Monday, November 9, 2009

Can I Learn to Let Go & Forgive?

What does it mean to let go? Why is it important? What does it have to do with forgiveness?

Letting go doesn't mean letting things go. Letting go means not trying to control other people or outcomes in situations. It means letting the universe unfold naturally. When we try to control anything we cannot, that thing ends up controlling us. Letting go means... Let go and let God. It means we stop trying to do our Higher Power's job and let our Higher Power handle it.

Forgiveness doesn't mean that we believe that our partners unkind actions are acceptable. Forgiveness means that we have let go of the anger, the need for revenge, the need to punish and allowed ourselves to get out of the way so that the our partner can experience the natural consequences of their actions... without our interference. Consequences happen in their own time... not in ours... so patience is a part of the process as well.

Forgiveness is a part of letting go. When we forgive we decide we are no longer going to allow the actions of our partner to continue to control us. It does not mean that we believe their behavior is acceptable or that we necessarily tell them they are forgiven. It is something we do within our own heart that we share with our Higher Power. Forgiveness is internal, just like letting go and compassion. It is not something we advertise, just a decision we make within our hearts and with the guidance of our Higher Power.

These two recovery concepts may seem to go against everything that feels natural and normal. It may feel reasonable to remain angry, punish or exact revenge. The reality of the situation is that the angry feelings and all that accompany them, them are a toxin for our emotional health. Keeping ourselves in a state of agitation due to a lack of forgiveness, is akin to taking poison and waiting for our partner to die.

In time the wisdom of the words of these recovery principles will become understandable to us. It's okay to not be ready to hear them initially. Each of us becomes ready in our own time. We learn that if we have patience, all will become clear to us. Someday we will be a shining example to everyone we meet of the benefits of recovery work.

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