Why Forgiveness Is Important to Recovery
Founder of the Franciscan Order, Francis of Assisi, once said, “It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.” Many people believe that recovery cannot be fully achieved without forgiveness.
There is a saying in the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous that refers to the dangers of resentment. To paraphrase, it is like hitting yourself in the head with a hammer in order to cure a headache. In this regard, there are two paths to take in recovery. One is to take the road of resentment and potential relapse. The other is to forge the road of forgiveness and see what real freedom is all about.
Many people with addiction struggle with deep emotional pain due to negative relationships in their life, including their relationship with themselves. You do not have to fall into this struggle. You can learn how to let go of the weight of the past so there is less desire to escape through the temporary release of substance use.
There are many options out there that can help you forgive and heal. We here at Spero Recovery Center can help you better understand and utilize these options. You don’t have to treat yourself or others negatively anymore. We can help.
Would You Ever Allow Anyone to Treat You the Way That You Treat Yourself?
Take a moment to reflect on the way your inner-self talks to you. How do you treat yourself? We know active addiction can beat us up physically, mentally, and emotionally. Does your inner voice do the same? If you are struggling with addiction, chances are it does.
Now, ask yourself, would you ever treat someone else the way you treat yourself? Would you ever talk to someone the way you talk to yourself? If you did, would you blame them if they retaliate? Yet, as those in active addiction, we often accept our own self-abuse.
In recovery, this attitude of self-sabotage must stop. Why? Because in active addiction we often attempt to quiet this inner voice by using our substance of choice. This is a dangerous solution and one that may tempt you even in recovery. But this temptation can be thwarted. It can be thwarted by implementing a practice of forgiveness.
Resentment Is the Number One Offender
There is a saying in many 12-Step programs that states, “resentment is the number one offender.” Now, what does that mean? That means that above everything else, resentment can cause someone in recovery to fall back into active addiction.
Many factors are encompassed by resentment. One is victimhood. You might resent your family for trying to interfere in your life. You might resent your boss for reprimanding you for your lifestyle. You might even resent society for putting you in the position you are in now.
Let’s come back to those two options mentioned earlier. You can continue these resentments until they eat you alive and you feel you have no choice but to go back to your old life to numb the pain. On the other hand, you can begin to forgive the people in your life, so you can then begin to forgive yourself. 12-Step programs can help you with this. In fact, they have twelve specific steps that can help you get there.
Forgiveness Equals Freedom From Yourself
In active addiction, we create a tornado that can scoop up everything and everyone around us and toss them around. It is no surprise that a lot of work must be done to mend the damage that your addiction has wrought. Rest assured, though, that this damage can be fixed.
Now, does that mean that everyone and everything will go back to normal once you are in recovery? Of course not. But you can take the steps to mend those situations and relationships on your end. If you have done so thoroughly and honestly then you can begin to truly feel freedom like you never had before.
There is a possibility that people will not be quick to forgive you, or that they never will, but as long as you have put in the work on your end, you can be confident that your recovery will continue to grow.
There is a concept that refers to “keeping your own side of the street clean.” This means that, as long as you are taking the next right action, what other people do or say does not have to affect you.
You can finally have freedom over fear. Freedom from what others think. Freedom from anyone or anything that tries to hold you back. Most importantly, you can finally have the freedom to love yourself again. That love has escaped you for far too long. It’s time to get it back. We can help.
Have you found that your active addiction has destroyed much more than your physical self? Addiction can rob you of everything you once loved and held dear. This is especially true with relationships. With a program of recovery, however, you can begin to mend those broken relationships. One of the proven effective ways of doing this is by utilizing a 12-Step program. A 12-Step program can help you to understand that you were not a bad person trying to do wrong; rather you were a sick person needing to get well. You can learn forgiveness in recovery, and we can help show you how. You are not alone. For more information, please contact Spero Recovery Center at (303) 351-7888.