Day 5: Self-Love For All The Past
Love yourself no matter what you have done in and with your life. It is unlikely that you ever went out of your way to do bad or wrong. You are human and fallible. Like everyone else, we have made mistakes, we have wronged ourselves and others, and we have made ourselves and others unhappy. We have done again things that we said we would never do again. Like everyone else we have our weaknesses. We have given in to temptation.
Through all of this, God continues to love us all the time. God gave us freedom to think and choose and decide and act. With that freedom we have often gone off track. Sometimes we have learned our lessons and grown as a result. Many times we wonder how we could have done such things. We did do them. We are part of universal humanity making mistakes, sometimes repeatedly. The past is all a part of our glorious God-given lives.
At least we are aware that there is a difference between right and wrong, good and bad. Knowing this, we can always strive to be better.
Acknowledging this, let us love ourselves, not only in spite of the past, but especially because of the past.
It has all brought us to where we are now, a good place to be. A place of making a sincere effort to be a better person.
Our Past Is Neither Our Present Nor Our Future
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I woke up in the early hours one morning a few years ago with the word MAP on my mind. I was thinking about meaning and purpose, the importance of meaning and purpose in life and particularly my life. I enjoy hiking and wandering in Nature. In numerous areas there are direction finders, in the form of a cylindrical-shaped stone construct with a metal plate. On this is inscribed a rough map, a line-drawn description of the area with various routes that can be taken and paths that have led to that particular point. At that point there is an arrow with the words “You Are Here”.
Originally MAP was an acronym for Meaning and Purpose. Later I changed the A to denote Action, something which has been less than my strongest characteristic. I believe that all the paths that have led me to “You are Here” have held meaning and purpose for me. And now I have the freedom to choose the paths I shall take from here and now.
Meaning has just naturally taken on an ever-deepening tone, really trying to come into contact with more and more meaning in life by contributing more and more meaning.
My original purpose: helping myself and others be happier, healthier, more positive and optimistic, more Creation conscious, more open and receptive to giving and receiving love, more successful better in whatever way, has become more specific. Interestingly I resisted becoming involved in the field of addiction for a number of reasons, but I have been led somewhat inevitably in this direction. And probably rightly so, as I did spend most of my adult life in this domain.
Rather than asking the question, “What is the meaning of life?” it may be more useful to ask, “What is my meaning to life?” By asking this question we can lead a more proactive life. We may wake up in the morning and decide that we are in any case going to have a meaningful day, no matter what we may be doing. Our every interaction with someone can be made to be meaningful. We can choose to be kind, or generous or helpful in whatever way, rather than just allowing life to happen to us.
What meaning could I possibly have when I am alone in a room and drinking myself into oblivion? It can surely only be some deeper, mysterious calling or whisper that reminds me that I do have a part to play in this world’s happenings. A thread of hope. A soul-felt reminder of the importance of life, and that somehow, just somehow, things will get better and the meaning of it all or some of it will become clearer.
What gives your life meaning?
My next two blog posts will deal with Purpose and Action part of MAP, so please do visit soon.
Source: A SANE MAP - My Journey in Recovery from Addiction.
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Addiction can be a curse or a gift. There are combinations of these: only a curse or both a curse and a gift. It is how we travel through our addictions and how we approach them that is the difference. It is my experience that one can live joyfully even while being addicted, which is neither to condone the addiction nor accept it as being an inevitable permanent way of living.
A SANE MAP for Living. Much of the content of LIVING THROUGH ADDICTION revolves around this acronym. There is a story behind this acronym which I shall share later. Suffice for a very brief introduction that the S denotes Spirituality. As will become obvious as we journey together, my definition of Spirituality is very wide and inclusive.
No-one should think there is anything dogmatic or exclusive in my usage of this word. Nevertheless, I shall be recounting my own experiences and understanding of Spirituality which in fact underpins my whole approach to healing and recovery.
I shall be discussing various levels of my experience of this acronym: at a certain level my understanding, embracing and external expression of Spirituality enabled me to lead a very full(filling) life even during the many years of my alcohol abuse and addiction. But, vitally, at a deeper level of Spiritual experience I was empowered to overcome the addiction and continue in my leading a non-alcohol-addicted life. Freedom!!
Essentially my desire and intention is to pass on to others whatever benefits may accrue from the recounting of parts of my life story: experiences, reading writing and studies. This will encompass all aspects of my life, so that hopefully others may learn from my successes and failures; my strengths and weaknesses; my light or benevolent characteristics and behaviour as well as my dark or shadow characteristics and behaviour.
This is an honest and open attempt to hold my life up as a mirror in which others may see something of themselves, both good and less so. I hope that you as reader may be beneficially affected and effected in some way, whether primarily for yourself or someone else known to you.
Originally posted: 31 Oct 2011
I am a Recovery Coach, Life Coach, Author and Speaker. I live in Cape Town, South Africa.