Beliefnet
The Celebrity Therapist

As I walk this road of recovery with my loved one, I need to remind myself constantly to remember two very important words, “forgiveness” and”compassion”.  I discussed compassion yesterday and today compassion.

Forgiveness is a key component of my book, the  law of Sobriety, but is
also one of the most difficult things to do, especially when we have been hurt
very deeply. I came across an interesting article on the web recently about
forgiveness. It’s written by a psychologist, Raymond Lloyd Richmond, PhD, and
you can read it at www.guidetopsychology.com/forgive.htm.


What made this
article so interesting for me was his definition of forgiveness: “Forgiveness
is the refusal to hurt the one who hurt you.” When I started thinking about
this, I realized it’s a very big idea in a very short sentence. Among the many
insights it includes is the fact that forgiveness comes solely from inside us.
We make a decision about how we are going to act, and that decision is
independent of how the other person acted. Forgiveness is not about whether
they apologize or we ever reconcile with them or even ever speak to them again.
It’s not even about what they did. It’s 100% about us and what we choose to do.”  I am learning that it is ok to identify my emotional pain but to not get stuck in the vortex cycle of the pain.  In other words, not to attach a story to the emotional pain.  I am learning to regulate that pain so I am able to stay centered and balanced even through this roller coaster ride.

By acknowledging the pain I am following Dr. Richmond’s two other very important points. The first is that you cannot
forgive someone until you have fully felt the pain they caused you. That’s
because until you really acknowledge all the anger and resentment that hurt
stirred up, you can’t really deal with it.

His second
point is that forgivesness  is not the same as letting someone off the hook for what
they did. Rather, it’s letting yourself off the hook–giving up the obligation
to take revenge. He says, “… the bitterness of a grudge works like a mental
poison that doesn’t hurt anyone but yourself. Seeking revenge or wishing harm
to another will, at the minimum, deplete your strength and prevent your wounds
from healing. In the worst case, the cold hunger for revenge will make you into
a victimizer yourself. Lacking forgiveness, you and your victimizer will be
locked together in the hell of eternal revenge.”

By learning to forgive, I let go of the need to point fingers or stay in the shame and blame game.  I am able to simply know my truth and move forward.  It gives strength to my boundaries and to know that no matter what, I will get through this no matter what.


 

If you read the first paragraph of my blog yesterday I shared that someone I love has relapsed.  When someone close to you relapses you go thru many of the stages of loss similar to the stages of grief when someone dies.  You go thru anger, depression, bargaining (where you try to make sense out of it), acceptance, and letting go.  They also don’t always go in that order either.

I once again am reminded that relapse
is a part of addiction. It takes a lot of compassion to understand
this–compassion for yourself if you’ve relapsed and compassion for others if
they have. Without that compassion, there can be no hope. And without hope,
there can be no sobriety.
One of the first things I had to do was shift from anger to compassion because without it, I was full of resentment, and as you know, addicts and alcoholics cannot live in resentment.

Addicts and
alcoholics sometimes engage in all-or-nothing thinking. In other words, if one
thing doesn’t go right, they often just walk away from the whole endeavor. If
they’ve made just one mistake, they judge themselves harshly or blame others.
This gives them an excuse to give up, but it also keeps them from reaching
their goals.  I did not give up on this person and thank God with some recovery, I realize that this is temporary and this initial pain will pass.  I don’t have to drink or use over it.

When you go into resentment mode if someone 
has disappointed you even once, you dismiss that person as unreliable. That
gives you an excuse not to trust or forgive, but it also cuts you off from
that person.

All-or-nothing
thinking can be toxic. It cuts us off from compassion. It stops us from moving
forward. It prevents us from helping those we love.

Just because
you or someone you love has made a mistake or even relapsed, don’t walk away.
Don’t think sobriety is impossible. It is
not.
Life is not all or nothing. One mistake is not a guarantee of a
lifetime of mistakes. We can make a bad choice today and still make a good
choice tomorrow. Believing that, will bring you the positive energy you need to
be hopeful and do the right things.  I am glad today I can walk in my dis-comfort with reacting impulsively.

 


This week was challenging for me to say the least.  Someone I love dearly entered rehab and my mom had a stroke and lost eye sight in one of her eyes.  These were the biggies.  The less challenging issues were I did my first teleseminar and into it about 5 minutes, the power went out in my area.  Then the next day, I was signed up for another teleseminar, and I was booted for a more popular author.  I was reminded again how powerless I am over others.  I also realize that not everyone who preaches to be “spiritual” act spiritually.    Then, as the saying goes, when one door closes, another one opens, I was invited to join  another teleseminar that I am truly honored to be participating in.  This teleseminar resonates with everything I believe in.  It compliments the message of my book, “The Law of Sobriety: Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery” and I hope you will be able to join me.  The details of this very special event is below.  You will also receive a special bonus gift just for participating.      
 

I want
to personally invite you to join me for an extraordinary one-of-a-kind
FREE teleseminar series, beginning
Tuesday, October 19th.

In the wonderful world of
teleseminars, Quantum Healing, Consciousness and Soul
is unique. It’s true that this amazing lineup of expert speakers,
teachers and mentors will be helping you to tap into a vast wellspring
of powerful, life-changing information and cutting edge,
transformational tools for your body, health, relationships, finances
and more….But this series takes healing and transformation a giant
step farther… to help you reveal and align with the powerful core
healing energies of your soul.

Hosted by Shifra Hendrie,
spiritual life coach and teacher of authentic Kabbalah, Quantum
Healing, Consciousness and Soul
is a bridge toward an aligned,
empowered, illuminated life.  Each and every expert speaker, teacher and
mentor in this series brings something unique and life-altering … and
often miraculous… to the mix… each at will guide and support you in
taking yet another step across that bridge…and allow you to
experience extraordinary learning and astounding healing as you go.

 
Here are just some of the experts in quantum
healing, consciousness and soul that you’ll hear when you register for
this FREE event:

Dr. Eric Pearl, Dr. Norm Shealy, Dr. Bruce Lipton,
Donna Eden, Tapas Fleming, Brent Phillips, Dr. Gregg Braden, Richard
Gordon, Dawson Church, Chunyi Lin, Barbara Stanny, Jon Gabriel, Simon
Jacobson, Dr. Pat Carrington, YY Jacobson, Melissa Joy Jonsson, Richard
Bartlett, Asher Crispe


And of course, me, Sherry GabaI’ll
be speaking
on how you can break through any your addictions
whether they are drugs, alcohol, binge eating, gambling, shopping, sex,
or co-dependency,  and attract the life of your dreams



I’ll
be speaking on Thursday, December 2nd


 I
look forward to seeing you there!!

Please
join me for this unique series as we explore the frontiers of
consciousness and human potential, and begin to master the keys to
transforming your life and your world.
 
By the way, don’t worry
if you can’t make the sessions live. Each and every session will be
recorded, and available for an additional 48 hours after the live
class.  And remember…each and every one of these life-changing
sessions is available, completely FREE!
 
This
extraordinary event begins on Tuesday, October 19th at 9pm 
Eastern.
  There’s no fee, but you do have to register here to make sure that we
hold your spot for you:
 

 

Warm
regards,

Sherry Gaba, LCSW

P.S. Remember: opening up to
new, life-changing perspectives works even better when you’re not doing
it alone. Each time one person takes a step forward in consciousness and
connection, they open up new pathways for us all. So please do what you
can to make a difference by spreading the word on Facebook, Twitter and
anywhere else you go.

Visit my website by clicking here, and connect with me
on Facebook and Twitter!