Taking Names And Making Lists

I like lists.

I like watching all the year end best-of lists that come out every December.

I have a Goodreads account that lets me make lists of books to read, have read, and currently reading.

I have a list in my mind of favorite songs, favorite movies, and favorite performers (which is constantly changing).

I have a list in my mind of favorite athletes (which changes less frequently).

I have a list of favorite Bible verse and church songs (which changes based on the day and the topic).

I like to make to do lists. They help keep me organized and I feel accomplished as I cross each item off the list.

I make pro and con lists when faced with challenging decisions.

So far, this post is just a list of the lists I like!

But the list I put the most effort into was the list I made of people I had harmed. I wrote by name the people I knew I had treated poorly: those I had lied to, those I spoke harshly about, those people who didn’t even know I had done something wrong to them, those people I betrayed. I wrote down all of their names.

(Quick side note: this is part of the 12 step process; it is step 8. I worked on this step with my sponsor–not on my own. If you have not begun the process that begins with self-reflection and reliance on God, do not start here. And do not do this on your own. You need a sponsor or spiritual guide to work with you at this point.)

The process of making that list was humbling. I was more and more coming to grips with what I had done and was now ready to take responsibility for it. I had hurt people–sometimes accidentally, but quite often intentionally.

Listing the names took the process out of my head and put it onto paper. I could no longer avoid. I could no longer pretend. The names were there.

The next step in the process was simultaneously the most difficult and the most healing.

One thought on “Taking Names And Making Lists

  1. 40 Day Journey: 5th Sunday Wrap-Up – A Second Time Paul

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