Vitality shows not only in the ability to persist,
but in the ability to start over.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Before coming into this program I was, and probably still am to a certain extent, a perfectionist, so one of the things I really struggled with is being able make mistakes without feeling bad about myself. So when I came into the program, I decided that I was going to do this program perfectly, and proceeded to do just that. I followed a meal plan, lost weight and worked the steps, and I really thought I had it made. But I hadn't counted on the fact that this is a disease, and it is both cunning, baffling and powerful. So when I had my first slip, I was devastated and felt a real failure.
Fortunately for me, with the help of many loving sponsors over the years, I have realised that I am not a failure if I slip, but I am only one if I fail to get up. This program has enabled me to learn that when I make a mistake, I am not that mistake, and that all I need to do is to pick myself up and start over. In the old days if I failed at a diet, I would never have been able to pick myself up so soon, and it would always be an excuse to carry on eating and start the diet again on Monday. Now I know that my abstinence can even start at the end of the day, rather than waiting till tomorrow, next week or even next month. I am slowly starting to let go of the guilt I feel when I slip, and am also learning to love myself even when I do flounder, because with the love and support I am given in this program, I know I can always start over.One day at a time...~ Sharon ~
I will remember that I can start afresh any time I like, and don't need to feel as if I have failed.
Each Day A New Beginning
The search is on. Everyone, everywhere, asks the question at some time, "Who am I?" Women like ourselves are fortunate to have this program. It shows us the way to self-discovery. It directs our steps to the celebration of self that is a gift of recovery. The events of our past may plague us, but they did contribute to the fullness we feel today. And for them, for their involvement in who we've become, we can be grateful.
Claiming ourselves, the good and the bad, is healing. It's taking responsibility--for where we were and where we're going. Claiming ourselves makes us the active participants in our lives. The choices are many and varied. Not actively participating in life is also a choice. Passivity may have been our dominant choice in years gone by. But now, today, we are choosing recovery. We are choosing action that is healing, and wholeness is the result.
Making myself mine, will exhilarate me. It will give me hope. It will prepare me for anything to come. I will know a new joy.
From Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women by Karen Casey © 1982, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation.
Food For Thought
After a slip, we do not go back and start again in the same place where we were before. Through the experience of making a mistake, we have reached a new place. Out of error, we can gain new knowledge and insight.
Often we find that wrong thinking got us into trouble. Perhaps we fell back into the old perception of ourself as the center of the universe. Perhaps we forgot to turn over whatever was troubling us and instead began to overeat. Perhaps we tried to depend on our own inadequate strength to get us through the day. Undoubtedly, we forgot that abstinence is the most important thing in our lives without exception.
Whatever the mistake, we can profit from it by growing in understanding and insight. We can mark a pitfall to be avoided in the future. We start again a few steps farther ahead, in a new place.
May I not be discouraged by mistakes.
From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation.
The Language of Letting Go
"Why do I do this to myself?" asked a woman who wanted to lose weight. "I went to my support group feeling so guilty and ashamed because I ate half a cookie that wasn't on the diet. I found out that everyone cheats a little, and some people cheat a lot. I felt so ashamed before I came to the group, as though I were the only one not doing my diet perfectly. Now I know that I'm dieting as well as most, and better than some."
Why do we do this to ourselves? I'm not talking strictly about dieting, I'm talking about life. Why do we punish ourselves by thinking that we're inferior while believing that others are perfect - whether in relationships, recovery, or a specific task?
Whether we're judging others or ourselves it's two sides of the same coin: perfection. Neither expectation is valid.
It is far more accurate and beneficial to tell ourselves that who we are is okay and what we are doing is good enough. That doesn't mean we won't make mistakes that need correcting; doesn't mean we won't get off track from time to time; doesn't mean we can't improve. It means with all our mistakes and wandering, we're basically on course. Encouraging and approving of ourselves is how we help ourselves stay on track.
Today, I will love and encourage myself. I will tell myself that what I'm doing is good enough, and I'll let myself enjoy that feeling.
From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation.
—Sebastian R. N. Champort
We are told that laughter is sunshine filling a room. And where there is laughter, there also is life. They say that people who laugh a lot live longer than do the sour-faced. When we laugh together, gratitude comes more easily, companionship thrives, and all praise is sincere. Laughter brings us joy that cannot be bought. Such joy is with us throughout each day. To hoard joy, to hide it away deep within us away from others, will make us lonely misers. We cannot buy or trade for joy, but we can give or receive it as a gift.
Laughter's joy celebrates the moment we are living right now. It is a gift we must share, or it will wither and die. Shared, it grows and thrives, and always returns to us when we need it most.
What can I find to laugh about right now?
From Today's Gift: Daily Meditations for Families ©1985, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation.