Forgiveness is important today in my recovery because holding onto grudges only affects you in the long run. No matter how hard the situation is, it takes courage to forgive. There has been instances in my life where I held on to certain resentments and would not forgive. I held onto them until they turned into a poison, hurting me daily. When I finally found the courage to find forgiveness, it was a complete relief to let go of that baggage. I am the type of guy that holds a lot of grudges and usually needs the motivation to let them go. South Orange County Detox & Treatment (SOCD) and Salina have helped me identify and let go of these grudges. Although I am not perfect and still have a lot of work to continuously do, letting go and finding forgiveness has helped me focus on the goal at hand. To stay clean and find recovery. Without SOCD.I would be stuck in a constant state of pity and anger.
Forgiveness is a process that starts with myself. The first step in the right direction is being able to look at all my wrongs towards those I have hurt. In order to forgive myself I need to take full responsibility for my wrong doings unto others. I’ve blamed others for so long, having not owned any of my difficulties has made it easy for me to continue in denial. Starting forgiveness with myself means taking a look at my actions and behaviors and being able to accept that I cannot live like that no longer. I feel that the act of forgiving myself is and can be much more rewarding and freeing the further in my recovery I go. Forgiving and asking for forgiveness from my family and loved ones is difficult to do, yet hard to ignore. I feel forgiveness with my son is what weighs the heaviest. My Son means the world to me and accepting the fact that I haven’t been around for him is difficult but now that I’m on the journey of recovery the process of forgiveness has already taken place.
Forgiveness is a process but is also very rewarding. Forgiving myself is the first step I need to make when it comes to asking others for their forgiveness and proceeding with forgiving others. The progress I have made with making amends makes forgiving myself easier as the days go by. I feel gratitude when I know I’m able to forgive myself and others for any wrongs doings. I remember taking everything personally and not wanting to process the situation, the behaviors, or the actions I took with the way I felt. I lived a life of blaming everyone and everything for how miserable I was. But now I am able to reflect and this all began with being willing. Forgiveness isn’t just rewarding, its freeing myself of negativity. Its letting go of bad blood and moving forward in life. Forgiveness has given me progress with my loved ones, the people I hurt most and had pushed all my difficulties onto. Through all of it they only wanted a better life for me and this I can now understand. My recovery began with willingness and accepting the fact, and working the steps have helped me gain emotional freedom.
Asking for forgiveness and forgiving others goes hand in hand in recovery. Harboring resentment and anger towards others is a way of avoiding making amends and is detrimental to recovery from addiction. Anyone can hold a grudge, but it takes a person with character to forgive. When you forgive, you release yourself from a painful burden. Forgiveness doesn’t mean what happened was okay, and it doesn’t mean the person who hurt you should be welcome in your life. It just means you have made peace with your pain and you are ready to let it go.
I remember when I was little and I pushed a kid on the playground. My teacher told me to say sorry, and I said it, but I didn’t mean it because the kid I pushed deserved it. But as I get older, making amends isn’t so simple. After the playground days are over you can’t just say sorry, you have to mean it. Being in recovery means that sometimes I have to shut up, swallow my pride, and accept that I’m wrong, which I used to confuse with giving up.
As an addict I can’t undo my mistakes, and I rarely forgive myself for them – it’s a byproduct of addiction. But as an addict in recovery I can always try to do better, to be better, to right a wrong. Even when it feels irreversible. Of course, “I’m sorry” doesn’t always cut it. Maybe because we use it in so many different ways; as a weapon, as an excuse. But when I really am sorry, when I mean it, when my actions say more than my words ever can – When I get it right, “I’m sorry” is perfect. When I get it right “I’m sorry” is redemption!