November 8

GRATITUDE MONTH: DAY 8: “Having a healthy and harmonious relationship with yourself is genuinely feeling gratitude for your existence and truly accepting yourself in totality.” ― Victoria L. White

This is the goal, as I see it. I cannot have a relationship with any kind of Power until I can love and accept myself.

I had so much of this stuff backward! I thought I had to please God to get okay with me. That is NOT how this works. I cannot please  or appease God. I can only learn to accept myself, with all of my foibles and human-ness, and love myself enough to devote my life to being these principles. Not practicing them, but being them.

When I do that, I fall in love with ME and my life. This is where I am today. And there is nothing about me that I do not accept. Some things I work to keep in remission or in abeyance, because I don’t like them all that much.

We can learn to accept these things, just like we learn to accept those things about life we may not be so crazy about. Sickness, death, divorce, injuries, bad hair days, whatever may come up. We get to see how they strengthen us and fortify our faith that life is just life.

It is random, but also perfectly orchestrated to fulfill the contract we have with the Universe. I believe in that contract. I believe I came here to do these things and have these experiences, and that the path I am on is the one I came here to journey onto. There is no shortage of lessons and interesting learning for me to live into.

So, I have all these crazy character defects, forged from my own creation as Ego defenses. They are going to be with me for the long haul. They are old ways of behaving and believing, and I make peace with them and they are accepted as being how I think. They are the default settings I can never, ever erase or get rid of. BUT, I can adapt my thinking and learn to overcome them.

Because they are set in the concrete of my early childhood days in my brain, they will always be there. But I don’t have to always use them. What a great way to live! Just because I have a shovel in my tool chest does not mean it should be the first tool I pick up when I am afraid or feel lost. Okay! I get that! I can have a hammer there, too, but I don’t need to use it all the time.

It is better to learn to use new tools. Ways of being in this world that are more easily acclimated to being a more flexible, kinder, more socially appropriate person. This is the entire purpose of 12-step recovery. I get better and like myself to the extent that I find myself acceptable and grateful for my life. Then, and only then, I am ready for that relationship with a Power I am not trying to manipulate into loving me. I already have it! I always have.

I am the one who is deciding that I am not good enough for the relationship with a Power. The Power has been in love with me since the beginning of time. I do not find myself adequate for that love. It is only my judgment, handed down by my Ego (Screaming Purple Monkeys!) that says I am not qualified for that relationship, I am not adequate or acceptable. WTF? It ain’t true. And the way there is not what I thought it was. It is through loving and accepting ME and being grateful for the unconditional love of the Universe that gives me this connection…oh yeah!

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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