Often I’ve heard in meetings that we need to live one day at a time, not to dwell in the past. I’ve written about this before and it is true that we should not “live” in the past but we do need to look back and learn, look but don’t linger too long.
This is true of both positive experiences and negative ones that help us learn grow and become the full , loving, healthy people we are.
When we work the program we come to see differently. Our perception of events change when cloudy perceptive lenses are removed. We work with something called an “attitude of gratitude”. In Christianity this is “In all things give thanks.” I truly am grateful for even the most painful of experiences. These are the one’s that have helped me grow, learn and become that person I am becoming. Truly, we are always in a state of becoming, learning and growing, unless we are dead. So looking back whether it is 10 or 20 years or to an hour or a day ago we can come closer to clear vision when we can learn from things. Often though we find that we look to what we know only as what we know. People tied up in right or wrong seldom are open to learning.
Our perceptions form our reality. When we realize that truth in vision leads to clear perceptions our projections of reality become more closely aligned with what is rather than being distorted. We all know people who we look at and say, “Wow, they can really see or read people.” I suspect these people seek truth in their vision; physically, mentally and spiritually. The biggest truth we must search for is within ourselves. We do this in step 4. When we’re working the program. The distortion comes when we project our distorted vision as opposed to truth. Truth is not about this or that, truth is all interrelated. Truth just is and it can not hide.
This program is called a “selfish” program. In someways yes, but truly it is a program that allows us to extend, grow and give back. That is the last step. Who among us could look back at experiences we learned so much from, and hold on to the resentment of the experience of learning while yearning to learn and being grateful for it? It is my experience that one can’t do both, be resentful and grateful. Anyone that longs to maintain resentment, instead of truth, can cause great harm to a recovering addict. This is why it is imperative that we that care for addicts recovering or otherwise, incorporate the 12 steps into our being so that they become as natural as breathing. And continue to share and extend the way of life that brings so much serenity.
So while the program starts for most of us selfishly, to regain or recover something we think we have lost, we can be assured that we reach appoint where the program doesn’t just give to us it allows us to give back.
As for myself, I am watching something play out with my allowed small part in it that is amazing. I can see every part as necessary every player. And I am grateful for all of them. In that I have learned a small miraculous thing myself. Whatever I am grateful for, does not require forgiveness on my part, for forgiveness alludes to a wrong or perceived wrong gratitude eludes to “Whatever is is right.” And we never have to forgive something “right”. I can make or give amends where I can see there is lack in the vision of truth and understanding and share in gratitude, extension of love, peace and serenity.
I can say that in working the 12 step program for many years that my sense or feeling of needing amends to be made to me decreases overtime. Because pain – emotional physical or mental, does not equate to right or wrong, pain exists, suffering over it is optional.
There is a program called ACIM (A Course In Miracles) that has brought me a deeper understanding of the 12 steps, of my Higher Power and life in general. And also of atonement, forgiveness, and amends. Like any information that comes our way it comes at the time we need it. Some teaches us by attraction some by repulsion, shows us what is right shows us what is wrong.
What I can say is this: “In order to Love who you are, you can not hate the experiences that shaped you.”” ~ Andrea Dykstra