All too often, we seem as a culture to be at war with life’s transitions, viewing death as a failure to live, and aging as a failure to remain young. We do something grievous to ourselves when we buy into this cultural ideology.
~ John Robbins, Healthy at 100
One of the benefits of the 12 Step program for me is that I was able to unlearn much of what I was taught about life, religion, health, and culture. It is funny how what I thought was fact was actually learned behavior. What a joy to be able to reframe things to meet my own unique belief system and lifestyle. For too many years, I felt apart from and not equal to, and I was either too much of something or not enough of another. I always felt as if I came up short of others’ expectations of myself. What a relief to know that in the rooms of AA, I am not alone, and I never have to feel alone again. Such a deal.
This goes back to what I wrote about a few days ago: low self-esteem is the opposite end of of the spectrum from egomania. We addicts tend to think less of ourselves even when we are doing okay in life. Humility is thinking of oneself less; not thinking less of oneself. So, it is a matter of turning our thinking around. Consider this: write down things you always say to yourself when you get upset, for instance: “I am such a dummy.” or “I am such a screw up.” Now, spend some time with your HP, and ask he or she or it to tell you the truth (clue: this is the first thing that pops into your head or what a loving parent would say). Now, I challenge you to make these into affirmations, such as “I am absolutely smart enough.” Put these on the fridge. Each time you catch yourself saying junk to yourself, say these instead. You are a precious child of the universe. Embrace this.