Diet & Weight Magazine

Forgiveness: Compassion Gave Me Forgiveness!

By Sobrfit3

Written By:  Cathy Shuba
"Happy Friday!"
When I was, young forgiveness seemed to be just a word.  When I was a teenager, I needed forgiveness defined.  As a young adult, forgiveness seemed too be practiced more often.  Before I became sober, I dealt with forgiveness as resentment.  When I became sober, I viewed forgiveness as a full-time job that I never seemed to want to show up too.  Time went by and forgiveness became my friend of serenity, purity, acceptance and love.
Last Saturday I learned of something very disturbing!  Last Saturday the disturbing and hurtful situation involved my son and a Catholic priest.  If you read my last blog post about courage, you will have a better understanding as to what I am talking about when I write this article today.  After writing that blog post, it helped me to see that I needed to work on forgiveness.  I know many of my close friends may think I am crazy for saying this and would have wanted me to sue or think in another way but that is not what my recovery is about, for me it is about forgiveness.  My recovery is about forgiveness and many more things as well.  Forgiveness to me is the key that unlocks all resentment, anger, hurt, disappointment, expectations and any other negative feeling that stunts your growth spiritually, mentally and even physically.  I chose forgiveness and so did my son!
How do I forgive when another hurt me?  How do I teach forgiveness to another?  Let me explain, when I drank I did some hurtful things to others and to myself.  When I drank, I was not always a nice person.  When I drank I would manipulate, blame and guilt you into what I wanted from you or a situation.  I was a great sales person!  Sorry for those who are in sales, no pun attended!  When I drank, I would not think of others by only of myself.  When I drank, I had distorted thinking.  When I drank I was highly thinned skinned and hung on every word and would become defensive everything and everyone.  I always thought everyone was out to get me!  Paranoid seems to be a better description.  When I drank I was controlling, my way or the highway attitude ran wild in my head.  Lastly, I did not do too many things I was proud of in my drinking days.  I needed help mentally, spiritually and physically!  I needed to forgive me first before I could forgive another.  I needed to forgive me!  What does this have to do with forgiveness?  Everything I once did to someone else or to myself, involved my unacceptable behavior!  When I became sober, I had to be kinder to myself and realize that I needed to forgive myself because of what I once did or said involved a disease I was unaware of or just did not know how to fix it.  It was very scary for me when I had to look at me and forgive me.  I felt as though I was not worthy enough.  I felt as though I did not deserve forgiveness.  I felt like a failure.  I felt shameful and full of guilt.  I felt I was never going to be able to forgive myself, but I eventually did!  You see I had to take my own inventory in the matter and realized that I was not perfect.  When I started to look at me, I started to realize I had choices in the matter.  I had choices to change my thinking, my situation and me.  I had choices to make my life better, serene and full of love.  I had choices to deal with my resentments, anger and guilt.  I had choices that all led me to compassion for others and myself.  Compassion taught me about forgiveness.  Compassion taught me about seeing me as a sick individual and knowing I had choices in order to change my life and only my life.  With compassion allowed me to work on forgiveness with myself and with others.  In other words, I needed to have compassion for my character defects, my mistakes and me in order to accept forgiveness in my life as well with others.  Compassion opened the door in order for me to forgive and find freedom with my choice.  Compassion taught me to pray for others and leave the changing of others up to God!  Compassion taught me about forgiveness!
In conclusion, when I explained about what happened to my son and how my son and I felt hurt.  How my son was humiliated and embarrassed.  How we as a family all reacted to the disturbing situation, I allowed my son and me to regroup and find a way to deal with all of this in a positive way.  I told my son that we have choices in life and the choice you make will be the outcome of your health all around.  I told my son that I made a choice by meeting with the priest and others that witnessed the situation, talked with all of them and told them how I felt, what my son needs and how they affected my son’s thinking.  My choice freed me of resentment and anger.  I continued to explain to him when I struggled not to make a choice with forgiveness in my life I resisted freedom.  I resisted a healthy way of living.  I resisted positive changes in my life.  I resisted the chance to change, accept my own wrong doings and mostly caused me to stay in the self-righteous mode, controlling mode, resentful mode and mostly angry mode.  I told my son I needed to learn about forgiveness and how it would benefit me and the other person, but mostly me.  That what happened to him gave him an opportunity to learn about forgiveness and compassion and that it was a gift from God and not a punishment!  I told my son, things happen for a reason and is our choice to look upon it in either a positive or a negative way.  With a positive attitude brings positive things.  I explain what compassion does to the soul when you carry it with you and how it allows you many gifts of acceptance, love and understanding of other people and your own self when at one time you may have been wrong or hurtful to others.  In closing, although the priest was wrong and the other adults that stood as witnesses to this situation were wrong my son and I made a choice to forgive them with compassion because God knows we have all made mistakes!  My son will carry this gift and know that without compassion you cannot forgive! 
Do you have a hard time forgiving others?  If so, ask yourself if you ever hurt someone, disappointed someone or wronged someone.  If you have which I am, sure you have, because no one is perfect, you will allow compassion for yourself and for the other who hurt you.  Chances are you will begin to forgive!
Today, I will do yoga and keep in mind how serene my life can be when I choose forgiveness over resentment, control and anger!

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