Allowing Ourselves to be Nurtured
Let yourself be nurtured and loved. Let people be there for you. Allow yourself to be held when it would feel good. Let someone listen to you, support and encourage you when you need that. Receive comfort from someone's physical presence when you need that. Allow yourself to be supported emotionally and cared about.
For too long, we've stood in the background, attending to the needs of others and claiming we have no needs of our own. We've shut off, for to long, the part of us that longs to be nurtured.
It is time, now, to claim those needs, to identify them, and to understand that we deserve to have them met.
What are our needs? What would feel good? What kinds of ways would we like others to nurture and support us? The clearer we can be about our needs, the greater the possibility they will be met.
Hugs. A listening ear. Support. Encouragement. The physical and emotional presence of people who care about us. Doesn't that sound good? Tempting?
Someone once said to me, "The eighties have been a 'me' decade. Now, maybe the nineties can be a 'you' decade."
My reply was immediate. "Let's make the nineties a 'me' and 'you' decade."
No matter how long we've been recovering, we never outgrow our need for nurturing and love.
Today, I will open to recognizing my needs for nurturing. I will be open to the needs of those around me too. I can begin taking a nurturing, loving attitude toward myself and by taking responsibility for my needs in relationships.
I Can Do This
More than anything else, the biggest gift I have received from al-Anon is the knowledge that I alone am responsible for how I feel. For 50 years I blamed everyone whose unhappiness touched my life, and I carried a sense of powerlessness over my own feelings. After all, I told myself, “If she hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t be so angry, miserable, or disappointed.” I am also grateful that other people’s feelings are not my responsibility. What a relief!
At our last conference I hard a speaker say she felt on waking in the morning that she should turn to her husband and say, “Well, dear, how do I feel today?” That was the way I thought before I came to Al-Anon!
Today I know if others are grouchy and depressed around me, I don’t have to feel that way too. I don’t have to feel responsible for other people’s feelings, either. This is manageable. With the help and support of my Al-Anon program, I can do this.
Now I am rarely unhappy and when I am, I know what to do about it. I stop, think about how I’m feeling, read some literature, phone an Al-Anon friend, or smell the flowers. When I look at the things I have to be grateful for, my serenity and joy quickly return.
Claire C., Manitoba April, 2000
Reprinted with permission of The Forum
Al-Anon Family Groups Incorporated, Virginia Beach, VA
Today's Hope is an Al-Anon themed site and is not affiliated with Al-Anon's World Service Office. 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.