We have a tendency to incessantly beat ourselves up for past mistakes. When we view ourselves as human beings who all make mistakes, we can then develop compassion for self and eventually for others as well. Alexander Pope is quoted, “To err is human; to forgive, divine.” The usual meaning ascribed to Pope’s version is that every human can make a mistake, so we should forgive those that do … which for me translates: I am included in “those”.
Current mistakes are not exempt from our self-condemnation. Failing to apply spiritual principles in all of our affairs on a daily basis may generate an opening for excessive critical self-examination. For people struggling with addictive behaviors, it seems that lessons are best learned through painful experiences. The easier, softer way just doesn’t seem to have a lasting impact like practical understanding after overcoming a hardship. Consider viewing a blunder with a different perspective, as an opportunity to learn and grow.
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We do hammer ourselves for numerous reasons, but once in recovery the justification most frequently shared is that we believe we are not progressing as quickly as we think we should. Mentally obsessing about not yet achieving our desired results, rather than being grateful for how far we’ve already come, creates negative emotions and energy that rob us of the current moment. We know exactly the appropriate amount of information right now. We are the correct weight, height, age, maturity and status in this very second. We are evolving precisely as we should.
Put down the bat and pick up the feather. We must learn to be kind to ourselves. We deserve as much love and consideration as we offer the next person. A strong foundation in recovery enables us to forgive ourselves, as well as others. Tools in our recovery tool-belt allow us to take action towards our personal goals, rather than wishing we had already achieved them. Initially, it is suggested to surrender and accept that we have an addiction. Moreover, the ultimate surrender and acceptance is trusting that everything is exactly as it is supposed to be in each moment.
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Did you know?
It’s about the journey, not the destination. We waste precious energy placing unnecessary pressure on ourselves while striving to reach a certain goal. While doing this, we may miss several blessings along the way. For example, on a drive to the beach, while the final destination is to swim in the vastness of the ocean, we may not notice the beauty in our surroundings all along the route.