View all:  Voices of Recovery

March 26

“We do not have to obsess about the past or worry about the future. We can turn our attention to the present, where we really live, and become open to new solutions.”

Sex Addicts Anonymous, page 29

Someone admitted at a meeting, “I’m having trouble letting go of my desire for a better past.”

What do I do when something triggers a painful memory, a regret that arises unbidden like a cloud covering the sun? Sometimes I have to admit that my own thoughts are one of the things I’m powerless over.

Instead of trying to distract myself, or becoming overwhelmed by such thoughts, I can look at them from a program perspective. Is it something I can turn over to my Higher Power? Do I need to take some action? Have I dealt with this before in my First or Fourth Step? Are there amends that need to be made?

Many of our pasts are full of things that can be embarrassing or even shameful to remember. Working our program cannot change the past, but it can offer a way of living in the present, unshackled from old encumbrances. If our feelings haven’t caught up to our new way of life, our sponsor or our friends in the fellowship can remind us of the changes they’ve seen.

I don’t have to change my past—I can’t. Help me remember that I’m living in a better place—in recovery, in the present.