When I was reading one of my recovery books this morning, I was happy to see one of the sentences that expressed a central principles of recovery programs. The meaning was not new. I've seen it and heard it thousands of times over the years, but I was just delighted to see it expressed in a way that was new to me.
Basically, it just said that maybe the most generous gift we can give ourselves is to treat everyone with compassion and respect - even those who have treated us badly. Maybe even ESPECIALLY those who have treated us badly.
Well, I used to think, that idea is just dumb. How could anyone but a saint even do it? Plus, how could that attitude possibly be a gift to myself?
Of course, the reading explained it, and the answer is ridiculously obvious: Harboring anger and resentment toward people who have treated us badly just keeps us tied to the past and to an ongoing cycle of bitterness that keeps us feeling miserable and victimized!
I have to be constantly reminded that it's to my benefit to live by spiritual principles. It isn't to make me into a good person necessarily, but to make me into a happy, joyous and free person!!!
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