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Learning to Let Go

Forgiveness is a difficult thing to do because letting go can be so hard when there are emotions that are wrapped around the situation like tender muscles. Think of forgiveness as a broken wrist. Someone has done something that has hurt you, so your wrist becomes broken. Your feelings are hurt, so the muscles become inflamed. In order to fix the broken wrist, you have to give the inflammation time to go down.

This is like taking a step back from a difficult situation once your feelings are hurt. Once time has passed, a doctor will be able to reset the broken wrist bone. The pain won’t go away immediately but, over time, your wrist will feel better and you can go back to your normal activities. This part is like forgiveness.

Just because you forgive someone who hurt you doesn’t mean the pain goes away immediately, but it means that you are learning to let go of the pain so that you can return to your normal life. This is hard to do. We know that. But, forgiveness is a necessary thing in recovery. Read more to find out why.

Forgiving Isn’t Forgetting

Oftentimes, people associate forgiving with forgetting. Forgiving, however, isn’t forgetting. Forgiving is for yourself. When someone has done something that hurts and angers you, they are going to take up some space in your head. You might even be spending a lot of time thinking about the person or what they did.

When you forgive this person, you allow yourself to let go of the energy that you put into thinking about them constantly. Forgiving allows yourself the space to release the tension that has built up. You don’t forget what the person has done, but you do let go of it because you realize that you cannot change the past.

Forgiveness in Recovery

Forgiveness in recovery is important because you may have experienced trauma in the past. This trauma could have been so great that you still think about it to this day, even if it happened many years ago. Practicing forgiveness is necessary for you because you are releasing the painful moments that the trauma brings back to you.

Not only are you forgiving about the situation, but you are forgiving yourself. You’re reminding yourself that you are not to blame for your trauma and you will not let it rule your life. Forgiving trauma doesn’t let the person off the hook, it lets you release the negative feelings so that you can live in peace.

Forgive Yourself

Forgiving yourself can be so hard for some people that they find it easier to forgive others. Forgiving yourself is a necessary part of your recovery, however. It’s something that you have to do in order to feel a sense of peace with yourself in your recovery.

A big part of forgiving yourself is realizing that you cannot possibly be perfect. Forgive yourself by realizing this and letting go of your expectation of perfection. For example, if you are in recovery from substance use, you are working on your sobriety.

There may be a time where you relapse and use the substance you have been working on eliminating from your life. Although we don’t want to relapse, we know that it’s a possibility. Relapses happen and it’s going to be okay. You cannot be perfect all day and every day. Things happen.

Allow yourself the space to know that you made a mistake, but then be able to forgive yourself and move on. If you are too caught up in the fact that you relapsed, you won’t be able to look ahead to the next day. This could cause a one-time relapse to continue. Instead, remind yourself that no one is perfect and allow yourself the grace to let go and forgive.

Don’t Dwell

Dwelling on the past can lead you to be oblivious to what is going on in the present and then there’s an inability to plan for the future. Ruminating on the negative can lead you to internalize these negative thoughts. This can lead to depression and anxiety.

If you spend too much time on what you’ve done wrong, you’ll never be able to see the possibilities for success. Forgiveness allows you to let go of the anger you have and the blame you’ve put on yourself. Release the struggle you’re dealing with. You don’t deserve to suffer.

Don’t Suppress

While dwelling isn’t healthy, suppressing your emotions also isn’t healthy. If you never deal with your feelings in a healthy and safe way, you’re probably pushing them down farther and farther so that you don’t have to deal with them at all. This isn’t healthy, either. This can lead you to push yourself too hard which places stress on all areas of your life.

How to Forgive Yourself

Forgiving yourself means letting go of the past. It can be difficult, but it’s a necessity. Here are five tips you can practice that lead to forgiveness:

  • Be honest with yourself
  • Identify what you could and could not have changed
  • Realize that you have hindsight and use that to your advantage next time
  • Think about what you have learned
  • Allow yourself the space to forgive

The Guest House is here to help you learn to forgive yourself and others in your recovery. We offer programs that can help you succeed in this and more! Call us today at (855) 372-1079. We can’t wait to hear from you!