Some of us become so focused on our personal failures in recovery that we don’t deal with the pain we have suffered at the hands of others. A lot of us, on the other hand, focus too much on the ways we have been mistreated and use these as an excuse for our behavior. Either approach to past abuse leaves us with emotional baggage that will hinder our progress in recovery. Forgiving others is an important part of turning our will over to the God of our understanding.
Being forgiven for the wrongs we have done to others does not excuse us from our actions or make our actions right. When we forgive others of the wrongs they have committed against us, we do not excuse what they have done. We simply recognize that we have been hurt unjustly and turn the matter over to our Higher Power. This helps us face the truth about our own pain. It also rids us of any excuse to continue on the road to self destruction.
There is a beautiful prayer from St. Francis of Assisi that says: “It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.”
We always think of forgiving in terms of the other person, let’s try a different approach. Most of us have been wounded at some point in our lives, those wounds turn into scars. In reality scar tissue is harder than healthy tissue. We can continue to pick at the healing wound and continue to hurt, or realize that the hurt we are feeling is yesterday’s hurt, and it’s time to let go. Not for the other person, but for us. Let the wound heal, wear your scars with dignity.“Of this alone, even god is deprived, the power of making things that are past never to have been.” Agathon