Tag Archive | Sobriety

Forgiveness

Reposted from a message board comment I made elsewhere today…

Sorrow
Van Gogh, Sorrow

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I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the meaning of “forgiveness.” We talk about this as something we give to the person who has “harmed” us. “I forgive YOU.” But really I think we need to find another word to use because we’ve twisted the word “forgiveness” so badly.

The forgiveness and letting go we need as professional resenters and progressing healers isn’t really about letting the person off the hook and telling them it was OK. In some cases, it absolutely is NOT OK. (As in the case of my molestation throughout my childhood. I did NOT have a role to play in that. You didn’t have a role to play in your trauma either.)

But we need a word besides “forgiveness” that implies wiping the slate of your own heart clean of the pain and sadness and anger that memory still causes you.

Forgiveness isn’t really about the other person. Forgiveness is about freeing YOURSELF so you can live without the shackles that incident has placed on your life, on your ability to be proud and self-confident, on your ability to live your life without something you can’t control playing over and over in your mind and making your stomach and heart and brain grieve and ache and rage all the time.

That’s totally why I drank. It feels so much better to feel nothing than to feel all that sadness and pain.

But if you can find a way to let that shit go and also stop drinking, think of how light your brain and stomach and heart would be! That’s what we need.

(So let me know when you figure out how to do it!)

*Now we all join hands and perform our inspirational, synchronized dance routine to “Let It Go!”*

Links of the Week – February 27, 2015

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* 10 Ways To Be Her True Life Superhero

* How I Feel About My Responsibilities

* Christianity Without The Cross

* 24 Times Your Favorite Kids’ Cartoons Suddenly Got Really Deep

* Fun With Kirk And Spock – (WHY do I not own this book?)

* 27 Times Tumblr Used Art History Perfectly To Make A Point

* How We Talk About Our Teachers – (Turns out we use different descriptors depending on if they’re male or female)

* Star Trek Spock With Ears Socks

* The “Golden Years” Are Gone: Why Retirement Is Hell For Women – (Oh good. Something else to look forward to.)

* How Much I Was Distressed During “Fox and the Hound”

* Julia: Turn Turn Turn

* Game Day Program – Ohio State vs. Indiana – Thanksgiving Day 1903 – (So cool!)

* When I Hide In The Bathroom Stall Until I Hear My Coworker Leave So I Don’t Have To Make Small Talk With Them – (Every time.)

* Check Out Ambidextrous Pitcher Pat Vendittes’ Chthulu-Like Glove

* Adventure Time Oreo Necklaces

* Subway Riders Can Be Animals – (Awesome paintings!)

* You’re Not Happy Because You Never Learned To Be

* The Emory Wheel Editorial Board: Gender Neutral Pronouns Necessary For Inclusivity

* Just Let Them Kiss Already: Why Are TV Shows Are So Weird About Male Relationships?

* I Can Haz Cheezburger?: Extrovert vs. Introvert – (As illustrated by cats…)

* Why Each Sign Is Dangerous – (Scorpio)

* Stained Glass Backboards Are Completely Unnecessary And Beautiful

* 10 Things I Wish I Knew At The Beginning Of Sobriety

* 19 Anti-Social Motivational Posters That I Really Want To Hang In My Office

* Study: What Are The Most Addictive Foods? – (This is why I have frozen pizza six nights a week…)

* “My Mom Can Kick Your Ass” Kid’s T-Shirt

* After His Brother’s Suicide , Writer Seeks Comfort “In All The Wrong Places”

* Inflatable Toupee

* Get The Picture: Stubborn Is As Stubborn Does – (You can only do so much)

* 19 Pictures That Will Hurt Your Fragile Soul – (Owwwwwwwwwww!)

* The Refuge: A Healing Place – Depression

* The Center: A Place For Hope

* Photos: Evan Gattis The Astro

* Unlocking “The Woman Code”: 4 Tips To Know Your Value

* Unexpressed Emotions, Rage And Depression

* NASA Sees “Bright Spots” On Dwarf Planet In Our Solar System – ( OoO )

* This Wondrous Dutch Light Installation Mimics The Northern Lights – ( ❤ ❤ ❤ )

* A Tortured Soul, Josh Hamilton’s Battle Was Never Over

* To Boldly Go: Uhura

* GPS In Shoulder Pads: Vanderbilt Goes High Tech

* The Frisco RoughRiders Have Your New Favorite Presidential MiLB Logo – (Must have a cap with Big Head Teddy!)

* “I’m Scared” T-Shirt

* “Worthless” T-Shirt

* Reviewing My 2015 Goals Thusfar – (11 out of 26. Eh.)

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“As other girls prayed for handsomeness in a lover, or for wealth, or for power, or for poetry, she had prayed fervently: let him be kind.”

 – A Spy In The House Of Love, Anaïs Nin

“I turned over in bed and listened to the traffic in the rain. A few cold, clear truths rose one by one through my consciousness like a flock of birds: I wasn’t even remotely worthy of William and I wasn’t ever going to have him; I’d asked my mother to lend me money and she’d said no; I’d given all the change to the cabdriver; no one was going to pay off my debts; no one would save me from myself. I fell asleep to the soft beating of wings in my head.”

 – In The Drink, Kate Christensen

“One fine spring morning I awoke in my own bed alone, with an ache in every orifice and a memory of bending over on the Christopher Street Pier at four in the morning with my drawers around my ankles while John stood behind me, holding my hips. As I gripped a piling to keep from tumbling into the Hudson, I gazed down into the filthy water and thought gaily to myself, Well, here I am, and this is me.”

In The Drink, Kate Christensen

“Throughout these long afternoons outside with her, I was always conscious of being a speck at the bottom of a vast, ragged bowl of rock under the empty sky, buried in the silence and heat, surrounded by blank sand. The foothills, with their gray-green mesquite fur, rolled away to faraway mountains that sat sharp-spined on the horizon, unconnected to the valley floor, as if they’d been set down ready-made. The buttes and mesas to the west glowed deep red; veins of magenta and green spidered along rock formations shaped like tablets or giant hands, stacked in layers of cinnabar, crimson, brick. Masses of clouds echoed the rock shapes in their charcoal or ocher strata, wind-shaped crags so dense they looked mineral. The air was thick with the breath of sage and hot dust. At sunset the air hung low, striated like a weird plowed field of pigmented earth, backlighting the mountains with shirred, neon clouds, leaching all the color from the rocks, abstracting the bushes to dark cutouts. The wind moved like a huge hand through the valley, filling me with a restless, empty impatience I later identified as loneliness.”

In The Drink, Kate Christensen

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Links of the Week – January 16, 2015

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* 7 Reasons To “Queer” 2015

* 12 Things Men Are Forgetting About Being Men

* PostSecret: One Small Gesture Of Kindness

* 22 People Who Are Not Ready To Be A Proper Adult Yet

* 24 People Doing The Whole Jesus Thing Wrong

* And The Moral Of The Story Is… Kids Don’t Always Understand The Moral

* Big Problem: Study Shows That 1/3rd Of Male Students Would Rape A Woman

* Handmade Personalized Plush Dolls – (Wonderful!!!)

* Craig Ferguson Was My Sober Shining Light: How The ‘Late, Late Show’ Host Made Me Want To Stop Drinking

* Donating A Single Rollerblade Is Not Going To Help Disaster Victims – (…or the needy)

* Double Chocolate Chip Cookies – (WOOT! PRAISE BREAK!)

* ESPN Mean Tweets

* Church In Lakewood Stops Woman’s Funeral Because She Was Gay – (#notmyjesus)

* Fat Guy Receiving Touchdown + Bowling Celebration + Fat Guy Cartwheel = YES! YES! YES! – (Mercer U. Football and my Link of the Week!)

* Homeless Kitten Born Without Eyelids Gets A Family – (Dawwwwwww!)

* Jake Tapper: I’m Ashamed By U.S. Leaders’ Absence In Paris – (Nail head, meet hammer.)

* No More Classical Music On WABE

* “I Was Dropped…” T-Shirt – (Feel free to order and ship to me!)

* Milo, Transgender Teen, Shares Transition Through Birthday Pancake Photos

* Milwaukee Brewers Roll Out “Timeless Tickets” – (I would totally get one of these for the Braves – if they weren’t moving out of Atlanta.)

* Raising My Rainbow: Mom, What If I Date A Transgender Person? – (Blog post of the week!)

* Stunning Set Of Vintage Inspired NASA Posters

* Recreating The Awkwardness: What About Grandma? – (This is really sweet!)

* Reverend Christopher Edward Carlton Funeral Service – (Why would I link to the video of a funeral service? This requires some explanation. Rev. Carlton was a much loved minister and counselor in our UMC Conference. He fought an ongoing battle with bipolar disorder and depression. A few weeks ago, the darkness overwhelmed him and he committed suicide. Watching this video brought me to tears. He was obviously an amazing man who had an extraordinary influence on thousands of lives. But his struggle…. Oh how I feel his struggle. The ministers who spoke here handle it so deftly, and so humanely and with so much true emotion at the loss of their friend. I guess I share this because I could’ve been Christopher. I get Christopher. I wish there were something I could’ve done to help Christopher. Despite the fact that I didn’t even know him, even in death he has ministered to me.)

* Sad Chipper Jones Live-Tweets The CFB Championship With Selfies – (Teh AWESOMESAUCE!)

* Schools Arming Students With Canned Goods – (Alabama. Say no more…)

* Schwings Shoe Wings – (MUST HAVE!)

* “Meet The Family” Mutant Family Portraits

* Glow In The Dark Murals – ❤ ❤ ❤ (My house needs these!!!)

* Whose Aunty Is This With The Stuggle Feet In White Kitten Heels? – (And then I fell out!)

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“During that time, the Brothers found out that I didn’t drink – never had – and they forced alcohol on me…. It took only a few swigs to loosen me, like my body was remembering something, an echo, or awakening to something, a birthright…. I now better understood how my father succumbed to it. It was a respite from worry, a rotgut way out, time deliriously spent, time unconcerned with the true costs to be paid later. I better understood the little lies liquor told, lifting spirits and drowning sorrows while withholding the whole truth – that, in the end, it is the spirit in peril of drowning. Sorrows have gills.”

– Charles Blow, “Fire In My Bones”

“…I’d come to understand that I sometimes confused the need for attention with a desire for sex. For much of my life I would crave attention with a carnal intensity. From anyone. From everyone. That feeling of being chosen…,to cover the emptiness I felt or to fill in the hole, the desired culmination being not so much physical intimacy as emotional affirmation. The boy who had once felt invisible would forever ache simply to be seen.”

– Charles Blow, “Fire In My Bones”

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What Counts

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The things that count cease being those that can be held in the hand and become only what can be held in the heart.”
– “Savoring Our Sobriety,” Emotional Sobriety
North Hollywood, Calif., August 1982