FORGIVENESS

Definition of Forgiveness:
releasing feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group
Synonyms of Forgiveness:
pardon, exoneration, indulgence, tolerance,  clemency, leniency, amnesty, etc.

These notes are from recovery in AA and/or related 12 step programs.
Readers are encouraged to click external links for more detail.
We hope you find them helpful.
Love in fellowship.

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I also need to forgive myself. I can be my harshest critic. –One Day At A Time | More…

As we realize our need to be forgiven, we tend to be more forgiving.
At least we know that we are no longer intentionally making life miserable for people. –Just for Today | More…

When you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future. -Bernard Meltzer | More…

Forgiveness is the way to true health and happiness.
By not judging, we release the past and let go of our fears of the future. –Gerald G. Jampolsky | More…

Forgiveness for ourselves is the journey from guilt over what we have done or not done to the celebration of what we have become. –One Day At A Time | More…

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The natural law of forgiveness says, if you hate someone, pray for the person to be blessed with happiness, joy and all the blessings of the Great Spirit. –Elders | More…

If we do not forgive we shall not be forgiven. I must hate a bad man’s actions, but not hate the bad man Or as they say ‘hate the sin but not the sinner’ –CS Lewis/Mere Christianity | More… (p.117)

The moment we ponder a twisted or broken relationship with another person, our emotions go on the defensive. To escape looking at the wrongs we have done another, we resentfully focus on the wrong he has done us.

Triumphantly we seize upon his slightest misbehaviour as the perfect excuse for minimizing or forgetting our own. Right here we need to fetch ourselves up sharply.
In many instances we are really dealing with fellow sufferers, people whose woes we have increased. –As Bill Sees It | More… (p.151)

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If we ask, God will certainly forgive our derelictions. But in no case does He render us white as snow and keep us that way without our cooperation.–Daily Reflections | More…

When a man comes to you and tells you your own story, you know that your sins are forgiven. And when you are forgiven you are healed. — The Spirituality of Imperfection/Ernie Kurtz & Katherine Kechum | More…

We need to forgive so we can heal.
Forgiveness means not wanting to get even.

Forgiveness means letting go of self-will. When we forgive, we give our will to our Higher Power. When we forgive, we make room in our heart for our Higher Power.
This is how we heal. This is why forgiving is so powerful for us. –Keep It Simple | More…

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If we’ve been treated unjustly by others or simply by life itself, we can avoid compounding the difficulty by completely forgiving the persons involved and abandoning the destructive habit of reviewing our hurts and humiliations. –A Day At A Time | More…

If we owe a bill and pay it in full, do we return to pay that same bill over and over again?
If we did, someone would surely question what was wrong with us.

Yet, how often do we ask forgiveness for the same thing over and over again?
Once we say we are sorry, we need to be willing to forgive ourselves.

After all, how else do we learn and grow except by mistakes?
When we have forgiven ourselves, we become free to take risks again without fear of unforgivable failure. –Today’s Gift | More…

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There were many injustices done to Native people. Sometimes I wonder; why am I connected to the past injustices done to Indian people? Why am I so angry about the past? The Elders say our ancestors are alive within each of us.

Therefore, I may experience anger and resentment inside of me because of the injustice done to them. The way I get rid of these past feelings is to forgive. It may be necessary to even learn to forgive the unforgivable. –Elders Meditations | More…

Forgiveness is a simple word, but a difficult, complicated process.
Forgiveness is also essential if we want to find happiness and joy.

To forgive too soon, before we’ve felt all we needed to feel along the way, is incomplete.
Sometimes we need to seek forgiveness because we’ve tried everything else and nothing works to bring us back to peace.

Sometimes forgiveness finds us, unexpectedly transforming our hearts, softening us, opening us, and renewing our hearts and our relationships. –Journey To The Heart/Melody Beattie | More…

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Early in sobriety I found it easy to forgive others but hard to forgive myself. This kept me sick and negative, even in recovery, because I was unable to practice self-love.

I still blamed me and felt responsible for being alcoholic. I had not surrendered to the reality of alcoholism as a disease. Then a moment of sanity was granted me whereby I understood that I was not responsible for being alcoholic, but that I am responsible for my recovery.

And my recovery involves a love and respect of self. Only by loving me will I be able to love you, and in both these ways I show my love of God. –Father Leo | More…

For-GIVE-ness, connotes gift; to confuse forgiving with forgetting would lose – even violate – that reality. We are capable of forgiveness only if we acted on by some reality outside of, beyond, and in some way greater than ourselves. We cannot bestow forgiveness either by or on ourselves. — The Gift of Imperfection/Ernie Kurtz | More …

In forgiving others, we do not grant a favour to them, but to ourselves.
We are not giving up a possession or a right; instead, we are freeing ourselves from a burden that nobody needs to carry. –Walk in Dry place/Mel B. | More…

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We are quick to forgive our own transgressions because we know ourselves.
We don’t know everything that prompts others’ attitudes and behaviors.

We have no way of knowing if they are in physical pain, or if they have just suffered some emotional blow.  We criticize many people without knowing anything about their experiences.

If we were to know more about them, we might be more tolerant.  God does know – and forgives everything. We can be forgiving also. –In God’s Care/Karen Casey | More…

Guilt is one of the most commonly encountered stumbling blocks in recovery. One of the more notorious forms of guilt is the self-loathing that results when we try to forgive ourselves but don’t feel forgiven

Guilt and failure are not links in an unbreakable chain. Honestly sharing with a sponsor and with other alcoholics shows this to be true.

Somewhere along the way, we discover who we really are. We usually find that we are neither the totally perfect nor the totally imperfect beings we have imagined ourselves to be. We need not live up to or down to our illusions; we need only live in reality. –Just for Today | More…

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Often it was while working on Step Five with our sponsors or spiritual advisers that we first felt truly able to forgive others, no matter how deeply we felt they had wronged us. –As Bill Sees It | More… (p.318)

Forgiveness isn’t too much to Ask. Forgiveness is a delicate, sometimes difficult subject, but once in a while that’s what we need to ask for. Being unforgiven can block the kindest and warmest heart. It can keep guilt lingering in the air.

It can cause people to go away from each other.  Muster your forces. Prepare yourself if you must. Then take a risk, one of the greatest risks you’ll be asked to take. Put your cards on the table. Say you’re sorry, say it from the heart.

Then don’t get defensive, ruffle your feathers, or get mad. Ask for forgiveness.
Forgiveness is not too much to ask for, if forgiveness is what you need. –Journey to the Heart | More…

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We realized that the people who wronged us were spiritually sick. When a person offended we said to ourselves, ‘This is a sick man. How can I be helpful to him? God save me from being angry. Thy will be done’.

This has been one of the most important paragraphs for me in recovery. I have used it for any type of hurt I have in reaction to another person. Besides my asking God to save me from anger, I ask God to heal all feelings I have toward that person that block me from having a closer relationship with the God –One Day At A Time | More…

Forgiveness fosters humility, which invites gratitude.  And gratitude blesses us; it makes manifest greater happiness.  The more grateful we feel for all aspects of our lives, the greater will be our rewards.

We don’t recognize the goodness of our lives until we practice gratitude. And gratitude comes easiest when we’re in a forgiving state of mind. Forgiveness should be an ongoing process. First on our list for forgiveness should be ourselves. –/Karen Casey | More…

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You don’t know how an apple tastes until you taste it. The natural law of forgiveness says, if you hate someone, pray for them to be blessed with happiness, joy & all the blessings of the Great Spirit.

The natural law says love others as you love yourself. You teach your children by your example, not by your words. The natural laws are written in our hearts. –Elders | More…

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