There are times when I hear someone speak at NA or AA that says something that alters my paradigm forever. Saturday morning a man was talking about how in recovery he revisited a lot of painful things in order to forgive the players that caused him pain. He had a bad relationship with his father and he said he would get so hurt every year when July 4th came and he begged his dad to take him to the Fireworks Display in town.
Every year he would beg and beg but his father would
never take him. He was hurt and angry and it followed him into
adulthood. When his dad died , he was in recovery and able to speak
about the pains he carried with him he was talking to his aunt - (his
dad's sister) about how it hurt him every year his dad wouldn't take
him to the fire works.
His aunt listened and began to speak. "When
your dad came home for World War II we went to a huge victory
celebration. We ate, danced, laughed. Dark came and they had a huge
firework show. I turned to your father to comment on them and he wasn't
there. We started to look for him and we could find him no where.
Finally of a friend told us we needed to go to help your father in the
restroom. There we found him curled up in a ball in the corner next to
the toilet. He was shaking and crying and out of his mind. He was
Shell-Shocked and no one knew it." It's the term they used before PTSD,
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
It's what I say alot, "you
just don't know what monsters are 2 inches away from the people you come
in contact with, we don't know what horror is chasing
the folks we meet"
All those years of resentment, were instantly re-framed and forgiven
for the guy at AA and it was replaced with understanding, forgiveness
and compassion. If you have never had the experience where resentment is
removed and forgiveness happens, when the river of life and love flows
into the compartment that had been filled with pain and hurt, I urge you
to think about letting a resentment go and experiencing it. We don't
set the people that hurt us free, we set ourselves free.