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It’s Time to Fulfill Your Special Purpose for This Generation. So Grow Your Wings and Fly!

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We can’t fully understand our purpose in life until we are willing to face our fears and push past them. Recovery— and any successful endeavor in life— calls us to move beyond our comfort zones. It’s often uncomfortable telling our deepest, darkest secrets to a therapist or to members of a recovery group. Recovery requires us to be vulnerable as we change our ways of thinking, behaving and interacting with others.

Awareness forces us to make a choice: We can choose to stay stuck, where we feel comfortable but miserable, or we can choose to move forward into a dark newness that will quickly bring new light into our lives. The first option is easy. The second option if lifegiving. Easy is a cop out. It’s a choice to merely exist. Lifegiving is adventurous. It’s a choice to step away from merely existing and to live through experiencing the unfamiliar. It’s reaching for the stars, knowing that with the help of our Higher Power, we can dance among those stars to our heart’s content.

None…

"Me, Too” Is Essential for Recovery: We ALL Count!

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“Me, too” has been a continual stumbling block for me. It’s always OK for OTHER people to be happy, to enjoy their work, to enjoy good foods, to get plenty of sleep and exercise, to have play time and to enjoy pampering themselves with niceties. But it’s NEVER been OK for me— at least not inside of my head.

Recovery has taught me that only I am responsible for myself. And that I am ONLY responsible for my life. Just as I am responsible for my life, every other person in this world is responsible for their own lives. I am not responsible for them and they are not responsible for me.

This means that only I can make myself happy. Only I can decide what’s good for me and what’s not. Only I am responsible for meeting my health, economic and social/spiritual needs. In other words, if I don’t take care of me, who’s going to do it? NO ONE. Because no one is responsible for my life except me— and my Higher Power.

When I was in Rome last month, I felt guilty about having fun, about enjoying my…

Become the Person You Want to Spend Your Life With Everyday

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I really don’t have to say much about the above quote. It says it all and it’s so true. We are too often taught faulty ways of thinking as children. So many of us get the wrong message at very young ages: Love is about finding the right person to love you.

Looking back I realize I wasted many years trying to find that “right” person— the one who could love me into loving myself— instead of trying to BE that “right” person myself. It never occurred to me that I needed to love myself, nurture myself and accept myself enough to become the right person— the person I really needed most in my life. After all, what is my life without me?

Now I know that I’m what’s been missing from my own life for years. My life is empty without me and without my spiritual Higher Power. This is true for all of us.  Once We find ourselves, become the “right” person God intended us to be, and become the person we want to spend the rest of our lives with, then we attract others into our lives who can complimen…

Everyone Was Created to Be Victorious!

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I attended a men’s Ala-Non meeting on Monday and one of the men said he believed alcoholism was rooted in self-contempt. I’ve always believed that all addictions are based in poor self-love. Of course, self-contempt is a leading cause of poor self-love. Self-contempt is more than a lack of self-acceptance. It’s self-bullying. It’s an expression of self-hatred. And certainly, there’s little to no self-love present when we are tearing ourselves apart with self-contempt.

Self-contempt is a process of playing prosecuting attorney, hanging judge and angry jury against our very selves. It’s total self-persecution and for many of us, it happens daily with no mercy or hint of self-forgiveness.

Our self-contempt may be behavior we learned as children from adults who also persecuted themselves, but from the time we became adults ourselves, we have been solely responsible for our own self-contempt. We can’t be blaming others for what we continually do to poison our own self-love.

True, much of …

Addictive Thinking Produces Self-Imposed Guilt

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No one has to be Christian to understand this quote. Our Higher Power knows the worst about each of us, and yet our Higher Power loves us endlessly. Many of us understand this, but our addictive patterns of thinking keep us from feeling that great love of a God, or our Higher Power.

As a result, many of us suffer from self-imposed guilt. There are two forms of guilt: 1) the natural guilt we feel when we have done or said something hurtful or wrong; and 2) self-imposed guilt that results from our inability to forgive and love ourselves. Natural guilt exists to tell us we have caused harm to someone, and to prompt us to take responsibility for what we have said or done that was harmful. Once we make amends, natural guilt subsides.

Self-imposed guilt persists after we have made amends. It’s a biproduct of the addictive personality’s inner-critic, which is that internal voice that is constantly telling us we are worthless mistakes. As children we learned to believe that most everyone els…

Welcome New Life by Laying Your Inner-Critic to Rest

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I am on my first visit to Rome as I take on new responsibilities in my ministry. This week I have been a part of a culture that is new to me and have met many wonderful people from many different cultures. I have also had to deal with that nasty little voice in my head that we call the inner-critic. Initially, that voice had the upper hand, but now, by the grace of my Higher Power, I have the upper hand.

It’s so important that we first have awareness of that nasty little voice in our heads. Awareness means that we are able to separate ourselves from that voice. The inner-critic is not who we are. It is a voice separate from our true selves. And that negative voice only has as much power as we are willing to give it.

This week, I’ve fallen into the hole of giving my power away to that nasty voice, but I’ve also climbed out of that hole, with God’s help, and have made a burial grounds out of it— a burial grounds for my inner-critic.

I want to put that nasty little voice to rest— foreve…

"Perfect” Is an Awfully BIG word. Let Go of It.

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“Perfect” may only be two syllables, and yet it’s an awfully big word— big enough to damage self-worth, self-love and every relationship in our lives. Most of my life I found it impossible to love myself because of my unrealistic need to be “perfect.” That terrible need exposed all of my flaws and ruined my relationship with myself as far back as my childhood. It then made it impossible for me to have a healthy relationship with God or any other person.

I had way too many unloved parts of myself. Some of them were physical, some were about personality, but the most devastating ones were centered on the inherent, unchangeable parts of me. Some of us are taught— at very young ages— to hate our skin color or ethnicity, our gender or sexual orientation, our intelligence level or even our inherited religious background. We quickly learn what is acceptable or unacceptable from adults, society and religion. The very people/institutions that should nurture us instead divide us through prejud…