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!
For me, forgiveness comes from a deep understanding of someone else’s life and the contributing factors that led him or her to act out in negative ways. Personally, I put myself in my enemy’s shoes and, from there, I decide my own comfortability of forgiving that person. I ask myself how? And I ask myself why? I feel that when I put myself in someone’s shoes, it helps me have the compassion I need to forgive that person… Sometimes I may never really forget the pain that person inflicted on me (whether justified or not), but I can understand enough to find some levels of forgiveness
Forgiveness is not something that has come easy to me at all throughout my life. It’s easy to hold grudges and resentments towards personal experiences we’ve gone through in our lives. It takes time and emotional growth to come to a state of mind where we can put ourselves in someone else’s shoes. I believe that admitting and accepting our part in resentments is a key factor in the process of forgiving others. I also believe that getting to know our true self and growing in sobriety can only lead to the discovery that we are able to forgive ourselves.
Forgiveness is an extremely powerful word that I have learned needs to first apply to myself. I must first forgive myself to begin the healing and the process of moving forward in strength and honesty. This not to say that I'm not cut to the heart by what I have done in my drinking career, as that would make it way too easy to give myself a pass to drink again. But, rather, when I don’t forgive myself, I stay in my own pity party which inevitably leads me to drink and to reinforce the denial of my actions .
My Creator is quick to forgive and, we as humans are imperfect beings, judging harshly ourselves and others. My creator takes into account all things and does not bring to mind our past transgressions... If we truly turn around---He's not looking for wrong but instead searching for the Goodness in our Hearts. What a gracious thing....I can only compare this love to the I have for my children. I bonded with them from the moment I found out that I had life inside of me. I have been there through every step of their time on this earth and when they fall short, I never stop loving them. So, if I as an imperfect mother, I can have this level of love and forgiveness for them... Who am I to not forgive myself just as My Creator has Forgiven Me?
At South Orange County Detox & Treatment, I have learned to forgive myself, to work on my emotional sobriety, and to continue to grow as the strong healthy sober mom, daughter, niece, friend, human being that I was meant to be now and forever.