“Heal the past, live the present, dream the future.”
So today I’ll delve into “Heal the past” once again, hopefully with a new thought or two.
In previous posts and in the book “The Freedom to Recover”, I used the phrase; “forgiving the past” as opposed to healing it. The idea is basically the same but some people took it the wrong way at times thinking that I was advocating giving people who have wronged you or situations that were clearly unfair, a free pass. That’s not it at all. What I believe is, not that you need to forgive the transgressors necessarily, but that
you have to forgive their effect on you. Sure there are many times when forgiveness is called for, especially if the offending party has made a sincere and useful or effective attempt at undoing the past misdeed or at least mitigating the damage done. That being said, there are also times when forgiveness is just not going to happen nor do I feel that it should.
I used this example recently to make the point. Suppose you are a 16 year old girl and an intruder breaks into your house, kills your parents and your siblings and then rapes you and leaves you for dead. How the HELL are you supposed to forgive that? You really can’t and shouldn’t unless you are some kind of Saint or something. We’re human and if we’ve been brutally attacked and wronged, we are going to be hurt and pissed off.
So the past is real and in many cases has screwed us up. Sometimes by outside people, places and things and sometimes by our own stupidity, ignorance or lack of empathy. It has brought us to wear we stand right now. No point in arguing that; the question is if some of those things are messing with our ability to have peace in the present and optimism for the future, what do we do about it?
You have to analyze it, break it down into its relevance in your present reality and use it as means in which to transcend what it did to you. You need to view it with a certain detachment in order to not let festering emotions keep you stuck there.
For those who have suffered horrific trauma like the young lady in my example, this can be exceedingly difficult to do and some people never get over it. That’s incredibly sad but unfortunately it is very real. They should still keep trying though, because what’s the alternative?
Now looking at our alcohol or dependent past, you need to look at the whole history of it. The reasons for your using usually change over time, particularly if that history is of a long duration.
In my case, I started very young as a means to overcome my social anxieties, for a sense of belonging, confidence and yes, because it felt good. I’ve gone back and figured out what was causing most of
those feelings. I don’t get a do-over but understanding the why’s does help me let go of it.
As time went on, the reasons for my dependencies changed. As a result of living that lifestyle in my formative years, I neglected normal aspects of growing up. I didn’t develop goals, empathy, strive for excellence, take responsibility, accept the world as it was, etc… Instead, I just “lived for the moment”, “chasing the dragon” and avoided making any meaningful decisions.
This caused different problems even later in life. Not having had much by the way of direction earlier, I ended up in jobs that did not make me happy, I never learned how to have mature relationships and
therefore ended up in an unhappy marriage. So at that point I was drinking to self-medicate away my unhappiness with all of that.
So when I finally made an adult decision to put the bottle down, I also had the realization that if I didn’t go back and try to figure all of this stuff out, that that decision didn’t stand a real great chance of being long lasting.
Now of course, everybody’s history and the why’s and how’s all vary like the colors in the rainbow. The point is though, if you don’t go back and try to decipher it and mitigate the cumulative effect, then it will always own you.
So when do you attempt to piece all of this together? How about right now?...........
Peace out for now,