Those individuals who feel full of resentment and bitterness about the past can struggle to find happiness in life. They may well have been wronged badly in the past but to continue to hold a grudge can become detrimental to the individual. In order to heal the individual will need to let go of their grudge and offer forgiveness. This is particularly important for those people who are recovering from an alcohol or drug addiction. Their grudges and resentments can pull them back to substance abuse if they are not careful.
One way of defining forgiveness would be to say that it occurs when people cease to feel resentment against an offender. It is all about getting rid of bitterness and letting go of grudges. When people decide to forgive it means that they stop feeling angry and resentful about things that they perceive have been done wrong to them. It also means that they are no longer seeking retribution or punishment for the wrongdoer.
Addicts tend to be full of resentment. They will have a list of grudges that they can rely on to justify their bad behavior. So long as the alcohol or drug user is able to blame other people they can use this as an excuse to keep doing what they are doing. Their rationalizations may sound bizarre to other people, but to the addict they will make perfect sense. Instead of seeing how alcohol or drugs is destroying their life they will still be blaming those who hurt them in the past. The individual may take their grudges with them all the way to the grave. It is only when they are able to see beyond their resentments and lame justifications that they become willing to enter recovery.
What was first to mind when you learned of this subject? What did forgiveness look like to you before program?
What does forgiveness mean to you today? Does someone have to ask for forgiveness in order for it to be given?
Is it easy for you to forgive? What do you get out of forgiving?
What has been the most difficult thing to forgive in recovery? What did you gain? What did you lose?
Have you ever been forgiven? Have you ever had to forgive a sponsee? Have you had to forgive a sponsor? Are there things you will not forgive?