January 14

ACCEPTANCE MONTH: DAY 14: “Set the standard! Stop expecting others to show you love, acceptance, commitment, & respect when you don’t even show that to yourself.” ― Steve Maraboli

I remember being new and being convinced that I was “loving” myself when I had about 2 years…yeah, right! I knew nothing about it, but was beginning to not hate myself so much.

That was as good as it got for a long time. I learned a lot more about that when I was 15-20 years around here. I began to choose things for myself that were not in alignment with what my husband wanted. It was good for me to do that.

Then I was single (widow) again, so I could choose whatever I wanted. This means my diet, how I did things in my home, how I exercised and when. More loving choices about who I was going to be now. I felt like this was the time when I really began to re-invent myself again.

I was a raging co-dependent for so long in my life. I was so dependent on your opinions of me that it was devastating and painful in my marriage. I grew from that. I also grew when it was over, because I could see that I did not want to let your valuation of me be more important than mine. I became a strong advocate for healing in this arena.

The Universe sent me sponsees who were “only” Al-anon members. I got to work those steps and see how dysfunctional I was in my career, relationships with family, etc. I still was not in contact with any of my family members, so the healing was done in other arenas. I was only ready for them when it was well-established and a big part of my life.

But, the members of recovery with whom I attended meetings and sponsored, etc. were all very valuable in their dysfunctional behaviors and teaching me who I was with this. And I began to work exclusively in family situations and with family members in treatment, etc. This was awesome! We get to teach what we most need to learn. I am a fan of this.

And I went from a self-care Nazi to a gentler version of myself. Yes, really! For those of you who think I spit nails now, you should have seen me 15 years or so ago!

I am a fierce advocate for those who want to change. Not at all for those who want to wallow. If you have a sad story, I don’t want to hear it. If you have a story of overcoming, we can party! Around here, I am all about the powerful healing of our stories and the retelling of them…I believe in transmutation. This is way different than transformation. Transmutation is when we die to our old selves and become reborn into new beings.

That only happens when we are DONE with the bullshit and the whiny ass stories of how “they done us wrong.” Who cares? It is my job to stop letting anything or anyone do me harm. And, to be honest, I am the most active culprit in this whole thing. My job is to take care of me and let you take care of you…what a gift! And, today, it is easy for me to love me. I think I am fabulous!

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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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