We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.Step 1 of the Twelve Steps of Al-Anon
I found a nugget of truth that hit hard tonight – from “Paths to Recovery” page 13 –
How many times have I done this in my relationship with the church over my lifetime? Hmmm …
- eating unhealthy meals at fellowship dinners to avoid “the look” from a church cook
- staying up too late with youth instead of building a solid team of youth sponsors to share the work
- taking on clerical tasks because I just want to get it done
- trying to smooth over conflicts that were not mine to engage
- getting over involved in teaching/leading to avoid my “stuff”
- going for absolute perfection on whatever I did, instead of trusting “good enough”
- letting myself get caught up in someone’s grief, anger, apathy, struggle because I *knew* I could figure out how to fix it
Many of these are from years ago – but I would be lying if I refused to own their lure. Especially when you are raised to operate from a “others first” mentality. Cause it’s right there in the Bible (esp Phillipians 2:5-8 where teachers and ministers taught me I was to imitate Jesus as he humbled himself). Socially acceptable lure + embedded expectation = difficult to transform behavior.
But. “Love one another AS YOU LOVE YOURSELF” is one of the two greatest commandments, according to Mark 12:30-31. So. It’s not others or me. It’s us, and self-care is crucial to us existing well … if I don’t even know how to love myself, how the hell can I love you?
Over the years, I have discovered multiple reasons why I used to choose to care for others/the church instead of me, leading to my life being unmanageable. More on that as I go through the steps. And, I am sure I will discover more.
Tonight, I recognize that I am in need of self-care, I have power to set healthy boundaries for self-care, and I am worth being cared for.
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