~ Day Two ~
Ten Ways To Love Ourselves

Dear Friends on the Journey,

Loving ourselves is probably the most difficult thing we have been called on to do in this lifetime. You and I have a disease and one of the manifestations of that disease is the fact that, for whatever reason, we have dIfficulty loving us. I have spent a lot of time working the Twelve Steps and reading and praying so that I can love myself. Because I know so well that before I can *really* love others ... I must first love myself.

When I discovered ten ways to help me love myself more, I wanted to share them with you. And so I shall. Today is Day Two.

DAY ONE

~ STOP ALL CRITICISM ~

CRITICISM NEVER CHANGES A THING.
REFUSE TO CRITICIZE YOURSELF.
ACCEPT YOURSELF EXACTLY AS YOU ARE.
EVERYBODY CHANGES.
WHEN YOU CRITICIZE YOURSELF,
YOUR CHANGES ARE NEGATIVE.
WHEN YOU APPROVE OF YOURSELF,
YOUR CHANGES ARE POSITIVE



DAY TWO

~ DON'T SCARE YOURSELF ~

DON'T SCARE YOURSELF.
STOP TERRORIZING YOURSELF
WITH YOUR THOUGHTS.
IT'S A DREADFUL WAY TO LIVE!
FIND A MENTAL IMAGE THAT GIVES YOU PLEASURE
( MINE IS A WATERFALL),
AND IMMEDIATELY SWITCH YOUR SCARY THOUGHT
TO A PLEASURABLE THOUGHT.

When I think of a waterfall ... and the rainbows caused by the waterfall ... and the loud sounds made by the water crashing down ... and the power of the water ... and the constancy of the water ... it is hard for me to be frightened. That waterfall reminds me of the comforting thought that there is a God. And that there is nothing .. absolutely nothing .. that God is going to put in our lives that we are not going to be able to handle.

Many of you know my friend, Linda .... the pink cloud lady. She often talks about a pink cloud in which everyone is safe and enumerates many of us as we bounce up and down on her pink cloud and talks about the weighlessness and beauty and happiness brought about by the peace that exists there. So often, I will close my eyes and imagine myself on that beautiful pink cloud. And the fear vanishes.

So, when I first read of these exercises in How to Love Me ... I began to formulate images that I could immediately make my mind go to when I was frightened ... or troubled ... or in pain. In addition to the waterfall imagery and the pink cloud, I like to think of rocks and space and the ocean where I spend more than half of each year. When I close my eyes and imagine myself sitting on those rocks in that desolate place on the beach looking out at the vastness of the ocean and listening to the waves crash all around me .... I am filled with serenity.

Waterfalls, pink fluffy clouds, sitting on my rocks overlooking the ocean ......... and my favorite of all .... God's loving arms. My Higher Power ... the God of my understanding .... has no form exactly. But somehow when I am troubled I can envision and can feel being held in the most loving arms imaginable. I can feel safe there and when I close my eyes and listen and feel His arms, I know that there is nothing in the world that can harm me.. I turn every fear that I have over to him. I can admit powerlessness over every thing I do.

I don't allow myself anymore to dwell on scary thoughts. And when I find myself having them, I use my imagination. And sometimes as I do .... I really wonder if it's my imagination or if this is truly God releasing me of my fear.

Dear God,
In learning to love
myself, let me not criticize
myself. Let me not dwell on
thoughts that frighten me. And
let me substitute love for the fear
that criticism and scary things tries to
take over my mind with.


Love,
Mari

Marisok@aol.com
The Recovery Group




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