Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Am I Growing?

How do we know when we are growing? How can we tell if we have changed? We see ourselves everyday, what can we use as a yardstick?

When we enter into the process of recovery we place ourselves on a path of growth that is often three steps forward and two steps back. As we grow and change it may not be apparent to us that we have made strides in our efforts to become healthier. This may cause us concern or allow us to feel as though we are not accomplishing our goals.

We can take steps to avert this type of second guessing. We can use our tools to create a snapshot of ourselves at various points along our journey.

One of our most successful tools is journaling. We take bit of time on a regular basis and write out our thoughts and feelings. We may want to include small bits of current events to remind ourselves of the drama and chaos that surrounded us when we entered into the path of recovery. As time progresses we will be able to read our prior posts and realize how far we have come along our chosen path.

Another tool we can use to help us see our own growth is a gratitude journal. We write down five reasons we are grateful each night before we drift off to sleep. They can be anything, from our kids to our pet. We can be grateful for the simplest things, like food on our table, or the most complex, such as being able to understand physics. Initially the exercise may feel awkward and we may be unable to think of five new things to write down each day. But over time we will see how our world has enlarged as we grow and change.

Sometimes we complete our exercises and use our tools grudgingly, just going through the motions. But over time as we see the growth in ourselves and the changes we engender in those we love we will become more enthusiastic in our efforts and understand that we can only change the world one person at a time... that person starts with us.

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