September 1

FREEDOM MONTH: DAY 1: “Not to forgive is to be imprisoned by the past, by old grievances that do not permit life to proceed with new business. Not to forgive is to yield oneself to another’s control… to be locked into a sequence of act and response, of outrage and revenge, tit for tat, escalating always. The present is endlessly overwhelmed and devoured by the past. Forgiveness frees the forgiver. It extracts the forgiver from someone else’s nightmare.” ― Lance Morrow

This is a beautiful quote. A new one for me, and a challenge to work with, because I do not use the word “forgiveness” or believe that we can or should embrace the concept of “forgiving.”

As a product of Divine Intervention (Grace!), I see how my life is changed when I am unconditionally loved and accepted, not by people, but by the only thing that can rescue me from a life of living in hell, such as was the life I had in addiction and Ego. That Grace can only be given by a Power so great it has no human emotions, agenda, or condemnation.

Having been given that, of what possible use is it to me or you to be granted some kind of “forgiveness” by others? None at all. If you cannot, will not, or do not accept me unconditionally; then I am moving on. It is okay. I may have feelings around that, but that is nothing to you. It is up to me to work through that shit. It is the basis of much of my dysfunctional thinking and believing that kept my addiction alive and running the show. It is called codependence.

So, if I place the word Acceptance where forgiveness is written here, I am good. And, the REAL secret here is not to ask for YOURS, but to do this work in such a way that I am give absolute, unconditional love and acceptance by ME. Oh!

And how this frees me is ABSOLUTELY. I have no need of your judgment, nor your approval. I am complete, wrapped in the arms of absolute, unconditional love and acceptance by the Power who took me at my worst and gave me the gifts of the Universe. I did nothing to deserve or merit these rewards; in fact, that is the totality of what Grace truly is. And not another human entity on this or any other planet can do this for or with me.

So, Step 9 is where I get free. I make things right with other people because I am right with the Power that created EVERYTHING. And that means I have no need of anything from you. If we hang together, it is a day-by-day, moment-to-moment experience. I have no needs or expectations that you are here to fulfill any part of my life, other than what you bring to the table today. Tomorrow that may shift, and we may have to let it all go. Okay by me. That will create the space where someone or something else steps in to complete another cycle of my growth and development in practicing spiritual principles in all my affairs.

So, in practicing Step 9, with you, what I intend to do is set both of us FREE! Free from the BS dynamics of expectations, needs, and the sick dance where we believe it is necessary to cling or die. Ugh! I have learned that when I am clean with ME (steps 4-9), I will be able to be clean with you. No more, no less. I don’t owe anyone anything, thank you very much. This is a beautiful and wonderful experience. So few of us ever get to this kind of real freedom…and this kind of real recovery.

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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