April 14

HONESTY MONTH: DAY 14: “I tried to manipulate, and control people and I harbored resentment. I wanted to be forgiven but I wouldn’t forgive others.”― Lauryn Hill

Step 4 gives me a great deal of freedom. While I do not believe that “forgiveness” is something I can give or receive, except from the Universal Power; and that means no one else needs to bother. If I get it from that Source, and I believe I do the minute I am able to go for 5 minutes without drugs and alcohol, then I don’t need it from any other source.

So, this quote and all others with the concept of “forgiveness” is better taken in as “acceptance.” When I can accept you, just as you are, and I accept me, just as I am, I am free.

In the application of Step 4, I get to understand myself better like this: I see that you are providing a mirror. If I resent YOU, it is because of things you do or have done. I cannot change that you might be doing those, but I CAN see that I do them also. Every time. I do not dislike YOU, per se. I dislike the things that we are both doing.

I have yet to see that I can recognize how I manipulate and control and con others without seeing that I am doing it as well. All the time. The truth is that when I resent you for something, it is behavior that I am also practicing and calling it by another name. Ego is great at that.

The reason Step 4 is so powerful is that I get to see what it is about YOU (I think) that is truly what I am up to. Oh! This is so powerful.

I only want you to stop doing something because I don’t want to see it in myself. There is very seldom any exception to this dynamic. It ain’t you baby…it is all me. Ugh!

And when I can accept this about ME, I am okay with you as well. Oh! And forgiveness is not something I can practice, because it ain’t up to me. That is a privilege for a Power much greater than me. I am human, I cannot practice a Divine right. So I work very hard to accept what I get from that Power, which is unconditional love, forgiveness, and grace.

Then I only have to walk in that and practice acceptance all day, every day. It covers you, me, life, all of it! Isn’t that wonderful?

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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