Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, an 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992, when he had a year sober. He's in his 28th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he often disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Yesterday it came home to me once more that we learn valuable lessons in the rooms of recovery. This epiphany occurred while watching a news reports about the cancer death of a woman who was married for many years to a famous, wealthy politician. He'd divorced the woman a few years earlier after she'd discovered his infidelities.

During the news report, the commentators were berating the female commentator from another network who'd expressed sympathy toward the husband for his loss. They felt the man's indiscretions were so bad he should never be forgiven, that he should be forever held in contempt. Their vitriol and anger toward the man was palpable.

Without evaluating the man's actions during his marriage I thought about what we learn in the rooms about forgiveness and resentments. While we don't condone the bad behavior or others – whether real or perceived – we learn to forgive for our own good. We learn that it is especially important to us in recovery to not carry burdens we don't need to carry.

When discussing this newscast with another person in recovery we talked about how many real injustices there are in the world without finding ourselves angry at the transgressions of those we don't even know.

And the interesting thing that came to the fore during other reports of the woman's passing were stories about her own forgiveness of the man before her passing. Yet, these commentators chose to focus on the negative.

Today, I thank God for the lessons of recovery...