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Missed Chances And Mistakes

by | Dec 1, 2022 | ComLine, Voices of Recovery

Missed Chances and Mistakes. Do we “deserve” a second chance—or a third one, or a fourth? Are there “do-overs” in life? In 12-Step recovery, we have them, every single day. No matter what we’ve done—or failed to do—if we are in these rooms or on these calls, we are “forgiven” for the past, no matter what it was, or what we lost or ruined, with no exceptions—just for today, this moment, here and now.

Remorse is only terrible when there is no hope. Regret is healthy when it joins us on the path to change. Reparenting our inner children who’ve done hurtful things, whether out of ignorance or spite, or with a conscious drive to injure and destroy, is what we learn to do in 12-Step recovery. It doesn’t matter what “issues” brought us to these programs, not beyond Step One. The rest of the twelve steps are the solution. We learn to accept reparenting in the care of a loving power greater than we understood before we were introduced to 12-Step recovery programs, and that’s what makes a distinction now.

Taking a fearless and searching inventory of how we’ve been misinformed as well as the ways we have been “in a bubble,” out of touch with what is possible for us, is safe to do in the care of a loving Inner Parent, as we come to accept this understanding. Step Four, where we look at dysfunctional patterns, traumatic losses, disappointments and betrayals we’ve experienced, is a central element of healing. We are free to change how we react, how we behave, now in life along the path of happy destiny.

All the Steps are guides for us, just as they have been for those who have been restored before us. We are given this “do it over better” opportunity, every single day: “Keep coming back. It works.” We give ourselves this simple program. Sadness and regret become a source of wisdom and compassion, transforming us in ways we grow to recognize and trust.

Kathleen S

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