Practice Forgiveness

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happyRAIN
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Practice Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a choice, not a feeling. Forgiveness helps you let go of hurt and anger--it may or may not help others. It is a process that frees you to live life more fully. Forgiving is not forgetting, excusing, reconciling, or being weak. As one person put it, "Forgiveness was one of the hardest things in recovery for me, but now it means to let go and not to let the people who hurt me keep me locked to them with anger."

Action for the Day

Practice forgiveness by writing a few practice letters that you will not send. Write the response you'd like to hear from the other person. Then write a letter of forgiveness to that person, accepting the apology and letting the issue go. Remember, don't send these forgiveness letters. They are meant to help you let go and be free from hurt. You don't need anyone else in order to achieve this freedom.

Thought for the Day

"When you forgive, you in no way change the past--but you sure do change the future."-Bernard Meltzer

Quoted from the app Inspirations from Hazelden

I've been working very hard on practicing forgiveness. You see, if I expect someone to forgive me, I also need to be willing to learn to forgive others. We all make mistakes, say and do the wrong things at times(some of us are experts at it), we need to be willing to ask for forgiveness AND be willing to give it to others in return. Forgiveness teaches us to be kind hearted...

"Life always waits for some crisis to occur before revealing itself at its most brilliant." ~Paul Coelho

Maggie
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Thanks for sharing Rain.

Thanks for sharing Rain. Well said! I think I am a pro at this and I can say that I am a very forgiving person. It came very natural to me and I don't know why. Usually, I could not stay mad at someone very long and my mom is that way as well (I definitely got her gene).

I forgave others and moved on regardless of what they did to me. I always tried to put myself in their shoes and tried to imagine what it was like to be them. Would I have done the same thing or differently? If not, why?

And why do I need to forgive others? No, I don't need to but I just do and I am not quite sure the rational behind it.

I don't know if it is a choice for me....I feel like it is just who I am.

It's good to have goals and dreams, but while you're waiting for things to change, waiting for promises to come to pass, don't be discontent with where you are. Learn to enjoy the season that you're in--Pastor Joel Osteen

dan1
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This meditation uses the

This meditation uses the term forgiveness in a particular way. The kind of "forgiveness" it talks about is important--releasing the resentment and anger I have against someone, so that I don't continue to hurt myself with it.

But it's not quite how I use the word forgiveness. I come from a Christian tradition (although I have grown in other directions) and in that tradition, forgiveness is slightly different--forgiveness repairs a relationship, but it isn't done unconditionally. In that tradition, as I learned long ago, forgiveness requires that there be repentance on the part of those who have done wrong. Repentance means to change one's mind, to admit that one was wrong, to change directions so as not to do the same thing in the future. And that doesn't always happen. As the AA big book says, "we found that this world and the people in it were often quite wrong." And many stay that way.

So I tend to distinguish the Christian kind of forgiveness (repair of relationship), which I learned about as a young person, from what I need to do with my resentments here in recovery. Because I can't afford to hold resentments against people who wronged me but will not admit it, will never apologize, will never change. Forgiving them in this situation is above my pay grade--as my therapist told me, it's not my job. For them, forgiveness is an issue between them and their higher power.

But because those resentments are killing me, I need to release them anyway. I can't afford to wait for the people involved to see the light and repent. My job is to let that resentment go anyway. I do it for me, not for them. It doesn't excuse what they did, it doesn't repair any relationship we had--in fact, it might be important to not have a relationship any more, to not expose myself further to people who do damage and won't stop. But I can keep my distance without resentment. I can let the anger go, I can stop killing myself with bitterness. That's my job, for sure. Not forgiveness--just letting go.

As the Christian Bible says, "Pray for them that spitefully (ab)use you." Indeed, and I do. I pray for them that they would be well, and do well. Whether or not it happens is not up to me. And sometimes, when there is no repentance (and so there can be no real forgiveness), I keep my distance, without resentment, because that's my responsibility, too--to keep myself fit for service to others. It's what's on my side of the street.

I am a recovering computer game and gambling addict. My recovery birthday: On May 6, 2012 I quit games and began working a program of recovery through OLGA No computer games or slot games for me since December 12, 2012. No solitaire games with real cards since June 2013.

happyRAIN
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Exactly Dan- we learn to let

Exactly Dan- we learn to let go of our own bitterness towards that other person. We accept our part, we forgive them for how they wronged us and pray for that person to someday see the light. For me it means this, if someday that person should come to me and ask for forgiveness, I will. But in the mean time, I wont harbor resentments or bitterness which only harm me, not that other person. This has been a crucial thing for me to learn and practice, and ultimalely its helped me ti repair many relationships because my whole attitude has changed. I dont act angry, bitter or snipe at them anymore. I just move on and treat them like abuone else I know, with kindness and conpassion and hope that someday they will change. if they do, great! if not i can moce on and not let it burden me anymore.

"Life always waits for some crisis to occur before revealing itself at its most brilliant." ~Paul Coelho

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