Monday, 7 January 2013

When Amends Are Not Enough

“Without forgiveness life is governed by... an endless cycle of resentment and retaliation”
Roberto Assagioli
Perhaps the hardest part of the 12 step process of recovery is making amends to those you have hurt.  When I examined my past and came up with a list of resentments and fears that were holding me back in my recovery, I examined each area where I had been either selfish, dishonest, self-seeking and inconsiderate and without intention I had caused others to feel
angry or unloved:
·         I had played the victim and blamed others for my actions
·         I had loved too deeply and been resentfully disappointed
·         I had lied and been deceitful to cover up my addictive behaviour
·         I had pushed loved ones aside when it suited my addictive habits

And so we make our amends to the best of our ability and promise to try our best on our road to recovery.  But with so many unbroken promises from the past, we have to accept that only time and a living amends may heal the past. I still get things thrown in my face which hurt but I have to accept and forgive, because I have no idea how much hurt I have done to my kids, my family and my friends and others  I still hear:
·         You are useless and a nobody
·         You will never get a job or be successful
·         Past mistakes and misfortunes
·         Resentments and disappointments
So we hold our head up high and take each day by day and show tolerance, unconditional love and forgiveness.  We do it, not just forgiveness of others, but to forgive ourselves, to heal, to put the past behind us and move on.

I would like to share a poem by Veronica A. Shoffstall – truly awesome:

“After a while you learn
the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn love doesn't mean leaning
and company doesn't always mean security.

And you begin to learn
that kisses aren't contracts
and presents aren't always promises
and you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and your eyes ahead
with the grace of a woman,
not the grief of a child.

And you learn
to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow's ground is
too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way
of falling down in mid-flight.

After a while you learn
that even sunshine burns if you get too much
So you plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting
for someone to bring you flowers

And you learn
that you really can endure,
that you really are strong
and you really do have worth
and you learn and you learn
With every good-bye you learn”

“In the end these things matter most: How well did you love? How fully did you love? How deeply did you learn to let go?”
The Buddha

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