You are never selfish for choosing self care.
The poorer we are inwardly, the more we try to enrich ourselves outwardly. -Bruce Lee
I love this quote. It provides me with such a simple check of where I am with my program, at that moment. If I am worried about things going on outside of my control, I know that my true issue is that I am suffering spiritually. I once heard that you can only focus on one Higher Power at a time. It can’t be a God of your own understanding and this other thing (like money or partner, etc.). When I am focused on my partner’s actions or gaining control of a situation outside my hula hoop, I make those things/people my Higher Power. But when I remember this quote, I realize that when I am focusing outwardly, I am choosing to lose my serenity. Just as simply, the answer to my problems is that I just turn my focus inwardly, to my connection with my Higher Power, God of my own understanding. When I do this, I can regain my serenity and my Higher Power takes care of the rest.
Today I Feel Loved
My mother still drinks and my family is still in denial, but I’m the one who has changed. I was always so afraid to show my emotions, I hid all my feelings behind an “I’m fine” smile and bent over backwards for people until I “blew.” I never knew how to express anger to my friends or co-workers so I blew up at my family and myself. That’s how I became depressed.
Al-Anon opened new doors in my life. Here I was able to be myself. Even when I felt terrified, Al-Anon members said it would be okay. I found a loving sponsor who was like a mother to me. I cried and shared what it was like being brought up in alcoholism. I told her about the rage, abuse, fear, and pain. I went to Al-Anon adult children meetings for a few years and met people who were a lot like I was.
I’ve been in Al-Anon for over eight years now. I’m doing service and sponsoring people who have been through what I went through. I’d like to say I am like my sponsor, but I still have trouble letting my love flow the way she can. That’s okay because now I’m trying to be the kind of person that I think and pray God wants me to be.
I used to talk to God while I was growing up, but I never asked Him to help me. I didn’t think He would or could. Working the Steps in Al-Anon has shown me that I can rely on Him. Now I can choose to ask for His help. Lately, though, I feel as if I’m a newcomer because I’m not really relying on Him. Sometimes it seems as though I just talk the talk.
Then I call my sponsor, get humble, and squeak out, “God help me.” He does–in His own way, using the back door.
Today I feel loved even when I screw up or don’t practice my program–which is a lot. I need to work on my ego and continue listening with an open mind. I’m going to my area assembly this weekend. I’m sure I’ll hear and see what I need, so that I know and do God’s will every day, but sometimes I feel it and sometimes I don’t. Anyway, I can go to a meeting and try to share from my heart–because today I know that I have a heart.
Dina, Georgia April, 1999
Reprinted with permission of The Forum
Al-Anon Family Groups Incorporated, Virginia Beach, VA
Today's Hope is a Recovery themed site with a focus on Friends and Families of Alcoholics and problem drinkers. We are not affiliated with any 12 Step program. The daily sharings contain a reading from
Al-Anon's Conference Approved publication The Forum, an inspirational quote/saying and a recovery based reading/meditation. The intent of Today's Hope is to share experience, strength and hope. Please take what you like and leave the rest.