September 18

FREEDOM MONTH: DAY 18: “Real freedom is freedom from the opinions of others. Above all, freedom from your opinions about yourself. ”― Brennan Manning

I really have to sit with this quote. It is a challenging concept, to be free from my opinions about myself. I want to be honest with myself about what I am up to and how I am behaving in the world around me, especially as it pertains to the changes I commit to in Step 9. And I truly acknowledge the shift in my feelings about myself in accordance with those changes. I understand, on a very deep level, that I am not in danger of drinking or using or any other kind of personal sabotage when I truly respect myself and my behaviors. THAT shift is what this step is all about, what ALL the steps are all about.

BUT, to be completely free from even THINKING about myself all the time is the goal. Right? So I don’t have to continuously take my own emotional temperature. See? Or judge myself for what I do and how I do it.

What if I can just ACCEPT myself and work toward a better Kelly without all the verbal abuse I have perpetuated in the past? And all the ways I beat myself up in my attempts to beat myself into submission. OH! The light is coming on now folks!

My judgments are so much more damaging to me than anything anyone else can throw at me. It is MY judgments that beat me into the place where I begin to sabotage myself in insidious and awful ways and tell me it is YOU doing the damage. Oh yeah, THAT!

I must always remember here that I am not here to get GOOD or PERFECT. Or to look down on or better than others. See? I am here to be a better Kelly than I was before. A Kelly who can stop her self-destruction and laying the blame on others. A Kelly who is consistently accepting of herself and thus more accepting of others. That stuff. It is a long journey, and I have come a distance. But there is a lot of road yet to travel. I am humbled now…may I remain there.

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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