Sunday, November 22, 2009

Monday 11/23/09 - "WHAT DO YOU SEE?"

"WHAT DO YOU SEE?"

What do you see when you look in the mirror? Do you see happy or sad? Do you see old or young, beautiful or ugly? Do you see fear or trust? Do you see incompetence or competence? Do you see shame or acceptance? Do you see slavery or freedom? Do you see clearly or dimly?

My answers to all these questions have been dependent upon my recovery. Finding Alcoholics Anonymous and later Al-Anon, working the 12 steps, and living a life of recovery has gradually changed my answers from the negative to the positive.

Happiness has replaced sadness as the norm in my life. I am no longer living in a state of constant depression. Today when I am sad, I take action to alleviate that mood. I talk to my sponsor, journal, go to a meeting, take positive actions that make me feel better - take a walk, be in nature, or visit a friend.

Do I see old or young, beautiful or ugly? This answer is too often a function of my self-image, how much I see myself through the eyes of others. The more I value, love, and honor myself, the younger and prettier I feel.

The result of working all 12 steps is a spiritual awakening and the formation of a spiritual connection with God. The closer I stay to God, the more my life is guided by trust, not fear.

I used to feel totally incompetent in all areas. My self-esteem was in the sub-basement. I felt that way whether I was performing poorly or brilliantly. It made no difference. Today, my self-esteem is "right sized". I am able to see myself clearly. I forgive myself for mistakes I make and do what I can to improve. I also give myself credit where it is due.

Shame is pretty much a thing of the past. If it slips in, I remember that I am a child of God and that I am totally accepted as I am. If I do something I regret, rather than feel shame, I take action to make amends - to put things right.

I used to be a slave to my emotions and crazy thinking, a slave to obsessive behaviors, a slave to alcohol. AA set me free from the bondage of alcohol. Al-Anon has continued to free me from past negative patterns of thinking and acting.

Do I see clearly or dimly? Steps 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 have allowed my mind to move out of confusion and darkness into the light of truth.

Thank God for Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon, and the 12 steps.

Prayer Girl

(Photo credit: feel old by hekatus at deviant art)

12 comments:

Shadow said...

it's so easy to see a warped self-image. you've shown a nice way of rectifying that...

Roxy said...

Beautiful post, PG. I appreciate your honesty and self awareness depicted.

PG, this is DreamDancer (from Diamonds and Dreams). I moved my blog site and I sent you and Steve both a comment about it a few days ago. I'm glad you rejoined me at Woman of Essence... thanks!

Just Be Real said...

Super post PG! A lot one can gain from. Blessings to you dear as you start this new week.

Syd said...

I feel good about myself although the inward sadness really had nothing to do with my outside appearance. It had to do with not getting things the way that I wanted. Great post.

Brian Miller said...

it is easier to see the faults in the mirror than the person that is loved at times. a great discipline to look beyond the moment and see yourself through His eyes. hope you have a great Monday!

Pete Hoge said...

Even with my brain chemistry
issues, psychosis, and depressive
episodes I find the 12 steps
to be of benefit.

This post is a clear testimony
to their power.

Pete.

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

The things I have always admired in myself and other women have not been the things I have stared at long in appearance, but time worn character traits I have felt behind each. First appearances are deceiving, so just looking at an outward appearance is always dependent on the character within if it surpasses the quick glance.

wolfie185 said...

PG you hit another one out of the park!!! I envy your ability to make such meaningful statements with such few words.

What you wrote is one of the ideas I try and impress upon with the people in treatment. We have a few that are really damaged not only by alcohol/drus but by abusive relationships, PTSD, I do what I can to assist them in learning to love themselves, accept the shame, but really it will only be by the grace of their God and working the steps that they will be able to heal, I am just a tiny messenger for hope.

Thanks and hope all is well with you and yours!!!

Peace and Love
Scott

sarah said...

this is beautiful, Stay strong. Sarah

Steve E said...

Your picture is another purrrfect one to fit your message of

This or that
Stay or go
Lean or fat
Yesss or No.

Love, and Peace.

Findon said...

Amen to all of that PG. BY the way what I saw in the mirror on the 16th was a fifty year old man, which was a shock because only last week I still thought I was 18.

Mama Zen said...

Beautiful post!