20 Oct The Function of Forgiveness in Recovery
What Forgiveness Means
If you’ve been seriously injured by someone in the past, the very thought of forgiveness probably makes you feel angry, frustrated, and stuck. It’s very difficult to imagine letting go of this kind of hurt, but you have to do it if you want to progress. The good news is that forgiving someone doesn’t mean you have to have a relationship with them, or even a conversation with them. Forgiveness is a change that can take place entirely within yourself, as you let go of anger and resentment. Forgiveness doesn’t mean excusing others for their harmful behavior, it means finding a way to no longer allow this behavior to harm you. Forgiving yourself and/or others means that you will no longer allow the past to affect your future.
How Resentment Feeds Insanity
The insanity of addiction has to have a source of energy to sustain it, and often times it is fueled by resentment and anger. Thoughts of past trauma, the hypocrisy of others, the audacity of those in authority, and other injustices can begin to serve as an excuse for substance abuse, and for other addictive behaviors. If you’re truly seeking recovery, you can’t afford the dangers of negative thinking, and the only way to rid yourself of it is by finding forgiveness.
This negative thinking can be directed at the world around you, but it can also be turned inward. Self- loathing, guilt, blame, and beating yourself up about past mistakes is just as damaging as blaming others for your problems, so you’ll have to do away with that and forgive yourself as well. This is the only way to restore sanity and banish addiction from your mind.
Moving Forward in Forgiveness
Developing forgiveness is easier said than done, but addiction recovery programs are designed to help you incorporate this skill into your new life. Individual and group counseling will help you to come up with ideas for developing forgiveness. Some of these ideas might include :
Understanding how withholding forgiveness is poisoning your recovery
Understanding how embracing forgiveness will improve your life
Accepting the imperfectness of the human condition, and allowing yourself and others to make mistakes
Allowing past mistakes and negativity to be viewed as a lesson that can catapult you forward
Extending loving kindness to others through meditation and inner improvement
Author: Chasity Edwards