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       When a situation is difficult or doesn't merit our approval, we must not throw in the towel, our own guilt trips were so overpowering that little blame was passed on to others, even those who were guilty of committing heinous offenses against us.

      We were trained to accept their guilt and shame, to keep their secrets, deep with-in we were to terrified to assert ourselves, we feared our family and friends, who had complete control over us. they wouldn't let us assert ourselves, or express ourselves, their manipulation of our every action gave them the power, to do anything they wanted to do to us, we submitted to every action they would take, our fear was to strong to resist, nothing could interfere with what they wanted .

      We allowed them to lead us into pitiful demoralization and humiliation of ourselves, pride, ego, self-justification, and hidden hatred, including self-hatred, were woven into the fabric of our lives, these defects allowed us to judge everyone, gave us the right to criticize and condemn anyone we wanted to, we became self-centered to the max., as long as our secrets were left alone.

      We needed these defects to survive, we allowed people to inflect grave emotional harm upon us. We allowed emotional conflicts to persist below the level of consciousness, which gave our emotions violent twists, discolored our personalities, and has altered our lives for the worst. Our basic flaws are responsible for the whole pattern of our lives. If we don't work thru our past, face the fears of our secrets, we shall never be free to have a meaningful relationship with anyone.

      When we are conscious of our relationships with others, we can see how we behave with ourselves and those around us, we are encouraged to keep focus on ourselves, we can see how fear and delusional thinking made it impossible to have any kind of sane relationship or true partnership with anyone, self examination can form an unshakable foundation for a new life.

      We are now standing in the doorway of step three, on the wall, just inside this door is an inscription it reads " this is the way to a faith that works" Trusting in God, as we understand Him, we can walk thru this door and accept His grace, always remembering life is change, growth is optional, we can now start to work on step four, with a willingness to be honest with ourselves, always remembering love begins with ourselves.

      We can't criticize, judge, or condemn ourselves for the way we were taught to live, we were given our family's disease, it's only natural for us to accept their guilt, shame, and remorse. We must let go of the terrified feelings, we have when we look into our childhood, fear was the best weapon people had to control us, it was like a vice they could tighten around us, anytime we tried to rebel.

      We need to trust in God's love, to help us thru our past, so we can let go of all the secrets we have let plaque us most of our lives. We are not responsible for the disease of others in our family, or others in our lives.

      We need to write our feelings down, about how much we let people hurt us, write letters to people in our lives, telling them how we feel about them, the way they treated us, and the way we treated them.

      These letters are only to be shared with our sponsor's so they can help us see what is happening with our negative way of thinking, and show us who and what we really are, then we can start healing the tragic pains of our lives, we don't need to fear the real truth, we no longer need to hide, from the child with-in, we know he needs nourishment to grow, we need to take the time to know ourselves, and our loved ones, fear, anger, misunderstanding, or denial show us our boundaries as individuals, we don't have to fear or hide any feelings anymore, we can stop running, we must stand and fearlessly deal with what's really happening.

      When we are being asked to accept unacceptable behavior, it pushes the buttons from a childhood, where most of the adults were in denial of their disease, they were very abusive to us, and everyone around them, our acceptance of that abuse is what keeps us in our disease, If we are going to have the best possible relationship with others, it has to be formed on a basis of true honesty, self-honesty first and foremost, if we are to form a true partnership with anyone.

      We never had the courage to express our feeling, about how the people we loved were behaving, or misbehaving, we never shared our feelings, of resentment, hurt feeling, or anything else, we always stuffed these feelings, we must share things if we ever want an honest open partnership, with others in our lives, if we don't we could be caught in our disease again.

      The ability to stand still, and stay, even when things seem unstable, when we are being harmed, in real or imagined ways, these times are difficult, but every troubled day is an opportunity to get to know ourselves a little better, it's an invitation to face the truth about ourselves, and the world around us, if we are going to live in that world, all we need to do is accept this new way of living, have the willingness to accept, who we truly are, accepting God, as we understand Him, staying completely open minded to make changes in ourselves.

      Here is were we will find the key to freedom and happiness, acceptance is truly the answer to all our problems, accepting only our part in how we behaved, not the part of others who were in our lives. We learned, unfortunately, how not to live from some of them, our desires can never take the place of given love to others, for it's by loving, that we receive love. The child with-in must stop seeking love and protection, from other people, who enable him, that child needs to grow up, and give us the strength, to walk thru the torment and horror of our past. We can walk thru with God at our sides, He is the only one who can give us the love and protection, that child is seeking.

      God will never let us walk alone, we must clean-up our past, so we can live in the present, our new relationships must be honest and open, we must share our lives with those we love. A life of sharing is far better than controlling or letting anyone control us. True love is caring and sharing openly everything in the present, our past need not be carried into our new life, except when it will benefit us, or help someone else, without harming anyone, we must remember our past so we will never repeat it.

      We must dispel fear, as a part of our lives, we must overcome fear, specifically fear of change, in order to live in God's world, we must face real dangers, not imaginary ones, we can't let fear, rule and ruin our lives again, we must be honest and open in all our affairs, sharing in harmony with each other, and always making amends whenever needed. If we remember to always keep focus on ourselves and our recovery, when the going is over-whelming, and we fell less than, not deserving of, when times are at there darkest, we must believe God is carrying us, when, we are climbing the mountains of our lives, we should stop when the going is overwhelming, turn around for a moment, see where we have been, see how much we have accomplished, how far we have come, see how many times God encouraged us, helped us, or carried us. His unconditional love and our acceptance of His love, is what keeps us focused on our recovery.

May God smile upon you as he has on me!

          A-12-6-97                written by LT                     design by LT