24 April 2011

Embracing the child within

Step Seven of Self-Parenting says, "Learned to embrace our uniqueness and connectedness to others in a spirit of love and humility."

Before recovery, I tried to dismiss my past as something that didn’t affect me. I wanted to fit in as any “normal” person. I didn’t want to be unique or different… I just wanted to be one of the crowd. I didn’t want to be unique because I was molested and abused.

But recovery has shown me that I am unique and I don’t have to be ashamed of it. And while I may share some traits with others, my pains are mine and they are quite unique. And I look at that uniqueness now as a gift from my Higher Power. I couldn’t be the unique person I am, if it wasn’t for my parents. That may sound strange but it was the violence and the dysfunction that made me a very unique person.

A person my Higher Power could love and one that I could love also.

With this uniqueness I found a spiritual connection with others. I can relate to others pains and uncertainties without me saying, “You may have had it bad, but I had it worse.” My uniqueness and humility teaches me that we all had it bad and we all suffered in one form or another.

It was this uniqueness that I can relate to the homeless drunk sleeping under a bridge. It is this uniqueness that I can look at a child and can know in my heart if they are safe or being abused.

Early in my recovery I named my Higher Power – Love. I can relate to Him (or Her) through Love. Love for the uniqueness in my neighbor. Humility that I can be taught by my teenage step-daughter. I am unique because I no longer need to be a victim of my past, but rather I can use it as a spiritual beacon to help others, through that Love.

But with my uniqueness, I am still connected to others by our common goal of finding peace and serenity…

These steps, also adapted from AA, were written by Patricia O'Gorman, Ph.D. and Philip Diaz, M.S.W., as part of their work with families, women, and youth in recovery.

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