always the right thing. I submit to you, if you think this, you are wrong. All of us cause hurt and harm. So the next step we take on the road to mental, spiritual, and emotional well-being is:
Make a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
This is almost steps within a step. Making the list may not be easy but making amends calls for some serious strategizing. Notice it says “become williing” – One rule that must be followed: Do not “make amends” or go to the person if it will cause them more harm. Don’t do this just to ease your conscience. They do not deserve to be hurt again. What if the person has passed away? I’ve heard of people writing letters and not sending them or sending them with no address or even making entries in their diaries or journals. The point here is that we search our thoughts and minds to see who it is that we have harmed or hurt and “if possible” we make amends – we try to make it right.
I can remember a man who came to me many years ago. He had said some very nasty things to me as he was going through the midst of a divorce. They we uncalled for, rude, and hurtful. I had no chance to respond or discuss any of his feelings with him. He would not have listened anyway. Several years later I got a phone call from this person. I was apprehensive but met with him. He had been battling alcoholism, which was part of the reason he was divorced. We spoke and he made amends by apologizing to me for his remarks. I did not minimize what he had said and I did not say, Don’t worry about it. I accepted his apology and actually prayed with him. He was healing – he was moving on. The stories you will tell may not be so dramatic but they will be just as meaningful and healing.