Should I Forgive or Forget?

When someone hurts us we can spend hours and days thinking about the pain they caused us. The more we think about it the larger it grows. It gets sticky, and we can’t shake it off. In recovery we can’t risk holding onto hurt because it can inadvertently lead to a relapse. We don’t want to come to the point where we say, that’s it! I’m going out for a drink, I’ll show them!

What can we do about the hurt feelings? It can be easy to forgive a small slight. Is it possible to forgive something huge, like physical, sexual or emotional abuse? Stories exist of courageous people who forgave a person who committed the most horrendous act. How do they do it? They may come to the realization that their anger, hate or bitterness towards the person, is eating them alive. They have to turn it around, and the only way around, is through.

The amount of time it takes to forgive someone depends on the person. They might need more time to forgive you for what happened during an argument, than you do. Not rushing to forgiveness is a good thought to keep in mind. By rushing to forgive we run the risk of overlooking and or minimizing our feelings. When we don’t fully process them, they can pop up again. Think about something a sibling did to you long ago. Twenty years later you bring it up at a family gathering. Your sibling can’t believe you are still hanging on to that old wound.

You can decide you’re never going to forgive someone for hurting you. Fine, but then resentments build up. Resentments are powerful emotions that can have a negative effect on your recovery. Just like holding, they can lead to relapse. Resentments can turn you into a bitter and disagreeable person. That’s probably not going to help your recovery towards a full and loving life. You can free yourself from old wounds by forgiving someone. You don’t have to like or have any future interactions with them. We can grow beyond our resistance to forgive.

Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting. We may never forget wounds inflicted upon us, and we don’t have to. Old wounds don’t build character, but knowing we are able to deal with them in recovery can give us the strength and wisdom to move on. Change requires bravery. There is a lot of bravery in forgiveness.

Start the new year with a new take on life. Recovery is your new chance at living. Lasting recovery is possible through infinite change. At Infinity Malibu, our clinical program is run by leaders in the addiction field. Providing cutting edge treatments, our program offers a transformative process. Infinite change. Infinite recovery. Call us today for information: 888-266-9048

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