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Courage to Change:

I grew up with guilt and blame, amidst harsh criticism and constant fear. Even now, after years of Al-Anon recovery, when past mistakes come to mind I tend to react with guilt, exaggerating the significance of my errors and thinking very badly of myself.

In Al-Anon I’m learning to see myself more realistically. Sure, I have wrestled with alcoholism and taken a fall or two. I’ve made plenty of mistakes that had nothing to do with alcoholism. But I’m not evil. It’s time I stop treating myself as if I were.

There was a time when the only power I felt I had was the power to mess things up. Today, because I am learning to believe in myself and my ability to make a positive contribution to my own life, I am free to look at my mistakes without blowing them out of proportion. I can learn to stop repeating those errors, and I can make amends for the harm I have done.

Today’s Reminder:

I will not chain myself to the past with self-defeating guilt, or by inflating the importance of my errors. Instead, I want to face my past and heal old wounds so that I may move forward into a richer, fuller, and more joyous life today.

“You don’t have to suffer continual chaos in order to grow.” – John C. Lilly

From the book “Courage to Change”. Copyright Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc. 1992