Tuesday, August 25, 2009

An Inside Job

When we begin our journey into recovery our lives may have become very small as a result of the dysfunction within which we live. In order to please others we may have given up much of our interests, hobbies, friends or acquaintances. Some of us may have given up careers to raise a family or to be a homemaker. With all we have relinquished we may come to the table empty, feeling as though we are a vessel from which all has been poured.

Sooner or later each of us comes to a point in our lives when we finally discover that happiness is an inside job. We realize that no one can make us happy except ourselves. If we have spent many years attending to the needs and happiness of others, we may suddenly discover we feel vacuous. Developing ourself is our responsibility. Finding hobbies we enjoy and friends to fill our life are good beginnings. We would err to expect our partner or family to be our all. We need friends and personal growth to complete us as individuals. Our partner can certainly be our best friend, but not our only friend.

We think of ourselves like a gear with teeth sticking out in all directions. Each tooth represents one aspect of our life. One tooth may be our partner, one our children, one our extended family, one our friendships, one our career, one tooth for each of our hobbies, one for our love of the theatre, and so on. In this way the gear is representative of a fulfilling life. It is our mission in life to fill each tooth with something of meaning to us, thereby adding value to our lives. If we are diligent we will have a life filled with joy and meaning as accomplished by our own hand. What more could we ask for?

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