I've written below a page from one of my daily devotional books.....
Among the many things we learn in our contact with the Alanon fellowship is this: "Be Good To Yourself".
This is a suprisingly hard assignment for many of us. Some relish their sufferings so much that everything that happens is ballooned to enormous proportions in the re-living and the telling. Self-pitiers are difficult to wean away from their martyrdom until the joys of serentiy and contentment dawn on them in Alanon.
Others nurse their grievances, resent their lot in life and seek scapegoats to blame for everything that happens to them. They have not learned to be good to themselves. They still have before them the joyous experience of letting go of a problem ~the lovely adventure of shrugging off "hurts".
TODAYS REMINDERS SAY THIS......How happy and useful I could be if I weren't carrying around such a load of unpleasant emotional turmoil. No one asks me to, so why do I?
Although I have gone through what is expressed in this reading in my past, my recovery has taught me differently. But.... after reading this I can't help but think of several people in my life (both close friends and others that I know) who live like this on a daily basis (and not just the alcoholic in my life). Being in Alanon is not just healing me and making me a better, more confident woman but it makes me see things more "clearly". Especially the actions of others. I am not judging them because God knows that I have so many defects to still work on myself and probably won't get to all of them in my lifetime. I just look at these people and know in my heart that even though I may love, care or am interested in them, I cannot continue to associate myself with them in the way that will bring me "down". I have spent far too much time feeling badly about what people think of me or about who I was and what I have done. I have been criticized by other and still to this day am being criticized by several friends. And with all this, I may have simply lost perspective and become overly hard on myself. Today I have the opportunity to stop that kind of self-destructive thinking. Nothing that these people have said about me, hid from me, taken sides against me (even though they say sides are not taken), assumed about me will NOT bring me down again. I have stopped expecting them to be the way I hoped they would be with me. I am not their guide, their master or keeper. They are individuals who must find their lonely way to their goals. The gift of life is personally theirs and mine, to enjoy or destroy, as each of us wish. I wish and have chosen to enjoy mine.Very little that happens in my daily encounters is worth my worry, resentment or feeling sorry for myself. If I am always ready to take offense and be hurt, I'm selling my contentment very cheaply. I must remember to be good to myself. It takes time for old doubts to fade and wounds heal. Self-confidence comes slowly but it grows with practice. I can begin by acknowledging that I do have postive qualities, no matter what others think of me. If something that has been said about me, something that I may feel or something that may be implied about me, I will make the extra effort to counteract those comments with positive thoughts. With my determination for serenty, I will learn how to still have compassion for these people but keep them at a far enough distance to ensure that I will achieve my serenty. With practice, I continue to learn to treat myself with gentleness. I have many admirable qualities and I owe it to myself to let them shine. Today I will remember that no matter what others say or think about me, I am a terrific human being.
May God Bless all of you on your "Journey In Progress"!