~ FORGIVENESS ~
We realized that the people who wronged us were
When a person offended we said to ourselves,
"This is a sick man. How can I be helpful to him?
God save me from being angry. Thy will be done."
Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous
This has been one of the most important paragraphs for me in recovery. I have used it for any type of hurt I have in reaction to another person. Besides my asking God to save me from anger, I ask God to heal all feelings I have toward that person that block me from having a closer relationship with the God of my understanding. For me, this has meant I have had to learn to forgive everyone who my thinking told me had injured me in some way. I was unable to do this no matter how hard I tried. I prayed to the God of my understanding to teach me how to forgive those others and to work with my heart to create that forgiveness. It involved a long process of discovering my part and the other's part; separating acts from people.
Once I had done this work and knew in my heart that God had given me the miracle to forgive these people, an interesting thing happened. During Step Four and Five work, my sponsor told me I also had to forgive myself. I discovered, by going through this process, that working through the anger and pain, I ended up also having forgiven myself. For me, it wasn't enough to tell another person all my Fourth Step. I had to feel the feelings in my heart and give them to God to heal. Then, after I truly forgave others I could forgive myself. I wasn't able to forgive myself until I gave it away to others.
One Day at a Time . . .
I will remember that God will help me in anything I ask, the answer just may be different than I expected. When the miracle occurs I will be able to see God's hand in it.
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