Our lives evolve around relationships, mostly with other humans. Some are our peers, some our subordinates, and some are our superiors. Relationships do not happen on their own, even if both parties desire it.
The best example is the relationship that develops between spouses. We date, we court each other, we get engaged, we marry. We slowly build up a level of trust and love that are the glue of our relation. As the years go by we either strengthen that bond, or, if we do nothing, it slowly deteriorates.
Sometimes we can look back at five years of marriage and realize that we did not live up to the vows that we exchanged during our wedding ceremony. We may have lied, we may have cheated, and we may have stolen. Stolen money, stolen time, stolen sleep, stolen intimacy, stolen trust. There might be a major crisis where one spouse threatens to leave, or files for divorce.
So now we sit and give a deep look at ourselves. What are the things that I did that contributed to this situation? What are the things that I didn't do that brought about this crisis? When I find out what it is, I feel remorseful and repentant. I want to change myself so I can be a great spouse. I want to rectify all the wrongs, I want to go back to that moment five years ago when I promised to love.
Let's say that I am successful at fixing the past, I was able to reconnect with my spouse and reconcile our differences. Now what? Should I just start again where I stopped five years ago? Is it enough for the new me to be satisfied with having my relationship back? Or maybe I need to commit now to a greater level of love, to a deeper level of trust. If the rope snapped and I was able to stitch the cord back together, should I be satisfied and hope for the best, or should I now look for way to double-knot it so it doesn't fall apart again?
We damaged our relationship with G_d by acting out on our character defects. We cheated, lied, stole and abused His trust. Until step 9 we are just working on damage control. We are fixing the booboos of the past. Once that is completed, we have to contemplate and plan the rest of our lives with G_d. What we have done until now isn't sufficient. What others are doing is not enough. The only way we can stay in the relationship is if we invest our efforts into growing it beyond what is normal and acceptable. We must improve our conscious contact with G_d.