This stuff sort of popped into my mind while meditating this morning.
It's no mistake that Steps 8 and 9 follow Step 7 (other than the order of numbers, of course lol). What I mean is that the content of the 12 Steps is in the order it's in for a purpose. In Steps 8 and 9, we make a list of the people we've harmed, becoming willing to make amends to them, and then go out and make amends directly to those people. For the record, I'd like to consult dictionary.com.
"to change for the better; improve; to amend one's ways"
"to remove or correct faults in, rectify"
"to grow or become better be reforming oneself"
to make amends:
"to compensate, as for an injury, loss or insult"
"reparation or compensation for a loss, damage or injury of any kind; recompense"
The order of the Steps is important here because this process cannot happen in random fashion. Before we can make amends, we must first have an honest, reasonable opinon of ourselves. I had to know the truth about Scott before I could make efective amends (Steps 6 and 7). We gain humility by examining the details of our life (Steps 4 and 5) in an effort to determine where we've gone "off course" and why. In order to make amends, I have to know right from wrong, and how my behaviour fits into that scale. (Step 3, God's will for us) I have to have developed a "right-sized" opinion of myself. I have to know the truth about Scott, if I am to set myself free from making the same mistakes I've always made ( this is truly making amends).
Once we go through this process and being making amends, we begin to have a truer perspective of ourselves and of the world in which we live. And so then, real, lasting sobriety begins to take over and the promises (I think of them as results) from pg. 83 in our Big Book become apparent in our lives.
For me, my most important amends is to fix my relationship with God, and then with myself. I had spent a lifetime hurting and offending God, and hurting myself. However, it was much easier to make amends with those around me, and let the process of healing my relationship with God and myself take a longer course. I am still on that course of healing today. I believe this is a lifetime process. At least, that is how it is unfolding for me.