Written June 15, 2017
“Forgiving is not forgetting. It’s letting go of the hurt.” ~Mary McLeod Bethune
There will be times in our lives when we are either hurt by someone or we are the ones causing the hurt to others in our lives. Often, when we are hurt, we play the events over and over in our minds. When we do this, we form a resentment, or a grudge, towards the person that hurt us.
“Resentment, or the strong and painful bitterness you feel when someone does something wrong to you, doesn’t have actual physical weight, but it feels very heavy and can last a long time. Sometimes resentment lasts for years. It can be strong and hard to pull out, like an old, gnarled tree root. While resentment over being wronged can come from just one act against you, it also comes from misunderstandings, like feeling resentment over a dirty look you thought was directed at you but really wasn’t. It’s usually best to root out resentment early”.(vocabulary.com)
Forgiveness is one way to get rid of resentment. This forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean that you excuse what happened nor do you have to go up to that person and say, “I forgive you “. Sometimes we need to forgive that person in our hearts. In doing this we relieve ourselves of the pain we feel.
I am certainly no stranger to being hurt or in doing the hurting. I’ve written before about being hurt so today I’m going to share about the hurt I’ve caused. Mainly in reference to my addiction. As addicts, drugs take over all parts of our body, especially our thoughts and actions. We become lying, thieving, manipulative, rationalizing, conning, self centered, and self seeking people. I was that person despite being raised in a good home. I stole from my loved ones, broke promises, lied about my behavior and thought only of myself. I’m quite certain that I hurt people that I don’t even know I hurt.
Since I’ve been in recovery, many people have forgiven me. They haven’t forgotten but because they know and love the real me as a person, they’ve forgiven me for what I’d done. I know there’s at least one person who’s forgiven me but is still afraid I’ll go back to that old me even after a few 24 hours of being clean. As recent as just a couple days ago, this person is afraid that I’ll go back to addiction. When I didn’t answer my phone for much of the day a just after I’d gone thru a minor procedure, this person raced to my house dreading the worst. This person feared I’d used again and died of an overdose. And that’s ok. It’s understandable given what I put this person thru. I told this person that I forgave them for their thoughts. Not everyone has forgiven me tho.
That sometimes happens when addicts get clean. Not everyone forgives us. Sometimes the hurt we cause them cuts them so deep that they can’t find their way to forgiveness. Nothing we do or say will change this fact. This is something that we just have to learn to accept. Since we cannot change them we unfortunately need to leave that person where they are at. This has sadly been the case with me. Two, if not more, people in my life that I once cared about cannot find it in themselves to forgive me and I’ve been forced to accept that. I pray that someday this will change but I don’t hold much hope for it.
If you are a person seeking forgiveness from someone who you have hurt, understand that the person needs to come to it in their own time. And if you are the person who has been wronged, forgive that person in your heart. Try saying the prayer at the bottom as often as possible, especially when you feel that anger bubbling inside you. Take it from someone who knows. Holding on to that anger and resentment does nothing to the other person but it does kill you bit by bit.
Thought for the day: “Free of Resentment Prayer” God(or your Higher Power’s name) , free me from my resentment toward (enter name here). Please bless (name) in whatever it is that You know they may be needing this day. Please give (name) everything I want for myself. And may (name)’s life be full of health, peace, prosperity, and happiness as they seek to have a closer relationship with You.
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