• Stefan Neff

The Courage To Be Sober Chapter 25

How Forgiveness Cleared Away My Past Pains

Why didn’t I do it sooner? Let me tell you something about what was stopping me from moving forward. I was a man who held onto his past pains surrounding forgiving people who I thought had hurt my feelings. This had been the non-committal trap that kept me right where I wanted to be.


I knew what I was doing because then I could blame that person for whatever had

happened in my life in the future. I thought people hurt me because they didn’t like me too much but the fact of the matter was I was hurting myself by allowing the pain to intrude into my life on a continuous basis. This was a way to escape from my reality. I truly believe that forgiveness is a gift that I didn’t utilize much in my life. When these feelings popped up in my mind, I asked myself what I wanted in life. Did I want to stay in the same place of misery or

did I want to move forwards toward happiness? Do I want to have a drink if someone would say something mean or hurtful? “NO” I used the feeling I felt like an excuse to buy a bottle of wine or a case of beer. That’s what I did in the past!


I thought alcohol was the solution to all my past pains. Well, to tell you the truth I was just using alcohol as a masking agent to numb the pain I was feeling. Yes, forgiveness towards others is key but true forgiveness is towards myself that is the biggest aha moment I have ever received in my entire life.


The feeling that self-forgiveness had brought to me had been a gift from the universe. I made a promise to myself to look into my past and list off all the people that I had hurt and the people I thought may have hurt me or I thought had wronged me in some way or shape and form. I knew at that moment my life had been changed forever more. The key was to see what had bothered me about the pain that was in my mind and then started to reverse engineer my pains to find out where they had come from.


How did this pain help or hinder my life? Did I ask myself? By doing this process I could see things much more clearly than ever before. An infectious smile came over me and never went

away, even when new thoughts had appeared in my life. Today I look upon these thoughts as an amazing opportunity for change rather than a problem that has been stopping me from my happiness.


Even if I didn’t like the position I was in, I still have a critical opportunity to learn more about who I am and what is truly bothering my success. The treasures of life are in the moments that we don’t want to face in life. If I didn’t want to face the pain it wouldn’t have gone away. I have had so many learning experiences throughout my life so far and I am so

happy and grateful for every single one of them. Forgiveness is one of the most important aspects of life that I move forward toward my happiness.


My keys To Forgiveness!

1. See the truth when we don’t want to

2. Learn from our past

3. I created every moment in my past

4. Forgive ourselves is the number one priority

5. Forgive others is also key to our success

6. People don’t hurt us, we hurt ourselves

7. The relentless pursuit of happiness is our human right

8. Never stop pursuing happiness, no matter how hard it may seem

9. Have a mission or plan that drives us towards happiness



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