It’s hard to identify when I am taking care of me and when I am being selfish. There is a fine line drawn between the two, at times. I know that it is important that I work to make myself happy, but that doesn’t have to be at the expense of others. . . but neither do I need to allow others to decide for me how my life should look. The expectations of others can control me – if I let them. For the most part I am pretty independent, and while I love and give to others, I also retain a strong willingness to take care of me. I cannot give to others what I do not have. If I engender love, then I have love to give. If I encourage independent action in others, chances are I will keep my own independence. I believe that one of the purposes of my life is to “be an example” to others of what sobriety and recovery can look like. To this end I cannot give away what I do not possess.

While I continue to learn from others, I also continue to search out my own path, albeit different from others. I may not fit the preconceived idea of how a woman my age should live, I work daily to own my power to be whoever I choose to be, at that time and place. I, also, know that life is ever-changing, just as I am. When I look back at where I was before recovery, and compare that to where I am today, I am amazed at the changes that have occurred within me. I no longer allow others to control and define my life,. Today I work at making me happy, because when I’m happy I find that others around me want what I have – and as we say in the Program; if you want what I have, you need to do what I do.

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