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Forgiveness is For You

View of Navy Pier from Oak Street Beach, Chicago

Forgiveness wasn't something I seriously considered until 10 years ago. The whole concept was foreign and silly to me. Good thing I don’t rely on my sometimes-faulty thoughts when it comes to my recovery. Recovery from my childhood, not an addiction. My counselor suggested I work on forgiving my father specifically, but also anyone else I needed to forgive. She insisted it would be a pivotal step in my healing process.

Since I paid for this advice, I thought I would give it a go. While exercising a few days later, I said out loud, “I forgive you Dad.” I didn’t really mean it, didn’t really feel it, but thought I would at least say it. Hey, it’s a start.

Surprise, surprise, something happened. A week or two later, I felt like some weight had been lifted from my heart. I didn’t feel as angry. The heaviness in my chest was less. My unfeeling attempt at forgiveness had some effect. It got the ball rolling, so to speak.

I included forgiveness in my meditations and noticed an even bigger difference. Forgiveness was for me. It set me free. It freed me from the other person. I didn’t understand this on any level until I meaninglessly said it aloud.

Holding onto the hurt just kept me connected to the person and the situation. Forgiveness isn’t for them at all. It’s for you. My blog is an advice light version of the work everyone must do in their journey of healing. I’m just hitting the highlights.

If you want to heal from your past, do the work. Read, get professional help, pray, and know there is absolutely no reason to go through life suffering. Addiction is just a way to numb your pain. What pain are you running from? Figure it out. Again, I’ll recommend the book, “You are a BADASS,” by Jen Sincero. It’s a wonderful resource to read or listen too. Audio books work if you don’t like to read. Counseling, being self-aware, and pursuing self-help has undoubtedly prevented me from falling into addiction.

The emotional pain you’re feeling isn’t going to resolve itself. In fact, it will get worse as you age. Be brave and address it now. Don’t concern yourself with what anyone else thinks about you or your healing process either. Do this for you.

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