Forgiving wholeheartedly can prove very difficult. And while one could say that a successful marriage is the union of two great forgivers, finding it in our hearts to truly forgive is not a negligible act. Only days ago did the news of the split of the Hollywood couple, Tea Leoni and David Duchovni break out in the press and no sooner did the media begin to speculate that Mrs Leoni may have found it impossible to truly forgive her husband, who was the first of famous people cite sex addiction as the primary reason for his recovery stint in 2008.
According to Rob Weiss, the founding director of Los Angeles, California’s Sexual Recovery Institute, their split comes as no surprise. In his experience two of the most common reasons why couples separate in the wake of a partner’s sex addiction treatment, is that either the person who has the addiction has not fully embraced recovery or the spouse is struggling to wholeheartedly forgive and get past the hurt.
Regardless of Mr Duchovni and Mrs Leoni’s personal reasons for separating, the issue of forgiveness is intimately linked with holistic recovery. And at Life Works we have the honour of witnessing firsthand the transformation that takes place once a client finds it in their heart to forgive and let go.
While in recovery from an addiction or eating disorder the act of forgiving and seeking forgiveness from parents or partners for past hurt, can feel very important. This process is aided by Step 4 in the 12 Step Program which invites us to take ‘fearless moral inventory of ourselves’. This can be painful work and will likely fuel the strong internal critic, -that voice within that reminds us of our uselessness, unworthiness, and incompetence. This is the same voice that has led us to self-destruct through our addictive behaviours and a vital part of holistic recovery is to become familiar with the voice of our inner critic, allowing us to recognize when it is operating, so that we can introduce a kinder voice. This is the start of real forgiveness of ourselves. Beating ourselves up is not conducive to sobriety, and forgiving ourselves will likely lessen the need for others to forgive us.