Recalibrate Your Compass

   Do you ever feel like you have lost yourself in this world of expectations and past disappointments? Some days it can be a struggle, feeling like a stray balloon wafting from breeze to breeze in the atmosphere. At this point, you are just hoping not to get sucked into the motor of a passing plane, because the world around you keeps moving and you can’t seem to gain traction. On these particularly difficult days of feeling adrift, let healing affirmations be the tether that keeps you grounded.

    I know some of you are thinking, first what is an affirmation and why the heck am I hearing all about them now?  Well simply put, an affirmation statement offers emotional support and encouragement and the reason you are hearing all about them is that they work!

            I’m not saying if you wake up every morning and tell yourself you will win the lottery, that one day you most assuredly will.

            What I AM saying, is that without realizing it, the trajectory of your life will change by simply putting positivity into your thoughts, that will become your words and actions to follow. Starting the day with positive affirmations is a great, and quick jumpstart to adding to the positivity you already need in your life.

With a quick google search, you will find your basic affirmations that seem to be a sort of one size fits all; which can be great! Especially if you feel like you are singular in this recovery process because you will quickly find your circumstances are not as unique as you think they are. People all over can, and a lot will empathize with you, giving you thoughtful reassurance.

These general affirmations can be short, or lengthy, religious or not, and the messages are generally the same.

  • I am enough
  • Everything is as it should be
  • I stand in the peace and resolve of this moment.
  • I am on my path forward
  • My journey is not over.
  • My past does not define me.
  • I forgive myself.

 

                        That last one can be particularly tricky for an addict in recovery.

 

Forgiveness, for yourself, and more importantly from yourself, goes back to the self-love I touched on previously, and why it is crucial to your well-being. Don’t ever think you are exempt from love, or forgiveness for ANY reason. There are people on death row who ask to be forgiven and I can pretty much guarantee you haven’t done anything nearly that drastic, so stop thinking or feeling like the bottom of the barrel is your destination.

            You are on this journey still. THAT is the destination.

            On a deeper level than just wanting to be forgiven, you must realize that our need for forgiveness, is directly tied to the fact that we feel remorse for our wrongdoings. Something we have done in the past directly conflicted with our moral compass; and this forgiveness begins to feel paramount to our recovery.

 

            Prepare to be disappointed, at least once.

 

            Not everyone will want to forgive us and guess what?!

                  THAT’S FINE!

 

The fact that you even want forgiveness is evidence of the progress you are making in even realizing your mistakes. Recognize that and forgive yourself.

 

Don’t use that as a free pass to go make the same mistakes! Remember,

  • Why it conflicted with your morals – really sit and consider what value you hold dear that your actions conflicted with.
  • How offended you would feel if the roles had been reversed
  • Learning from your mistakes means not falling into the same patterns again

 

Before I got sober I had many a falling out with good friends, false enemies, and true companions. One of my childhood friends and I have still not, and probably never will reconcile. During our last interaction, said the friend had touted, “I will never stop feeling sorry for you. Even if you get clean, make it rich and famous, it doesn’t matter what good things happen to you in your life I will ALWAYS feel sorry for you and your sorry life.”

                     I remember because it still hurts.

                     I remember because it knocked the wind out of me, and still does sometimes.

                     I remember because it’s a part of the reason we will never reconcile.

So much of that will never leave me. So much of that pain still stings. So much of that I won’t forget.

But, for myself, I must forgive myself and let it go.

Sure, it bugs me that if I ever cross her mind it will forever be condescending; but I did that. I pushed that relationship to a point where she felt that was her obvious option opposed to being my friend.

I realize that I can’t push people to that brink and then demand their forgiveness.

 

So I must forgive myself.

Forgive me for letting friendships slip away, or pushing them too far.

Forgive me for not getting sober sooner.

Forgive, and move forward, with the knowledge I have now.

 

You can’t beat yourself up for not learning sooner, what you know now. You can’t blame yourself for what you didn’t know before you knew it. You can’t go back and do it over. Cut yourself some slack.

 

 

            YOU CAN START TODAY!

            YOU CAN LIVE WITH PEACE OF MIND!

            YOU CAN MAKE AMENDS BY SHOWING YOU LEARNED FROM THE PAST!

 

Sometimes the best apology is not spoken but LIVED through actions. Recognizing the conflict between our actions and our values is just the first step to living the apology.

Making up for time lost isn’t an option, but moving forward with a better understanding of yourself is the only way to move ahead. Though you might not get the forgiveness from the ones you’ve hurt in the past, you will have an enormous gratitude for the people who come into your life from this point forward. The way you handle your new relations, having learned from your experiences in the past, is the key to truly succeeding in life.

Take what you have learned and absorbe it, carry it with you and learn how it can make you a better person. That is why the affirmation “my past does not define me” often resonates with addicts in recovery.

However, if the general affirmations seem too much of a giant band-aid on your specific wound, don’t forget, anyone can create an affirmation.

Affirmations can be the stepping stones on your new journey, all you must do is use them. While they themselves are simple to write, don’t overthink it. There are really two easy steps to creating a personal affirmation.

  1. Take a negative aspect of your life you wish to change

Example) I feel I am lost

  1. Form a constructive statement that directly contradicts #1

Example) I am exactly where I should be on my path

BOOM!

            -Affirmation formed!

            Make sure to personalize your affirmation (try to begin with me, or my, to assume ownership). Short affirmations are the easiest to remember, although if it speaks to you personally, recalling one that’s rather lengthy will be little to no trouble.

Your affirmations can be health-oriented, job-related, or specifically tailored to your recovery. Whatever affirmation you identify with, created or adopted, make sure it is moving you into positively. Clearing your thoughts from negativity and reassuring yourself with healing affirmations.

Slowly but surely, you will be able to make decisions that more closely align with your moral compass, keep you in touch with personal values and beliefs, and land you within reach of your new goals.

Remember,

You can do this!

You are enough!

You, DESERVE your own forgiveness!

 

 

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