When we say that we are to rid ourselves of spiritual poisons such as selfishness, dishonesty, fear and so forth, that doesn’t mean we advocate making war with who we are. To let go and move on we must accept. We don’t fight against ourselves and what we find within, however disturbing it may be. Sure we need to understand the effect this stuff has on self and others, but we must also treat it with some respect as it is inside of us and therefore has become part of us.
So we seek to rid ourselves of various forms of emotional and behavioral garbage, but to do this we don’t engage in self-loathing, self-hatred or self-pity. Sit down next to it and befriend it all… and then let it go. Take some time everyday to be quiet, breathe, and let what needs to come up, come up. Pray for God to teach you how to let the darkness go and replace it with love, strength, honesty, courage, patience, tolerance, willingness, humility and service.
Trust me, I have to pray and remind myself everyday to better love and accept who I am and what’s inside of me so that I may better love and accept others. It seems like a contradiction when I say we must be tough on ourselves, but it’s really not. We must both be tough and not tough. Do you see? By tough, we mean that we have to be brutally honest with ourselves and work hard to change and grow. By not tough, we mean that resisting and fighting against what is happening and what lies within often just fuels and prolongs it.
There is balance to everything. Yes we nourish ourselves, but we don’t over-nourish. For addicts and alcoholics, you should have a feeling in your gut which tells you what is right and what is wrong, or rather, what you need to do or need to stop doing. So just listen to that because it is God trying to help you. And if you don’t have that feeling, that sense of what is healthy and what is not, then there is something wrong with your program. Go back to the beginning, find someone who is truly okay and has what you want, and then give everything you have to the Steps as they are laid out in the Big Book.
If you make changing the single most important thing in your life, you will change. If you make your emotional and spiritual growth the most important thing in your life, you will heal emotionally and spiritually. Put this first, put God first, because if you don’t, you won’t make it. If you don’t, you will never give back all that you have taken. So go for it. Be completely and utterly fearless, thorough, honest and willing.