Addiction, NA, Narcotics Anonymous, Recovery, Spiritual Principles, Twelve Steps

Forgiveness and Freedom

Drawing forgiveness as my spiritual principle two days in a row is making me uncomfortable. I’ve been told that if a certain principle comes up repeatedly, it either means it’s one I’m doing well, or one that needs practice. My hunch is that it it the latter.

I’m a great one for understanding a concept such as forgiveness and then struggling to apply it. Forgiveness is tricky too, because not only are there instances where I am called upon to forgive, but also those where I need to seek forgiveness.

As a recovering drug addict, there are plenty of things from my life that need forgiving. The list of promises broken, lies spoken, and people I manipulated is long. My self-centered pursuit of that next better high left a lot of damage in its wake.

Stop it Kent!

Yes, stop it Kent indeed! That is the beauty of forgiveness. Once received, forgiveness tells me that I no longer have to live in the shadow of my past. The past is not undone, but it no longer has to hold me back either. The key is found in what I choose to do with forgiveness.

Because of the recovery program of Narcotics Anonymous, I have a choice today. The first and most significant choice I can make today is to stay clean. The choice to tell myself that no matter what, I will not put any drugs in my body.

Another choice is to be different today. Being different means living differently than I did in the past. It’s one thing to say “I’m not who I was.” These are beautiful words, but they are empty if change is not evident. So, today I keep promises, speak the truth, and stop manipulating people.

Then comes the part that is most challenging for me. If I truly want to live in forgiveness, I must stop wallowing in my past. The what if and if only reflection on my past must cease. There is no room for wistful thinking about what might have been.

No, I don’t forget about my past. I don’t live in denial. I just stop letting it tear me up inside. I move on. I change. I show myself grace. I look in the mirror and see a person who is forgiven, and whose future is brighter than his past.

That is my goal for today. I will focus on who I am today, not on who I once was. I won’t just practice forgiveness, I will live in it. Then I can truly…

Have a remarkable day!


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