September 16

FREEDOM MONTH: DAY 16: “Accomplishments don’t erase shame, hatred, cruelty, silence, ignorance, discrimination, low self-esteem or immorality. It covers it up, with a creative version of pride and ego. Only restitution, forgiving yourself and others, compassion, repentance and living with dignity will ever erase the past.” ― Shannon L. Alder

So many addicts point to their accomplishments, money, looks, etc. to make themselves valued in their own or others’ eyes. This is not valid, although it gives them a sense of validation.

You cannot get self-worth or self-love from these things. A bank account with many zeroes is great, if that is a true measure, to you, of your worth. But it is not of any significance at all in the spiritual realm. In fact, it deters from spiritual success. As does fame or public recognition. They are not substitutes for having lived a good life.

Many people believe that sending a check to a worthy cause is a form or service. No, it is not. Service is about giving of ones’ own time and talents to further a purpose that is meaningful and compassionate. That means we must stay out of Ego when doing these things. Truly giving of what is valuable is service, not writing a check.

It is better to look a homeless man in the eye and walk with him to get a cup of coffee or a sandwich than to just dump a dollar or two in his cup. Acknowledgment is the greatest gift we can give another human. “I see you.” What a great message to impart. “I see you and I recognize our kinship.” Even better.

We have so many blessings in this world that we did nothing to merit or earn. To give back kindness and warm regard to others is the key to service. And that can only come when we have cleaned up the past and made that restitution and amends. Give what you are getting, and you will continue to receive. This is a great law of all spiritual teachings. Do not wait to receive. It will not happen. Stop taking and learn to give. Live with dignity by cleaning up your messes and moving into a different frame of mind, beliefs, and behavior. The world is tired of the BS.

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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