Right here we need to fetch ourselves up sharply. It doesn’t make much sense when a real tosspot calls a kettle black. Let’s remember that alcoholics are not the only ones bedeviled be sick emotions. Moreover, it is usually a fact that our behavior when drinking has aggravated the defects of others. We’ve repeatedly strained the patience of our best friends to a snapping point, and have brought out the very worst in those who didn’t think much of us to begin with. In many instances we are really dealing with fellow sufferers, people whose woes we have increased. If we are now about to ask forgiveness for ourselves, why shouldn’t we start out by forgiving them, one and all?
There’s no one in my daily life anymore who ever saw me drink. The people who are living and I’m still in touch with are my mother, my best childhood friend, and someone I knew in sobriety. Others, like my aunts and uncles, weren’t untouched by my drinking, but they weren’t touched closely or often by it. I don’t know how to write about without being arrogant or proud (as in not humble), but I truly hope and believe that my sober behavior has not aggravated the defects of others like my drinking did.
In my troubled work relationships there is no question that my character defects have been at play in a huge way. I also usually see everyone as a fellow sufferer in one way or another, and I know I have increased their woes and the woes of innocent bystanders.
Every time I read it/hear it/practice it again, I think I understand a little bit better the concept that yes I am asking for forgiveness from individuals and groups and God and the universe, and by doing that I can someone edge closer to forgiving others.
And what of my scary work situation, where I am clearly in the wrong? What do I mean by wanting foregiveness? If I’m punished, I deserve it. Do I want someone to say it’s OK? It’s not OK. Do I want to be sorry? I am sorry.
The Daily Word had a message the other day about foregiveness. It said, in part “….. I give thanks for us all and for the lessons we have learned through our experiences together. In prayer, I release all people, all situations into God’s care.”