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Courage to Change:

As a result of living in a household where alcohol was abused, the concept of being gentle with myself was foreign. What was familiar was striving for perfection and hating myself whenever I fell short of my goals.

I first heard, “Be gentle with yourself,” at an Al-Anon meeting. I had a hard time with the idea until I put my imagination to work. I pictured myself finding a kitten and holding it in my cupped hands. I imagined the feelings I might have toward this sweet creature—tenderness, patience, compassion, wonder, and love. I quickly put myself in the kitten’s place and focused all of those gentle feelings in my own direction. It worked!

As I have grown in Al-Anon, I have come to see that my Higher Power holds me in the same gentle way—protecting me, guiding me, and loving me every day.

Today’s Reminder:

If I am being hard on myself, I can stop and remember that I deserve gentleness and understanding from myself. Being human is not a character defect! Today I will be gentle with my humanness.

“The question is not what a man can scorn, or disparage, or find fault with, but what he can love, and value, and appreciate.” – John Ruskin

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