For those in addiction recovery, June 26 is officially marked Forgiveness Day. While drinking and abusing substances created many opportunities for resentment, in recovery the potential for forgiveness is one of the most valuable spiritual principals. All religions hold the power of forgiveness in high regard, however working a program of recovery doesn’t mean you have to be religious to benefit from the restorative power of this kind of compassion.
There are stages of being ready and willing to forgive, and making a journey through sobriety, coming to terms with the past and letting go is an important process. While each person is unique and will have their own experience with forgiveness and acceptance, it’s imperative to begin making steps toward this practice in daily life.
One of the most important tools in addiction recovery is letting go of resentment. In confronting resentment it’s important to be objective and evaluate the role we play in our own resentments- how we fuel them, what we do to inadvertently hang onto them when it isn’t helpful or effective.
By taking a close look in this way, it’s possible to see how resentment only hurts the person holding the resentment. By holding a grudge, feeling bitter or intolerant and carrying those feelings and attitudes around on a regular basis, stress and strain begin to impact our own experiences with life. It’s really a no- win situation.
In the moments where we recognize that the resentment isn’t benefiting anyone, and search for a different solution, the spirituality of this principal takes place. Instead of sitting in the stiff, uncomfortable feelings, letting go and practicing tolerance of others and self will inevitably yield a kind of forgiveness, even for the toughest of resentments. Take the time this month to see the transformative power of forgiveness in your life, and the benefits of working a strong program of addiction recovery.