Forgiveness can be one of the most challenging, and rewarding, aspects of recovery. An important part of the recovery process is learning to deal with the residual effects of addiction. This means reflecting on the harm done to yourself and others with a new perspective: less feelings of anger or resentment with more feelings of peace and reconciliation. Step eight of the twelve steps includes making a list of those harmed in order to make amends. This applies not only to others, but also yourself. Here’s how to get started.
Release feelings of anger, resentment, and negativity for harm done to you. Addictions cause harm physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Some behavior exhibited during active addiction may have resulted in a criminal record or damaging acts towards loved ones and others. The key is to give yourself permission to let go of the past and see each present moment with a new perspective. That was then, this is now. Take each day as a new start. Recognize you are not a bad person. Forgiveness is for yourself, not other people. It will free your mind and body of holding onto residual feelings of guilt and allow you to heal in recovery.
How to Practice Self Forgiveness
Start by making reparations to those harmed by your addiction. This occurs in Step 9 where you make amends. Seek their forgiveness through acting on different choices you are making as a person in recovery. Forgiveness is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of great strength.
Share your thoughts with someone you trust. Work with your 12 step sponsor, seek out a counselor, minister, or confidante. These are people with whom you can share openly, honestly, and without judgment of your past behavior. Perhaps even more important, seek someone who may share a similar history to yours who can understand what you are thinking and feeling.
The Last Resort is a 12 step based program, healing addiction and building a life of recovery one step at a time. Call us today for more information on our programs 877-892-7997.