Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, a 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992 when he had a year sober. He's in his 27th year of recovery.

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

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Learning to Forgive

I was listening to a meditation tape on forgiveness this morning and it took me back to my childhood.

My seven aunts and uncles were always pissed about something.  And it was never about anything big.

A few of them had money and the rest of them didn't. So that was always fuel for disagreements among them.

One of them would buy a new car and the others would chat among themselves about how they thought they were better than everyone else.

Phone calls often started out with "do you know what that SOB did to me?" Then the caller would go on to describe in great detail over the next 20 minutes exactly what had happened.

Two of my aunts, both in their late seventies, hadn't spoken for over ten years. Yet they lived within five miles of each other.

When I spoke to the older of the two about perhaps forgiving her younger sister she told me "no way." She wasn't going to let her "get away" with what she'd done. Even though I'm not sure she remembered what it was.

It took me many years in recovery to get over this early upbringing.

For years, if things didn't go my way, my first reaction was to go to anger or resentment. And I would hang on to it.  After all, that's how I was raised.

It was only after I was in recovery for a few years that I learned that it is much easier to forgive than to pack around a bunch of resentments.

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