Learning new behaviors sometimes involves how I react and respond to other people in my life.  I have to learn to value myself as highly as I value others.  There have been times when I have purchased a gift for someone that is priced above what I allow for myself.  Why?  Who is to say that other people are more valuable than I am?  Part of taking care of myself is realizing that I am just as important as others, that I am just as valuable as others, that I am just as “good” as others.  Why is it that I can take care of myself better when I believe it is for someone else, other than myself?

In recovery, I have learned to come to an understanding of what it means to take care of myself.  I have learned to place an equal value on myself as I do others in my life.  I have learned to set boundaries with others – and with myself.  I no longer allow others to mistreat me, in any fashion.  Conversely I am also learning how to treat others well, with respect and dignity.  Taking care of myself is a two-way street, the more I learn about taking care of me, the better prepared I am to take care of all the relationships in my life.  I recognize our individuality, and respect that we are independent of each other, in many ways.  Human contact, relationships of all kinds, are part of life and they are sometimes my greatest challenge.  Thank goodness for the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous for giving me the tools I need to improve my relationships with others, and for enabling me to come to terms with what it truly means to take care of myself.  Taking care of me enables me to take care of others.  I don’t have to carry anyone, I just have to care enough to allow them to be there own individual selves.  We teach what we learn, and today I give what I have received – a life blessed by God, and a Program that works not just as it relates to recovery, but as it relates to life.

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