We talked, recently, here about resentments and how they can drive forward addictive behaviors and a state of being that is comprised of anxiety, frustration, depression, and ultimately misery. If resentments are the poison of the spirit then, necessarily, we need to identify the antidote lest we find ourselves dead only to be barely surviving amongst the living.
That brings us to our word of the week here at SOUTH ORANGE COUNTY DETOX & TREATMENT, that is forgiveness. Resentments are an undeniable part of anyone’s life that engages with the world around him or her. Resentments are essentially a real or perceived injustice that’s caused by other people, events, or even one’s self. As hopefully most of us have learned by now, the world is not a fair place and we cannot expect to go through life assuming that justice with always prevail. That being said, even with this knowledge, we cannot go through life expecting the pain of these injustices not to throw us off balance and rattle our emotional well being. Marinating, stewing, and stagnating in this anger and rage is not only unproductive, but is a slow and gradual spiritual suicide. If we don’t find a way to ascend above these horrific feelings we will undoubtedly look for anything to secure some peace of mind, and as addicts, left to our own thinking, drinking or drugs are the best facilitators of this illegitimate serenity. As I stated previously, the main weapon we have against this adversary is forgiveness; forgiveness of the people who have wronged us, forgiveness of the world that seems callous and indifferent to us, and maybe most importantly, forgiveness of ourselves. By not engaging in acts of forgiveness in all these realms, we will certainly pay a heavy price. Embracing in forgiveness, however, will allow us to experience joy, gratitude, peace, and hope. An important distinction to make if you are wondering, “How the hell could I forgive after the pain that was inflicted on me” is that forgiveness is not forgetting or excusing the perpetrator’s actions, but rather loosening your control and grip on the rage and resentment associated with the act or event. When we are able to make it to this step of the process we find ourselves rewarded for this act of love. Just because we are treated unjustly, it does not mean that we need to exacerbate that pain we’ve already experienced by compounding it with resentments that ultimately will not “fix” what has already been broken. Resentments split us from connection to others and the world whereas love is the unifying principle of the universe. Learning to forgive is essential to lasting sobriety and a spiritually rich life and it has been said that, “There is no love without forgiveness and no forgiveness without love.”