Barbara A. – Al Anon Family Recovery Speaker – “Finding myself, finding a Higher Power through Forgiveness””
This is an extremely moving Al-Anon speaker sharing her journey to recovery and some powerful stories of forgiveness. Resentment and bitterness are very normal when someone is involved in an alcoholic situation. Barbara does a masterful job of sharing her story as she learned to navigate through the waters of recovery to the shore of peace. Letting go, and releasing the pain and hurt are so beneficial. This is a WONDERFUL share and it is sure to INSPIRE!
Barbara on the willingness to forgive and the willingness to let go of anger
If I forgive, I’m going to have to be in this place of vulnerability. I really don’t want to be there. I don’t want to be there, but I see all the results of a lifetime of an forgiveness. I look at my mother as example. I realize she’s been stuck in the bed for the past 20 years. Occasionally she’ll get up and wander around a little bit. Then she’ll go back to bed. I did not want to be like that. I’m very active. I like doing lots of stuff and I have a lot of different interests. I just looked at her wasting away and I didn’t want to be stuck there. So I started doing a cost benefit analysis. I realized that what I could do; I could hold onto the anger and resentment, or I could let it go.
What I saw was that I could not have both a loving relationship with God, and I could not get in a place where I was fit to be of maximum service to God and others without letting go of my anger. I could have one or the other, but I couldn’t have both. So it was time, it was the proverbial fork in the road. I had to make a decision about what I was going to do. I needed to make a conscious decision to become vulnerable and let go of all of this and that that’s what I needed to do at that point.
I look at it much like a trapeze artist swinging from one trapeze to the other. There is no possible way you can grab on to the one that’s coming toward you, until you let the one go of the one that you’re hanging onto. You can’t do both. You’ve got to make a decision so that that was my decision. And then I had to ask myself how am I going to do this… What I realized is that I didn’t even have to start out being willing to forgive. All I had to do, was to start out being willing to take the steps that were in front of me. I also realized that it has nothing to do with feelings whatsoever. If I sit around and wait until I feel like forgiving it’s not going to happen it’s not going to happen. I’ve never felt like forgiving anybody ever for anything.
So these are the steps that I found that were very, very helpful for me. I pray daily for the person that I am upset with, whether I want to or not has nothing to do with it. Just do it anyway. Then I found that I needed to write the person’s name down and get rid of it daily in some form or another. Then I found that I needed to write down what I would say to them, you know, just hateful mean things so that I get it out of me. But obviously I don’t read it to them or say it to them but I get it out of me because it’s that that bad energy being stuck in me, and that is just not good.