How Can Forgiveness Help Me Heal?

How Can Forgiveness Help Me Heal?

Forgiveness can be difficult. We often put off forgiving others by holding a grudge or clinging to feelings of resentment. However, forgiveness can offer a genuine sense of peace. Sometimes, holding on to feelings of anger, bitterness, shame, or guilt can prevent a person from healing.

If you are struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol, chances are good that you may be feeling some or all of these feelings. Substance abuse creates tension in relationships and can cause you to behave and respond in ways that may be hurtful to others. You might say things you don't mean. Your priorities might shift, leaving loved ones questioning your loyalty and care for them and yourself.

Behaving in ways that are out of character can leave you feeling regretful and ashamed. Substances can lead you to do and say things that you usually would not. Addiction strips you of your control, resulting in loss, hurt, and more.

Forgiveness is something that you may need to offer to yourself. It's also something you may need to receive from others. For everyone involved to heal and take steps to move forward, mutual forgiveness must occur.

Forgiving Yourself

As mentioned, addiction almost always comes with feelings of shame and guilt. Often, these feelings can be so strong that they cause a delay in seeking treatment. You may feel disappointed in yourself for allowing things to get this far.

Forgiving yourself and offering a little grace can help you overcome your feelings of guilt and move forward with seeking help. The first step is often accepting responsibility. Acknowledging your mistakes and the decisions that may have led to your addiction is essential.

Assigning blame is something that can be very common among those struggling with substance use disorder (SUD). However, when it comes to forgiving yourself and others, blaming is not helpful. Making excuses can also be very common. You might have been making excuses for yourself or a loved one may have been making them for you.

By assuming responsibility and owning up to your missteps, you can learn from them and work to develop strategies for avoiding making the same mistakes again. This is critical when it comes to staying on track and avoiding relapse.

Receiving Forgiveness

While you may not be in control of this piece, you can help support your loved ones and encourage their forgiveness. Addiction really is a family disease, meaning it has a significant impact on those who love you.

One of the best ways to promote healing and receive forgiveness from loved ones is by getting them involved in the treatment and recovery process along with you. Sometimes, this can take a little convincing. Other times, family members may be open and willing to participate. Often, a lack of understanding can lead to a lack of empathy. This serves as a barrier to healing and moving forward.

Family Program

Enlightened Solutions offers a family program that provides support for those who have loved ones going through treatment. Getting loved ones involved in the treatment process allows them to feel included and offers the opportunity to establish understanding and find some common ground.

We begin by providing information about addiction, as many family members may be unfamiliar with the experience and how powerful it can be. Our family program offers opportunities for loved ones to receive support, advice, and encouragement from other family members who are going through something similar. Creating this sense of community among families can be very comforting and even empowering.

Forgiveness and Healing

Forgiveness is essential when it comes to healing yourself and creating an opportunity for your loved ones to heal. Holding a grudge regarding behavior, choices, or actions that took place as a result of addiction can be common. Substance abuse often leads to lying, risk-taking, avoidance, and other things that can be tough to forgive and overcome.

While some of these things may be hard to forgive, it can be more burdensome to hold onto them and allow resentment to build. Forgiveness can be freeing, both for the forgiver and the one being forgiven. Many times, tough conversations have to be had in order for forgiveness to occur.

Therapists can help you and your loved ones navigate tough conversations. They can also help you learn to process your feelings of shame or regret and work toward forgiving and loving yourself again. Moving forward requires work. Learning to forgive others, forgiving yourself, and being open to forgiveness from others are important pieces of the puzzle.

Recovering from SUD takes time and cannot be done overnight. Taking small steps each day toward forgiveness will instill hope and motivation for moving forward in recovery.

Forgiveness is an important component of addiction recovery. It is critical to forgive yourself for your past mistakes and the things you may have done or said while under the stronghold of addiction. Receiving forgiveness from your loved ones is also essential. By giving and receiving forgiveness, you can mend relationships with yourself and those you care about. This allows you to move forward and find hope in starting fresh in recovery. At Enlightened Solutions, we work to help clients rebuild relationships with their inner selves and loved ones. Our family program creates an opportunity for loved ones to get in involved in the treatment process and begin healing too. To learn more, call Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE.


How Can I Let Go of Regret?

How Can I Let Go of Regret?

Regret can be a powerful emotion. It can be very destructive if you allow it to be. You can feel regretful over many different things. You might regret a few unkind words you said or regret spreading a little gossip. You might regret your behavior or actions. Whether what you regret is large or small, the feelings can be consuming.

Regret can often spark feelings of anxiety and even depression. It can be easy to get lost in the what-ifs and play different scenarios over and over in your head. What if you didn't say those words? What if you stayed home that day? What if you worked just a little harder? The spiraling can continue as long as you will allow it.

If you are struggling with substance use disorder (SUD), you probably have a laundry list of things your regret. You may regret breaking the trust of a loved one. You may regret causing tension between you and a spouse or family member. You might regret losing a job or neglecting to pay your bills. Substance abuse has a way of causing us to think and behave in ways we are sure to regret. We might make poor decisions as a result.

Letting go of this regret can be very difficult. As you make the decision to enter treatment and seek help, you might be riddled with shame and guilt as a result of your past. You might even allow shame, guilt, and regret to keep you from seeking treatment for a while.

The Effects of Regret

What does regret feel like physically? Regret can often feel like a mild illness or a pit at the bottom of your stomach. It might cause headaches or even shakiness as a result of the anxiety and uneasiness it can create.

Regret also takes a toll on your mental health. It can cause you to feel distracted, sad, or even hopeless. Allowing regret to consume your thoughts even after making the decision to seek treatment can hinder your growth and healing.

Regret can create a persistent feeling of worry or uncertainty. It often strips us of any self-confidence when it comes to future success in relationships, careers, or other endeavors.

Learning How to Let Go of Regret

Letting go of regret does not necessarily mean forgetting about your mistakes. It does, however, involve forgiveness, making changes, and focusing on the future. Living in the past and dwelling on mistakes you have already made can leave you feeling stuck and unmotivated.

Practice Forgiveness

Learning to forgive yourself is the first step. You must acknowledge your progress and give yourself credit for making the decision to pursue change. Seeking help takes significant courage. This should encourage you, as you are proving to yourself that you are capable of making the right decision.

While you may never forget the hurtful things you said or the mistakes you made due to your addiction, it doesn't mean you have to continue beating yourself up over them. It may be safe to assume there are plenty that you may not even remember. Forgive yourself. Addiction takes control over our minds, bodies, and spirits. Give yourself some grace and understand that you are choosing to do the right thing now.

Make Necessary Changes

The next step toward letting go of regret is making changes. In order to avoid making the same mistakes that caused your regret, you have to change the way you think, behave, and act. Choosing to seek treatment is a great step toward change.

As you go through the treatment process, you will continue to evolve in many ways. It is important to embrace the changes that occur as you heal. Be open to trying new things that will add value to your life in recovery. Know that you are changing for the better as a result of your sobriety.

Focus on the Future

Focusing on the future is another key component when it comes to letting go of regret. If you continue to think about the things you regret, you are more likely to repeat them. Instead, choose to focus on all the good things. Think about how far you have come since choosing to seek help for your addiction. Think about the relationships you are mending and the healthy habits you are adopting.

Don't continue to let regret stand in your way of a successful future in recovery. By forgiving yourself, making the decision to make a change, and focusing on what is to come, you can find peace and happiness in recovery from SUD.

Regret is something we all feel from time to time. When it comes to recovering from drug or alcohol addiction, regret can be very disruptive and hindering. Regret causes us to focus on the past and leads us to dwell on what we could have or should have done better. Addiction strips us of our control. It is important to understand the power in this and recognize that the things we said and did while under the stronghold of addiction may not have been our choice. At Enlightened Solutions, we help clients learn from past thoughts and behaviors and focus on moving forward toward healing. We help divert focus from shame and guilt to the hope that can be found in recovery. If you or someone you care about is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, we would love to help. Call Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE.


How Do We Forgive?

How Do We Forgive?

Choosing to forgive people who have hurt us may seem like a monumental task that is easier said than done. We might know it’s important to forgive because we don’t want to hold onto the anger that is poisoning us and making us sick, but how do we go about forgiving? Choosing to forgive others can be especially hard when they are still hurting us, when they are no longer in our lives, or when we have a hard time connecting with them because the conflict feels insurmountable. Here are a few suggestions you can implement in your efforts to forgive.

Compassion

When we hurt others, it is usually because we are in pain ourselves. Can we choose to see the suffering inside the person who hurt us? Pain is something we all share. The people who have hurt us are no exception. Try to remind yourself that their pain is likely what caused them to act in hurtful ways in the first place. When we believe in the interconnectedness of humanity, we know that having compassion for other people’s pain goes a long way in healing the division between us.

Understanding

Along with compassion comes understanding. We can try to understand what caused people to behave in the ways they did. We can try to put ourselves in their shoes. Even if we are convinced we would never do what they did, we can remember that we all have made mistakes and hurt the people we care about. This is a universal truth, and no one is exempt from it. Instead of focusing intently on how they hurt us, we can choose to look at their pain and understand that their pain drove them to do things they might not have done otherwise.

Love

The people we are most hurt by are often the people we love the most. We’re not nearly as affected by the hurtful actions of people with whom we have no connection. While we are working to forgive, can we focus on the love we share rather than the conflict in question? Try to recall happy memories you shared. Conjure up the love you felt. Hold onto that feeling and meditate on it. Yes this person hurt you, and it might still hurt just thinking about it, but can you allow your love to be your primary focus instead?

Directing our energy towards compassion, understanding and love can transform us from the inside out, make it easier to forgive those who’ve wronged us, and bring us a sense of peace.

Forgiveness is an important part of our healing. The staff at Enlightened Solutions has years of experience helping people work through the various issues that come up in recovery. Call (833) 801-LIVE for more information on how we can support you.


Choosing Forgiveness for Our Own Peace of Mind

Choosing Forgiveness for Our Own Peace of Mind

Addiction and mental health issues bring along with them all kinds of other challenges that are connected and related- conflicts, toxic relationships, unhealthy interpersonal dynamics. Because we experience a great deal of inner turmoil, we manifest relationships and experiences that reflect that turmoil back to us and that create even more turmoil. We have all kinds of problems with the people in our lives, and we can find ourselves feeling anger on a regular basis. We hold onto resentment and bitterness. We hold grudges. We have a very hard time letting go of the ways in which people have hurt or offended us. We obsess, fixate, and replay the difficult memories even when we know that causes us more distress. We are consumed with anger.

Forgiving something doesn’t mean we condone it, and forgiving other people doesn’t mean we excuse their behavior. It means we make the choice to be at peace with what happened, rather than continuing to carry it. We often let the painful energy of anger fester within us, sometimes because it feels better to be angry than to be sad, sometimes because anger is our go-to emotional response. We might never have learned how to resolve conflict and instinctively choose anger over reconciliation. Sometimes we hold onto anger for years rather than deal with the anxiety that can come with confrontation. We choose silence, we choose to cut people off, we choose to hate them.

How much lighter and more liberated would we feel if we chose to forgive instead? Choosing forgiveness means we take the bitterness and anger that were festering inside us and replace them with peace. This process brings space to the issues at hand, and in that space we are able to find healthy detachment and release. We’re able to finally let go. We are no longer consumed and tormented by the painful weight of our anger. The constant mental replay of the conflict starts to subside.

All that energy that once went to resentment is freed up to focus on joy and healing. Whether or not we ever reconcile the situation or resolve the conflict, we are giving ourselves love and care when we choose forgiveness. We are prioritizing our inner peace. We are choosing to be happy. As our energy shifts, we manifest more of the same- more relationships and experiences that make us happy. Making the choice to forgive is one of the best things we can do for our mental and emotional wellbeing.

We all need support during the recovery process. At Enlightened Solutions, we offer therapy, mentoring, trauma healing, recovery planning, and more. Call (833) 801-LIVE.


Self- Forgiveness

Self- Forgiveness

A common theme for many addicts and those with mental health problems is the deep shame and guilt we carry, not only because of our past mistakes and wrongdoings, but also from the false beliefs we hold that we aren’t worthy of love and forgiveness. Often when we experience trauma in childhood, we carry within us a persistent sense of inadequacy and unworthiness. We carry our regrets as heavy burdens. We find it increasingly hard to forgive ourselves. We learn over time though, that self-deprecation only adds to our pain, and when we make the important decision to choose happiness and wellness, we know self-forgiveness is a necessary part of our healing.

Being unable to forgive ourselves perpetuates our mental health problems and addictive behaviors. Having self-forgiveness can feel daunting, even impossible, especially when we have been carrying around years of embarrassment, regret, guilt and shame, sometimes for most of our lives. The practice and process of self-forgiveness, and extending unconditional love to ourselves, can be quite liberating and can really help us to heal from our mental and emotional challenges and addictions.

When we are suffering, we tend to be unreasonably hard on ourselves. We beat ourselves up for lacking motivation when we are depressed, we criticize ourselves harshly when we neglect self-care, and we judge ourselves harshly for our mistakes. We forget that we are human, and that none of us is immune to making mistakes or hurting other people. We speak to ourselves in such unkind ways that we both perpetuate and exacerbate our depression, anxiety and addictive behaviors by compounding the deep sense of unworthiness and inadequacy we already felt. When we are down, we want that substance, partner or habit that temporarily makes us feel better, but then the ensuing feelings are often of regret and shame, which makes us want to turn to our drug of choice yet again. We find ourselves in a never-ending cycle of trauma, then avoiding, suppressing, compounding and exacerbating the pain of that trauma.

The inner child within us needs to be told that she is good enough, that her mistakes and regrets don’t undermine her worth, and that she deserves unconditional love. If you believe in a higher power, tell yourself that He/She/it has already forgiven you and that you have permission to forgive yourself. Place your hand on your heart, activating its energetic power, and meditate on forgiveness. Visualize yourself at peace within yourself. Affirm that you are safe, secure, deserving of forgiveness, and unconditionally worthy of love. Radical self-forgiveness allows us to free ourselves from the cycles of self-deprecation that fuel our mental and emotional challenges and addictions.

We listen, and we understand. Many of us have personal experience with recovery. Enlightened Solutions offers therapy, mentoring, and friendship. Call (833) 801-LIVE today.