God forgives you, why can't you forgive your self?

In his latest book George Vaillant describes an African American woman, the mother of a teenager, who had been murdered by another young black male who was convicted of the crime.  She has come to the sentencing to make a victims statement.  To a hushed and expectant courtroom she said something like: "I'm here today to tell you that what you did was wrong but that I forgive you."  As you can imagine this was not what was expected and her more detailed statement left many in tears.  In fact, when I re-read Vaillant's description I teared up a little.

There is an awesome power in forgiveness.  The idea that we are forgiven by our higher power, for the terrible things that we did when drinking and using is liberating.  Learning that we aren't bad trying to get good but sick trying to get well is so important.  Our responsibility is to accept our treatment, to get well.  It will help that process if you forgive yourself that's what steps 4-7 are about.  Haven't done them yet?  What are you waiting for?
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