The ability to forgive someone who has hurt us seems to elude many people and can become a spiritual poison. This is why learning to forgive by practicing forgiveness is crucial to success on the path to sobriety.
One of the points emphasized in the Bible is the area of forgiveness. We declare it in the Lord’s Prayer. When asked how to pray during the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus responded with what is now known as the “Lord’s Prayer” or the “Our Father.” During this prayer He stated, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”. Forgiveness was also the first point Christ mentioned after the Lord’s prayer -Matthew 6:14!
If we know there is such an emphasis on forgiveness and that it was not just a suggestion, then why is it that it is so difficult for so many of us to forgive and let go of resentments? Many people do not realize that forgiving someone is not for the person who hurt us, but for our own peace of mind and well-being. I believe that a major obstacle in the process of forgiveness is allowing ourselves to be vulnerable with the person who did wrong by us. We may say, “I was already hurt once by this person why would I put myself out there again?” The reality is, if we do not forgive, we allow that person or situation to hurt us over and over again through our own destructive thoughts.
Learning to forgive on the road to recovery by practicing forgiveness is much easier said than done, as I myself have harbored major resentments toward people who hurt me in the past. I became tormented with my own thoughts, taking it with me wherever I went and carrying this poison into every aspect of my life. I could not escape it. I became obsessed with my own resentments. Why would we ever want to give someone that type of power!? A major mistake we often make when forgiving someone is continuously feeding the negative thoughts that caused the resentment in the first place.
When we feed resentments by spending time rehashing the situation, we make it a huge part of our life through our own thought process. When we begin to interrupt the pattern of continuously revisiting the hurt, which is like pouring gasoline on a fire, it is then that we will begin to move on with life and start enjoying the amazing things that God created in this world for us to enjoy. We have all heard the saying “life is short” or "this is not a dress rehearsal". If we begin to ask God not only how we can get through the hurts of life, but also how we can grow through them, we begin to change our perspective on the situations that are causing us pain. When t comes to forgiveness on the road to sobriety, begin by addressing the smaller things and build up to the major areas of life where forgiveness is necessary. At Faith in Recovery drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, we can help coach you on forgiveness during your path to a sober, happy life.
Many people do not realize that forgiving someone is not for the person who hurt us, but for our own peace of mind and well-being.