From Courage to Change, Al-Anon Family Group, Conference Approved Literature, p. 216:
“Look back without staring.”
It’s important to understand where we’ve come from, what was done to us and what we did to others. There might be many lessons for us in the past. But the time to apply them is now.
If I can learn from my mistakes and try not to repeat them, then they have value. Making amends is a good thing; but they’re words. Of far greater value, to me, is the practice of living amends. We can’t do anything to change the past, but we can try to do things differently now.
Of particular importance is my ability to let go of resentments when they crop up. Sometimes I find myself holding onto my anger, even clinging to it. But such behavior is a big threat to my serenity. An oft-heard saying in the rooms of recovery: “Having resentments is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” Holding onto resentments hurts me the most.
Bearing grudges toward people or over events from the past is a heavy undertaking. It’s that knapsack full of stones (boulders for some) that is burdensome to carry. When I set it down and free myself of its weight, there’s a lightness in my steps, and my days flow more easily.
This is another example of how I’m striving to live well. For all of us familiar with the living death of drug addiction, the value of life comes into sharper focus. How I live mine, today, will bring me the peace and serenity I work hard for.