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Courage to Change:

Before Al-Anon, forgiveness meant power to me. I could judge the offender — the person who wasn’t doing what I wanted — and then exercise my power by showing that I could rise above the offense and magnanimously bestow forgiveness. But I would never forget what had been done.

Today I know that forgiveness has nothing to do with power. It does not give me control. Forgiveness is simply a reminder that I am on equal footing with every other child of God. We all do good and noble things at times; on other occasions we may offend. I have no right to judge, punish, or absolve anyone. When I behave self- righteously, I’m the one who suffers — I separate myself from my fellow human beings, focus on others, and keep busy with hateful and negative thoughts. By taking this attitude I tell myself that I am a victim, so I remain a victim. The most forgiving thing I can do is to remember that my job is not to judge others, but to think and behave in a way that lets me feel good.

Today’s Reminder:

I don’t know the motives or circumstances that cause another’s behavior. I do know that when I hold onto resentment and blame, I occupy my spirit with bitterness. Today I will find a more nurturing way to fill myself up.

“You can’t hold a man down without staying down with him.”
– Booker T. Washington

From the book “Courage to Change”. Copyright Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc. 1992