What a Breakthrough Looks Like: Going From Hate to Compassion
Anyone who knows me knows how much of a struggle I have had this past year. I moved back home to Virginia so that I could be with my children and I faced a number of roads blacks in the way that made the reality of this, much different from my expectations. I had to learn that when it came to my children the only things that I could control with them was when they were with me. That meant that what happened at his house was none of my business and not my concern for the most part. As a mom this was a hard truth to swallow. These things, and countless others, brought about a hatred in me that hadn’t shown its head in quite some time. You see he was one of the last resentments that I carried into sobriety.
I carried this hate around on a daily basis and while at first, it seemed to feed something inside of me, spurring me on, in time it turned on me and began to consume my ability to experience peace.
I tried to let it go. I really did. I prayed about it all the time. I meditated on it. I wrote on it. I talked about it with others, and for a period of time, it only seemed to get worse. The more that I talked about it the more it fanned the flames of anger that threatened to consume me. It felt like the more I wanted to let it go the stronger the hate would become and I began to fear that I would just have to live with it forever.
That was until recently when I began to notice that my attitude had softened. I started to have more compassion for my ex and started to let go of the grudge, this word may be a bit of an understatement, which I held against him. I was able to change my perspective and the way that I saw him. Instead of seeing the person that had hurt me for so many years, I saw a human who was hurting himself and like the saying “hurt people, hurt people.” The thing is who was I to judge him, I had done the same thing for so many years I let the pain in me drive me to hurt myself and in the course of that self destruction I hurt those around me.
The thing that is most interesting is that I didn’t really notice the change at first. I didn’t see that my attitude was softening, and this has been the case for many of the breakthroughs in my life. I do not realize that a breakthrough has been made until after it has already started. I usually cannot tell that I am on the path to acceptance and healing until I am already well underway.
I am not sure why this is, but there have been many times in my sobriety when I am sitting in a meeting and I am offered a moment of clarity in my life where I am able to see a complete shift in thought or action that I didn’t notice just 5 minutes prior.
Part of the reason why I am writing this is because I had one of those moments this past week in a meeting I was in. I was sitting there and I began to realize that my hatred for my ex-husband had been transformed into compassion and then was once again transformed into an understanding that he is a human being and is doing the best that he can.
I was sort of floored by this thought and the fact that I really felt it. Like felt it in my gut that he was really doing the best he could. I wasn’t just saying the words as a way to placate my own ego, or dismiss my own hurt, but I had truly forgiven him and knew that if he could do better he would do better.
I then also started to think about what had brought about this breakthrough, because to be completely honest I hadn’t really changed that much in the situation. I still had to interact with him, he still continued to try to hurt me, and we still very much so don’t see eye to eye, but what I do know is that through it all I continued to pray and continued to try to seek the truth of the matter.
Prayer I believe is what allowed this breakthrough to take place and it is through the power of prayer that I was given the ability to change my perspective. I would pray to God all of the time and ask to be able to see the truth in the situation I was in. I would ask him to take away my hurt and pain, and in time, when I was ready to receive it, he changed my viewpoint and allowed me to see the truth.
I believe that breakthroughs are just an ability to further understand the truth. Not the truth that I make up in my mind, but the real truth of the situation. The one that doesn’t necessarily side in my favor, but the one that will ultimately set me free.
It is like when I first got sober and finally realized that I had a problem. I prayed to God, in one fashion or another, for years, asking for help with my alcoholism, but I wasn’t yet ready to see the truth. When I was finally broken enough, God was able to show me the ineffable truth that I was an alcoholic and I couldn’t stop on my own.
From that breakthrough, I was able to seek help and find sobriety and this same sort of prayer that lead me to my initial moment of clarity has helped to keep me sober over the past couple of years as well.
So while I’m not entirely sure how to conjure up breakthroughs, nor do I really believe we can do so on our own, I know that prayer is the gateway to further truths. Finally forgiving my ex-husband is proof that it works and while my feelings towards him may sway in the future, I have a feeling that something has undeniably shifted. The shift means that from this point on my emotions in regards to this situation will probably be easier to handle, and I will no longer have to wallow in anger and self-pity. Thank God for God.
Rose Lockinger is passionate member of the recovery community. A rebel who found her cause, she uses blogging and social media to raise the awareness about the disease of addiction. She has visited all over North and South America. Single mom to two beautiful children she has learned parenting is without a doubt the most rewarding job in the world. Currently the Outreach Director at Stodzy Internet Marketing.