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 Post subject: Forgiveness Both sides
PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:14 am 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
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Back in October I posted in my thread


Quote:
Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as vengefulness, with an increased ability to wish the offender well.[1][2] Forgiveness is different from condoning (failing to see the action as wrong and in need of forgiveness), excusing (not holding the offender as responsible for the action), forgetting (removing awareness of the offense from consciousness), pardoning (granted for an acknowledged offense by a representative of society, such as a judge), and reconciliation (restoration of a relationship).[1]



Forgiveness is totally down to the individual
I have forgiven myself for what I did to myself but I have not forgiven myself for what I did to her

But what does it take to forgive?
What does it mean to be forgiven?

Would we change the above (from the web) definition when specifically related to SA?

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Remember recovery is more than abstinence
Every transition begins with an ending
Do not confuse happiness with seeking pleasure
stay healthy keep safe
Coach Kenzo


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:13 am 
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Recovery Mentor

Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
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I think that this is an interesting subject. In my view I believe that the common understanding of the word "forgiveness" is somewhat different from the dictionary definition. The definition provided suggests that the person who is the subject of the "offence" has made a decision to no longer hold negative emotions about it and to move on. I would in fact think that many would actually view the term "forgiven" as suggesting that it no longer matters to them that the act happened in the first place which is a subtle change in definition but makes the world of difference.

In my own case, my wife and I went through therapy a number of years ago and as we neared the end of our sessions with him he encouraged my wife to forgive me. We then got into a debate about what that meant. She said that she was prepared to acknowledge what I had done but did not want to say that she forgave me for it as it suggested that it was OK for me to have done it which she felt strongly was not the case. I completely agreed with what she was saying.

On reflection, and going back to the definition put forward, I would suggest that the term "acceptance" may be a better one to use than "forgiveness" in the context of SA. If I look back to that discussion with my wife, I think it is fair to say that she got to a stage where she was willing to accept that it had happened but did not want to go as far as saying that it had been OK. I am completely on-side with that. If I then look at myself, I found one of the early lessons incredibly helpful which was essentially saying that if you have made the decision to change and start out on the new path of a healthy life then no amount of trying to beat yourself up about what you have done will change what you have done so whilst you need to feel remorse for what had happened you must "accept" it and then let it go. I will always regret the pain that I have put my wife through and won't ever forget it but I can't change that now. I will not "forgive" myself for what I have done but I have now "accepted" that it happened. What I can change and have control over now though is how I treat her in the future and that is where my efforts and energies must be focussed.

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L2R

"Should you fail to permanently recover from your addiction, it will be due to your inability to fully commit to recovery"


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:29 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
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I am a little disappointed but not at all surprised with the lack of responses (one thus far in almost two weeks)
Disappointed because forgiveness is a very valuable commodity, both in the giving and the receiving, but of course it is not easy to do, as I have said previously I have forgiven me for damaging me, but cannot (thus far and perhaps forever) forgive myself for harming her

After pain, deceit, denial, selfishness, anger, blame and true love (or lack of) I would expect the concept of forgiveness to be up there for consideration both in healing and in recovering

not surprised, because this is a most difficult concept to deliberate upon and of course is a very individual thing

however is that not one of the reasons that we have these forums
to ask questions, understand and consider all aspects of healing and recovering in a safe non judgemental environment

This is not a criticism of our joint communities simply an observation , posted in the hope if it helps just one person to take the plunge to address this or any other potential stumbling block that could interrupt their journey, then it is worth doing

I copy a link to coach Jon,s writings discussing forgiveness herein

http://www.recoverynation.com/recovery/ ... veness.php

with an abridged version plus comments by Kenzo being purely individual thoughts in my personal thread

_________________
Remember recovery is more than abstinence
Every transition begins with an ending
Do not confuse happiness with seeking pleasure
stay healthy keep safe
Coach Kenzo


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:11 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 624
Hi Kenzo - I'm always somewhat cautious to a both sides post. But I appreciate your re-posting.

I've learned that forgiveness is different than reconciliation or restoration of trust.

Forgiveness to me is letting go of looking for justice. It's letting go of the expectation for restitution. It's not letting go of the need for amends. It's not letting go of the desire for justice, but the acceptance that injustice happened. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting. The purpose is really for the forgiver; it's to not stay imprisoned in the need for justice. It allows the forgiver to move forward with life.

In the context of my partnership, my husband wanted what he would call is my forgiveness. But what he really wanted was absolution which I do not have the power to give. As you posted, he has the responsibility to do the work to forgive himself. I see that as an important part of recovery and becoming free from addiction.

What was important for me to learn, as a partner, was I wasn't required to forgive. I didn't owe my husband forgiveness. I had to see that the process was about my well being.

Restoration of trust, which for me is necessary for reconciliation, is a different process.

dnell


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:32 am 
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Thanks Dnell and L2R (or perhaps your wife

I was asking about forgiveness and you both changed the wording to acceptance
As my senility creeps in I was as the Americans say "left out in some field or other"Ok I changed the text to suit :s: :s:
but I was thinking about partners acceptance
how could they not accept, the fact is that we had cheated on them and hurt them what is to accept?

Then the penny dropped (it takes longer with age)
You are not talking about acceptance of the events
you are talking about acceptance of the fact that the SO that you gave everything to was not who you believed him to be and that he actually was capable of doing these things

I wrote
Quote:
After pain, deceit, denial, selfishness, anger, blame and true love (or lack of) I would expect the concept of forgiveness to be up there for consideration both in healing and in recovering


for sure as Dnell agreed I was right with the recovering segment but how wrong was I in the healing

One does not need to forgive in healing, the relationship that was is gone it is broken and the addict carries the blame and always will do so
but if a new stronger, healthier relationship in whatever form can be bourne out of the ashes of the old then of course acceptance is a key
acceptance that the addict is worthy, that the addict is more than was / is his addiction, that communication with openness and honesty are at the forefront , even then remember that any decision regarding any relationship with those we hurt is really in their hands alone, all that we can do is recover and support healing

Guys
thanks for enlightening me , showing a different perspective
once more the value of these forums has been demonstrated

I still hope that this thread brings in thoughts of others but if not then not

_________________
Remember recovery is more than abstinence
Every transition begins with an ending
Do not confuse happiness with seeking pleasure
stay healthy keep safe
Coach Kenzo


Last edited by Kenzo on Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:39 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:22 am
Posts: 208
Kenzo,

I too struggle with forgiveness of myself. As you know, the behaviors of our actions hurt others, but also hurt ourselves. So, yes, my wife deserved better treatment.

I deserved better treatment to myself, too.

You know yourself best and I can only speak for myself. But I believe that my healing and purest form of recovery will be hindered and dulled by the shame and guilt. Until I can truly forgive myself for my actions towards my wife and myself, I will be caught in a constant push and pull with my addiction and recovery.

I hope that through continued awareness and self-compassion I can learn to love my true self, so that I may be my truest self.

Perhaps you have heard of the story of the Golden Bhudda?

There was a small temple in 70's where Thai Monks worshiped a large clay Bhudda. During a dry season, the clay Bhudda began to crack. A monk inspected the extent of the damage with a flash light. As the beam of light crossed over a crack, a bright gold hue shone back. There was something reflecting back from within. He left to tell others and returned with tools. He would then unearth the largest solid gold Bhudda known to exist. It is thought that monks prior covered the Bhudda with clay to protect it from marauders and thieves during the Burmese war. A clay shield of protection from fear, pain, and perceived evil.

Is that not what we often do? Perhaps we had unmet needs as a child due to society/culture/parenting/trauma. In order to protect ourselves, in order to survive, we created a shield. But then we began to believe that we were in fact the shield. This is falsehood is problematic. Soon, every action out of protection and resistance to pain reinforced the clay. We became addicted and forgot our true selves. Even Coach Jon warns of this during Lesson 44: the importance of separating our emotions from our CORE identity. We are not our emotions. We are not the shield, Kenzo. We are indeed made of gold.

Through belief and breaking down the clay barrier, we can polish the gold with self-compassion and forgiveness so that we may live our best life yet.

Forgiveness is not condoning the behavior. The behavior is to be known as wretched so that we may learn. It's OK to mourn and grieve. But guilt and shame are not meant to be worn like a badge of honor-- must leave them behind if our true recovery is to be reality.

Forgiveness is accepting the invitation to your new life. Forgiveness is a pardon. A way forward. If we decline the invitation, we are only building the clay back up.

May you be happy, healthy, and live with ease in your golden life.


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