Today's Advent calendar surprise on www.bustedhalo.com has me thinking... The little micro action items suggests that I tell myself "I love you..."
I remember the first time that was suggested to me in a men's closed discussion AA meeting. I nearly died. They actually thought it would be a good idea (let alone even possible) for me to stand in front of a mirror and look myself in the eye and say "I love you." I've tried this exercise at various times over the years I've been sober and I can't say I've ever found it easy to do. It has been a long time since I even tried, and given the acumulation of un-reconciled missteps, I'm not sure I could look myself dead in the eye and honestly say it without some level of discomfort.
There are still things I need (and almost want) to improve in myself. I know I have the Twelve Steps to use for self-improvement. And, my faith provides me with a magnificent tool (the Sacrament of Reconciliation) for self-acceptance and improvement. None of this work is ever easy and is often unpleasant, but I know the results are more than worth it. I've always struggled with accurate, humble self-appraisal, due to my tendency to be overly hard on myself at times. And of course, I can also turn right around and give myself a pass where I ought to hold myself more accountable.
Thankfully, AA introduced me to an HP that forgives indiscretion if I come to Him with contrite heart and earnest desire to grow closer in my relationship with Him. I've learned that it's important for me to align my will with His will in order to remain sober and at peace in my daily life. And, I've learned that the best and highest use of my will is to love Him and in serving Him, to love others. This is no small task for the self-centered alcoholicc/addict, but I'm better than I used to be. I've learned that it begins and ends with love. I think perhaps John Lennon had it right!