Letting go of guilt and resentment

Old 02-26-2017, 04:44 PM
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Letting go of guilt and resentment

I managed to hurt several people while I was drunk, I never was violent but I emotionally hurt several people in my early drinking years and I was never able to apologize because I am nowhere near where they live and this was pre internet. This incidents happened over thirty years ago and I still think about them from time to time. Today was such a time. While I've been able to apologize and make it right with my wife these other folks I will never be able to talk to again. So how do I move past this for my own sake? I need peace from this. Is it possible to get peace since I can't see these folks and tell them I'm sorry. They were acquaintances of mine when I was very young and I don't even remember their names anymore, but somehow I remember the incidents and how stupid and hurtful I was towards them. They didn't have a drinking problem but hang around in my circle of friends. How do I get peace from this. I think about it every six months or so and I don't really know what triggers it. Can anyone else relate!
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Old 02-26-2017, 04:48 PM
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The fact that youd be willing to put things right if you had the chance...that sounds like a good start to me.

Who knows what else the future has in store, but I hope you find some peace friend.

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Old 02-26-2017, 04:53 PM
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Would it help to "do a good deed" in honor of these nameless folks? Volunteer somewhere. Fund something. Plant something. Plan a ceremonial something so that you can lay this burden down. Good luck to you. You sound like such a kind person, and you deserve happiness.
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Old 02-26-2017, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by tnman1967 View Post
This incidents happened over thirty years ago and I still think about them from time to time. Today was such a time.
You are giving more weight to the incident than they probably are. So let it go.

I occasionally think back at some of the things I've done, thirty or forty years ago, and still cringe. The price of having a conscience. Yet I can't remember any of the hurts that happened to me. I've either forgiven, forgotten, or moved past the hurts other inflicted on me. I would hate to think anyone was torturing themselves over something they did to me 30 years ago and which I've forgotten.

You do the same . Forgive yourself. And move on.
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Old 02-26-2017, 05:13 PM
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Sometimes writing a letter that you won't mail helps. Own your part completely and say sorry.
Do something good. Help shelter animals in some way. Donate time or money in your old companions' memory.
Light a candle to them.
Just make an apology of action in some way.
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Old 02-26-2017, 05:25 PM
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Lots of great advice already tnman. Helping others now by volunteering would be a fine idea. Staying sober has a lot of power to heal as well, both internally and externally. Peace is an elusive thing....but acceptance helps you get there. Accept that you have made change to keep those kinds of things from ever happening again and that no one is perfect.
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Old 02-26-2017, 05:36 PM
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Say prayers for them, and resolve to treat people better as you go forward.

It's okay, we've all hurt people. None of us are perfect.
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Old 02-26-2017, 07:45 PM
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Grab a pen and paper and write them a letter of apology. You don't send it, but writing helps get rid of the feelings.
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Old 02-26-2017, 07:59 PM
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Sounds like you are already doing a kind of Living Amends?

Another thought: write a letter to the person. When you are satisfied with it, take it outside and burn it. The wind will carry your sentiments to the intended person.

Then forgive yourself.
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Old 02-27-2017, 03:30 PM
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Let your thoughts and feelings flow from your heart, mind, and soul onto the pen and paper or whatever medium you wish. If it's pen and paper it may end up being a letter stained with tears....burn the letter and keep the ashes...then go and toss the ashes into a big river....imagine the river is carrying the ashes out to sea...once they are at sea, who knows what becomes of them...they become part of the weather system, I suppose; part of the universe....which rises up again to form clouds that form rain or snow that comes back to the land; watering the earth. Like a cycle?

When you let those ashes go...they just go... "where ever"....they are carried away by a power other than have no control over them OR what becomes of them...but there is beauty in letting them go....

And does one ever rid themselves of bad memories; bad behavior, bad experiences? Sometimes, we cannot forget. But we can learn to transform.

I've learned to live with the fact that some people may never forgive me....and I cannot force someone to forgive. I've had to just accept that and go ahead with my life the best I can; doing my personal best now and in the FUTURE.

We all make mistakes. No one is perfect. We can learn lessons from our mistakes and try not to repeat them. Also, sometimes I tell myself to just make sure I take care of any unforgiveness that could be in my own heart.
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Old 02-27-2017, 03:43 PM
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I copied that teetreeoil. Excellent post. Thank you
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Old 02-28-2017, 05:32 AM
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I tend to carry a lot of guilt and shame too. Some of us are just wired more that way. But Carl is right - you are probably giving those old incidents more weight than necessary. That said, if it troubles you, writing really does help as others articulated so well.. For me, writing a letter to my father, which I then read to my sponsor helped me to let go of the guilt I carried for decades at not being there when he died. I cried when I read it. But it hasn't bothered me since.
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