Have you ever heard about things an ex did during your relationship, long after the relationship actually ended? How did you handle it? Were you angry and resentful or were you at peace with it?
When I recently discovered a number of things about my former partner, I was surprised how I actually reacted after hearing them. While these things would normally have greatly disturbed me if I had known about them going on while we were still tied together, I ironically found myself not feeling angry or resentful whatsoever. Frankly, I didn’t get upset at all. Truthfully, the only reaction I had was acceptance and relief.
I can’t say I would have reacted in the same way back in the beginning part of this decade though. As back then, I was so angry and resentful at this ex that I regularly wished the worst upon him. It consumed me so greatly that I allowed it to be the driving force to overly engage in a number of terrible addictions.
It’s often said in the rooms of 12 Step recovery that remaining angry and resentful towards anyone or anything is like drinking poison, but expecting the other person to die from it. Yup, that was me when it came to this ex back then, that is until I found total forgiveness.
Some of those who have known me for years can’t understand how I was able to forgive a guy who played such a major role in the loss of my business and financial failure. It’s quite simple really. The 12 Step work helped me to see how I played a huge part in it as well and even in the failure of that relationship itself.
Did my ex play a part too? Of course he did, but 12 step recovery work isn’t about making someone else own up to the part they played. It’s not about showing them their side of the street either. And it’s definitely not about getting them to say they’re sorry on any level. It’s only about us looking at our part, owning up to it, and letting their part go, if they even played a part for that matter.
In this case, my ex definitely had a part, one that I held onto with such hatred, that I refused to ever look at my own side of the street. And believe me when I say that my side of the street with him was most certainly messy, cluttered, and laden with plenty of guilt and shame. Once I took a hard look in the mirror and truly saw that for the first time, I wept. Oh, did I weep! During which is precisely the moment I asked God to forgive me for all the parts I played in that entire mess that relationship ended in. And once I did, I felt the tide move within my heart to forgive my ex, entirely. Once I did, it was so very freeing.
From that day forward, I stopped holding onto any anger and hatred in regards to him. Instead, I began praying for nothing but peace and healing for him and hoped one day he may find forgiveness with me as well. But sadly, from the sounds of it, he still hasn’t and I feel sorrow for him because of it.
So, after hearing about past infidelities, shady former business practices, and shifty financial handlings, I didn’t react with anger, rage, negativity, or anything of the sort. Rather, I was thankful I had moved well beyond all of that and instead found healing. Healing from the poison I once drank on a daily basis. Poison that almost ruined my life. And poison that from the sounds of it, my ex may still be drinking, hoping I’ll suffer from it somehow.
I hope one day he stops drinking that poison if he still is, because I’m sure he’ll at least find a slice of peace in his life like I found years ago once I asked for forgiveness and forgave him from my heart. I no longer look upon that part of my life with disdain and if you can believe it, I actually hope to hear from this individual one day before I die. Because before all that mess that happened between us, was a deep love and friendship that was most certainly being blessed by God.
It took the 12 Steps to help me remember that and to finally throw away that bottle of poison I gripped so tightly when it came to him, poison that only led to my inevitable suffering. Suffering that absolutely comes from remaining angry and resentful and something that only forgiveness is the elixir that can truly let it go…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson