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#432159 - 04/23/13 11:39 AM Great stuff
jfy Offline

Registered: 04/16/13
Posts: 15
Here's a column on Forgiveness by Linda Douty, i will tape it to the inside cover of my AA Big Book, and read it every day.

I remember the moment that “I got it” about forgiveness. I had analyzed the word many times, realizing that forgiveness was not about condoning bad behavior; rather, it was about forgiving persons, not actions. I had studied the relevant scripture passages. I had prayed to experience God’s healing forgiveness for myself. I had prayed to be able to forgive someone who had hurt me in a life-changing way. I had prayed to BE forgiven by my children for the times when I was an inept and uninformed mother. I knew that any Christian worth her salt should search for and strive toward forgiveness.

However, when I read the words of Frederick Buechner in Wishful Thinking, I realized I had not plumbed the depths of the process. I hadn’t admitted to myself that, at its core, forgiveness is an act of radical self-interest. The truth of his words made my scalp prickle.

Of the Seven Deadly Sins, anger is possibly the most fun. To lick your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past, to roll over your tongue the prospect of bitter confrontations still to come, to savor to the last toothsome morsel both the pain you are given and the pain you are giving back—in many ways it is a feast fit for a king. The chief drawback is that what you are wolfing down is yourself. The skeleton at the feast is you.

My heart stood still at the power of the words. My reliable “truth bell” rang in my head. I realized that the saving grace of God’s forgiveness was a free gift, yes, but one that required our center of consent, our voluntary participation, our vulnerable openness.

Something inside me raced ahead to anticipate the release—the reality of the biblical assertion that “the truth shall set you free.” I began to sense the value of accepting things as they were and as they had happened. I saw the bitter cost of unforgiveness: nothing short of the utter erosion of one’s life. And, in my basic selfishness, I wanted no part of it.

Which set me thinking about something else… Perhaps God’s gift of self-preservation, of self-interest could be experienced as a benevolent guide instead of an ego trip (the negative tag of our self-judgment!). Perhaps God had created us in such a way that to forgive another is to break the chains that bind US, to free ourselves from the prison which limits our own freedom. Perhaps C.S. Lewis had it right when he wrote that “… the gate to hell is locked from the inside.”

The invitation to forgive reminds us that we hold the key.

#432198 - 04/23/13 06:09 PM " [Re: jfy]
lbcali1978 Offline

Registered: 02/16/12
Posts: 217

Edited by lbcali1978 (04/29/13 01:07 AM)
They said

Come home

I said

I'm confused and alone

They said

We understand

I found out they don't

I'll walk the path exactly how I've always done it


#432235 - 04/24/13 12:17 AM Re: Great stuff [Re: jfy]
pbert53 Offline
Greeter Emeritus

Registered: 10/26/09
Posts: 576
Loc: Washington, USA
Thanks for the message jfy,

i will tape it into my Big Book as well!

take care


If you cannot control what happens to you, you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.

~ adapted from: Sri Ram

#432253 - 04/24/13 06:51 AM Re: Great stuff [Re: jfy]
jfy Offline

Registered: 04/16/13
Posts: 15
It is Spiritual, but then again it isn't. Forgiveness comes from within, and i see no reason why non Spiritual folks can't experience the power of forgiveness.

It really goes against what's drilled into our heads. Revenge, getting back at someone, etc are so prevalent, but there's no satisfaction there, at least not that i've found. Kinda like Step 1 - the way to win is to admit defeat. The way to avoid defeat is through love and forgiveness, because we only poison ourselves carrying this junk around.

Powerful stuff. It's really made me look hard at those in my past i thought i had forgiven, but found that i was still holding on to a little bit of anger, working hard on getting rid of all that.

#432258 - 04/24/13 08:40 AM Re: Great stuff [Re: jfy]
Poorsoft Offline

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 163
Forgiving an unforgivable act is something Im yet to comprehend.

#432259 - 04/24/13 09:01 AM Re: Great stuff [Re: Poorsoft]
jfy Offline

Registered: 04/16/13
Posts: 15
Originally Posted By: Poorsoft
Forgiving an unforgivable act is something Im yet to comprehend.

I get that, but it's for you, not for the perp, and we're harming ourselves by carrying anger, resentments, and hurt around. That's probably the biggest thing i've learned in AA, that to move forward, we can't dwell in the past.

It's not easy, it does not happen overnight, but it's life changing. smile

#432271 - 04/24/13 11:24 AM Re: Great stuff [Re: jfy]
Poorsoft Offline

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 163
We may be through with the past, but the past is not through with us.

My mind chose to ignore everything, I moved forward unaware but still afflicted by this thing, not sure what you call it...even now, being aware of what shaped me; everytime I look forward its as if my mind like a powerful magnet; keeps looking back.

Forgiveness seems like a step I may one day take, but for not yet.

#432365 - 04/25/13 09:18 AM Re: Great stuff [Re: jfy]
jfy Offline

Registered: 04/16/13
Posts: 15
I'm no expert at recovery, be it from substances, sex, abuse, etc... but i'm pretty sure i'm accurate when i say that until i forgive, myself and others who have done me wrong (both real and perceived), then there is still residual anger, and it can be buried deep, and as long as long as there's that kernel of anger, then the situation is not resolved, and it's really hard to move past it.

I have figured out that i'm my biggest obstacle to recovering. Self will to me equals Pride, the biggest (imo) of the 7 Deadly Sins. My Pride is not real confidence, it's a false sense of worth, that facade i want people to see, that i'm tough as hell, nothing bothers me, bulletproof. I wanted people to see that because inside i felt the exact opposite. I was riddled with fear.

Forgiveness is the biggest step towards true recovery, because without it, i'm still stuck in the past, which is toxic to me.

That's my .02

Edited by jfy (04/25/13 09:19 AM)

#432639 - 04/27/13 01:44 PM Re: Great stuff [Re: Poorsoft]
victor-victim Offline

Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 5738
Loc: O Kanada
Originally Posted By: Poorsoft
Forgiving an unforgivable act is something Im yet to comprehend.

please read my story of forgiveness.
you may understand why I had to do it.

it took me around 35 years to do it.
maybe i needed all that time to figure it out,
but i sure wish i had done it a long long time ago.
i can focus on my own problems, instead of the rapist's.

i do feel so much better now.
it cost me nothing.
it did not condone the abuse, nor did it release the offender from the consequences of his actions.
it did free me from the prison of my thoughts.

there is big difference between revenge and judgement.
but forgiveness is better than both.

hate the crime... pity the criminal.
hope this helps.



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