Cleaning up our past and moving forward is a vital part of recovery. We must learn to let go of our previous lives in addiction if we are to be successful in maintaining our sobriety. Often, there are those whom we feel have harmed us, and moving forward means learning to forgive. This can be troublesome, but we may find that through meditation, we may become more comfortable with the idea of forgiveness, regardless of the severity of the harm we have been caused. Mahatma Gandhi said, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” Gandhi’s words are particularly prescient in regards to those in recovery. We have finally taken the courageous steps to overcome our addictions and face the world as given, undiluted by the mental fog of addiction. We continuously grow mentally and spiritually stronger as we cultivate the spiritual principles of recovery, and if we are to continue this growth, we must find the strength to forgive. Meditation may be an effective way to tap into the strength needed to be able to forgive. Jack Kornfield, in his book Meditation for Beginners, explains that “forgiveness is the act of not putting anyone out of your heart, even those who are acting out of deep ignorance or out of confusion and pain. Forgiveness is also a matter of letting go of the past and knowing that even though something was wrong, the way to go forward is to start over.” We are not ignoring the harms caused to us, rather we are meditating on them in a way to gain understanding and open our hearts to forgive those who hurt us. We no longer allow ourselves to carry feelings of hatred or desires for vengeance because those feelings and desires are poisoning us in the long run. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous tells us quite clearly, “Resentments is the ‘number one’ offender. It destroys more alcoholics than anything else. From it stems all sorts of spiritual disease, for we have been not only mentally and physically ill, we have been spiritually sick.” As we go through the process of our recovery, we may find that taking the time to meditate and deeply examine the full spectrum of our resentments will help us cultivate a spirit of forgiveness and no longer be weighed down by feelings of hatred and resentment.
Your story does not have to be one of pain and suffering in addiction. You can make the decision to seek help and begin living the life that you have always wanted. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment center in beautiful Laguna Beach, is dedicated to guiding you through the process of recovery, from Detox to Aftercare, so you can achieve and maintain lasting sobriety. For more information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777