The meeting last night was good, but I have to say that it brought up some issues from my past. The topic was how to love yourself. There were a lot of people sharing about how they never had any time to love themselves or take care of themselves because they were always taking care of others. There were some people who mentioned having no money with which to take care of themselves. Someone shared that she didn't know what it meant to love herself, and if someone would just give her a set of instructions, she could follow that and understand what to do.
My thoughts were that to all outward appearances, I had taken good care of myself. I had projects, a good career, hobbies, and lots of activities that I enjoy. However, I also thought that a lot of my activities in the past were related to a need to validate myself through my accomplishments in order to get approval by others. My relationships were also those in which I molded myself to what others wanted me to be (the chameleon syndrome). I don't really think that I knew much about myself or what I wanted. I wasn't kind to myself but endured. That isn't love.
Now I think that through my program, I've learned that I'm a pretty neat person and that I can enjoy being who I am. I'm also learning that criticism and angry outbursts from those that I love may have nothing to do with me. By taking my own inventory and asking whether I did anything to bring on an angry outburst, I can determine whether I need to offer an apology or just keep quiet ("Never miss an opportunity to keep my mouth shut"). What I'm finding is that I don't alway have a role to play in someone else's script. It's their issue and not mine that brings forth anger most of the time. I'm now willing to own something that I do have a part in, but no longer will I try to smooth things over when I'm not even a bit player.
I'm glad that I have this program. I have discovered that love is all around me. And that love is coming from within. I'm thankful for my meetings and the thoughts that all of you express as you progress with your own program.