The Language of Letting Go, Part 2

Old 10-30-2016, 07:39 AM
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The Language of Letting Go, Part 2

This is the continuation of the thread "The Language of Letting Go, Part 1" which got too big for the server. You can find Part 1 here:

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...-part-1-a.html

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Old 10-30-2016, 02:49 PM
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October 31

You are reading from the book "The Language of Letting Go."

All Our Needs

And my Higher Power shall supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory...
--Phil. 4:19

This verse has helped me many times. It has helped me when I have wondered where my next friend bit of wisdom, insight, or meal was coming from.

Everything I need today shall be supplied to me.

People, jobs, what we have to our immediate disposal, are not our source.

We have tapped into a Greater Source, a source of infinite and immediate supply: Higher Power and His Universe.

Our task is to allow ourselves to come into harmony with our Source. Our task is to believe in and look to our true Source. Our task is to release fear, negative thinking, limitations, and short-supply thinking.

Everything we need will be provided to us. Let it become a natural response to all situations and all situations of need.

Reject fear. Reject short-supply and limited-thinking notions. Be open to abundance.

Cherish need because it is part of our relationship to Higher Power and His Universe. Higher Power has planned to meet our every need, has created the need within us, so Higher Power can supply.

No need is too small or too great. If we care and value our need, Higher Power will too.

Our part is taking responsibility for owning the need. Our part is giving the need to the Universe. Our part is letting go in faith. Our part is giving Higher Power permission to meet our needs by believing we deserve to have our needs - and wants - met.

Our part is healthy giving, not out of caretaking, guilt, obligation, and codependency, but out of a healthy relationship with ourselves, Higher Power, and all of Higher Power's creations.

Our part is simply to be who we are and love being that.

Today I will practice the belief that all my needs today will be met. I will step into harmony with Higher Power and His Universe, knowing that I count.

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Old 10-31-2016, 10:25 PM
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November 1

You are reading from the book "The Language of Letting Go."

Transformation through Grief

We're striving for acceptance in recovery - acceptance of our past, other people, our present circumstances, and ourselves. Acceptance brings peace, healing, and freedom - the freedom to take care of ourselves.

Acceptance is not a one-step process. Before we achieve acceptance, we go toward it in stages of denial, anger, negotiating, and sadness. We call these stages the grief process. Grief can be frustrating. It can be confusing. We may vacillate between sadness and denial. Our behaviors may vacillate. Others may not understand us. We may neither understand our own behavior nor ourselves while we're grieving our losses. Then one day things become clear. The fog lifts and we see that we have been struggling to face and accept a particular reality.

Don't worry. If we are taking steps to take care of ourselves, we will move through this process at exactly the right pace. Be understanding with yourself and others for the very human way we go through transition.

Today I will accept the way I go through change. I will accept the grief process and its stages as the way people accept loss and change.

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Old 11-03-2016, 01:47 PM
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November 2

You are reading from the book "The Language of Letting Go."

The Grief Process

To let ourselves wholly grieve our losses is how we surrender to the process of life and recovery. Some experts, like Patrick Carnes, call the Twelve Steps "a program for dealing with our losses, a program for dealing with our grief."

How do we grieve?

Awkwardly. Imperfectly. Usually with a great deal of resistance. Often with anger and attempts to negotiate. Ultimately, by surrendering to the pain.

The grief process, says Elisabeth Kubler Ross, is a five stage process: denial, anger, bargaining, sadness, and, finally, acceptance. That's how we grieve; that's how we accept; that's how we forgive; that's how we respond to the many changes life throws our way.

Although this five-step process looks tidy on paper, it is not tidy in life. We do not move through it in a compartmentalized manner. We usually flounder through, kicking and screaming, with much back and forth movement - until we reach that peaceful state called acceptance.

When we talk about "unfinished business" from our past, we are usually referring to losses about which we have not completed grieving. We're talking about being stuck somewhere in the grief process. Usually, for adult children and codependents, the place where we become stuck is denial.. Passing through denial is the first and most dangerous stage of grieving, but it is also the first step toward acceptance.

We can learn to understand the grief process and how it applies to recovery. Even good changes in recovery can bring loss and, consequently, grief. We can learn to help others and ourselves by understanding and becoming familiar with this process. We can learn to fully grieve our losses, feel our pain, accept, and forgive, so we can feel joy and love.

Today, Higher Power, help me open myself to the process of grieving my losses. Help me allow myself to flow through the grief process, accepting all the stages so I might achieve peace and acceptance in my life. Help me learn to be gentle with others and myself while we go through this very human process of healing.

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Old 11-03-2016, 01:52 PM
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November 3

You are reading from the book "The Language of Letting Go."

Denial

Denial is fertile breeding ground for the behaviors we call codependent: controlling, focusing on others, and neglecting ourselves. Illness and compulsive or addictive behaviors can emerge during denial.

Denial can be confusing because it resembles sleeping. We're not really aware we're doing it until we're done doing it. Forcing ourselves or anyone else to face the truth usually doesn't help. We won't face the facts until we are ready. Neither, it seems, will anyone else. We may admit to the truth for a moment, but we won't let ourselves know what we know until we feel safe, secure, and prepared enough to deal and cope with it.

Talking to friends who know, love, support, encourage, and affirm us helps.

Being gentle, loving, and affirming with ourselves helps. Asking ourselves, and our Higher Power, to guide us into and through change helps.

The first step toward acceptance is denial. The first step toward moving through denial is accepting that we may be in denial, and then gently allowing ourselves to move through.

Higher Power, help me feel safe and secure enough today to accept what I need to accept.

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Old 11-04-2016, 11:31 PM
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November 4

You are reading from the book "The Language of Letting Go."

Anger

Feeling angry, and sometimes the act of blaming, is a natural and necessary part of accepting loss and change, of grieving. We can allow ourselves and others to become angry as we move from denial toward acceptance.

As we come to terms with loss and change, we may blame our higher Power, others, or ourselves. The person may be connected to the loss, or he or she may be an innocent bystander. We may hear ourselves say: "If only he would have done that... If I wouldn't have done that... Why didn't Higher Power do it differently?"... We know that blame doesn't help. In recovery, the watchwords are self-responsibility and personal accountability, not blame. Ultimately, surrender and self-responsibility are the only concepts that can move us forward, but to get there we may need to allow ourselves to feel angry and to occasionally indulge in some blaming.

It is helpful in dealing with others to remember that they too may need to go through their angry stage to achieve acceptance. To not allow others or ourselves to go through anger and blame may slow down the grief process.

Trust the grief process and ourselves. We won't stay angry forever. But we may need to get mad for a while as we search over what could have been, to finally accept what is.

Higher Power, help me learn to accept my own and others' anger as a normal part of achieving acceptance and peace. Within that framework, help me strive for personal accountability.

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Old 11-04-2016, 11:38 PM
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November 5

You are reading from the book "The Language of Letting Go."

Let's Make a Deal

The relationship just wasn't working out, and I wanted it to so badly. I kept thinking if I just made myself look prettier, if I just tried to be a more loving, kind person, then he would love me. I turned myself inside out to be something better, when all along who I was, was okay. I just couldn't see what I was doing, though, until I moved forward and accepted reality.
--Anonymous

One of the most frustrating stages of acceptance is the bargaining stage. In denial, there is bliss. In anger, there is some sense of power. In bargaining, we vacillate between believing there is something we can do to change things and realizing there isn't.

We may get our hopes up again and again, only to have them dashed.

Many of us have turned ourselves inside out to try to negotiate with reality. Some of us have done things that appear absurd, in retrospect, once we've achieved acceptance.

"If I try to be a better person, then this won't happen...If I look prettier, keep a cleaner house, lose weight, smile more, let go, hang on more tightly, close my eyes and count to ten, holler, then I won't have to face this loss, this change."

There are stories from members of Al Anon about attempts to bargain with the alcoholic's drinking: "If I keep the house cleaner, he won't drink.... If I make her happy by buying her a new dress, she won't drink... If I buy my son a new car, he'll stop using drugs."

Adult children have bargained with their losses too: "Maybe if I'm the perfect child, then Mom or Dad will love and approve of me, stop drinking, and be there for me the way I want them to be." We do big, small, and in-between things, sometimes crazy things, to ward off, stop, or stall the pain involved with accepting reality.

There is no substitute for accepting reality. That's our goal. But along the way, we may try to strike a deal. Recognizing our attempts at bargaining for what they are - part of the grief process - helps our lives become manageable.

Today I will give others and myself the freedom to fully grieve losses. I will hold myself accountable, but I will give myself permission to be human.

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Old 11-05-2016, 11:48 PM
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November 6

You are reading from the book "The Language of Letting Go."

Enjoying Life

Do something fun today.

If you're relaxing, let yourself relax, without guilt, without worrying about the work that is undone.

If you're with loved ones, let yourself love them, and let them love you. Let yourself feel close.

Let yourself enjoy your work, for that can be pleasurable too.

If you're doing something fun, let yourself enjoy it.

What would feel good? What would you enjoy? Is there a positive pleasure available? Indulge.

Recovery is not solely about stopping the pain. Recovery is about learning to make ourselves feel better; then it's about making ourselves feel good.

Enjoy your day.

Today I will do something fun, something I enjoy, and something just for me. I will take responsibility for making myself feel good.

1990, Hazelden Foundation. All rights reserved.

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Old 11-06-2016, 01:34 PM
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November 7

You are reading from the book "The Language of Letting Go."

Relationships

There is a gift for us in each relationship that comes our way.

Sometimes the gift is a behavior we're learning to acquire: detachment, self esteem, becoming confident enough to set a boundary, or owning our power in another way.

Some relationships trigger healing in us - healing from issues of the past or an issue we're facing today.

Sometimes we find ourselves learning the most important lessons from the people we least expect to help us. Relationships may teach us about loving ourselves or someone else. Or maybe we'll learn to let others love us.

Sometimes we aren't certain what lesson we're learning, especially while we're in the midst of the process. But we can trust that the lesson and the gift are there. We don't have to control this process. We'll understand when it's time. We can also trust that the gift is precisely what we need.

Today I'll be grateful for all my relationships. I will open myself to the lesson and the gift from each person in my life. I will trust that I, too, am a gift in the other people's lives.

1990, Hazelden Foundation. All rights reserved.

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Old 11-07-2016, 12:27 PM
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November 8

You are reading from the book "The Language of Letting Go."

True to Ourselves

This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou 'canst not then be false to any man.
--William Shakespeare

To thine own self be true. A grounding statement for those of us who get caught up in the storm of needs and feelings of others.

Listen to the self. What do we need? Are those needs getting met? What do we feel? What do we need to do to take care of our feelings? What are our feelings telling us about ourselves and the direction we need to go?

What do we want to do or say? What are our instincts telling us? Trust them - even if they don't make sense or meet other people's rules and expectations.

Sometimes the demands of other people and our confused expectations of ourselves - the messages about our responsibilities toward others - can create a tremendous, complicated mess.

We can even convince ourselves that people pleasing, going against our nature and not being honest, is the kind, honest thing to do!

Not true. Simplify. Back to basics. Let go of the confusion. By honoring and respecting ourselves, we will be true to those around us, even if we displease them momentarily.

To thine own self be true. Simple words describing a powerful task that can put us back on track.

Today I will honor, cherish, and love myself. When confused about what to do, I will be true to myself. I will break free of the hold others and their expectations have on me.

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Old 11-08-2016, 10:25 AM
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What a great post on Election day. THanks HP!
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Old 11-08-2016, 10:26 AM
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I thought that same thing^, fb!
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Old 11-08-2016, 01:21 PM
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November 9

You are reading from the book "The Language of Letting Go."

Accepting Love

Many of us have worked too hard to make relationships work; sometimes those relationships didn't have a chance because the other person was unavailable or refused to participate.

To compensate for the other person's unavailability, we worked too hard. We may have done all or most of the work. This may mask the situation for a while, but we usually get tired. Then, when we stop doing all the work, we notice there is no relationship, or we're so tired we don't care.

Doing all the work in a relationship is not loving, giving, or caring. It is self-defeating and relationship defeating. It creates the illusion of a relationship when in fact there may be no relationship. It enables the other person to be irresponsible for his or her share. Because that does not meet our needs, we ultimately feel victimized.

In our best relationships, we all have temporary periods where one person participates more than the other. This is normal. But as a permanent way of participating in relationships, it leaves us feeling tired, worn out, needy, and angry.

We can learn to participate a reasonable amount and then let the relationship find it's own life. Are we doing all the calling? Are we doing all the initiating? Are we doing all the giving? Are we the one talking about feelings and striving for intimacy?

Are we doing all the waiting, the hoping, and the work?

We can let go. If the relationship is meant to be, it will be, and it will become what it is meant to be. We do not help that process by trying to control it. We do not help the other person, the relationship, or ourselves by trying to force it or by doing all the work.

Let it be. Wait and see. Stop worrying about making it happen. See what happens and strive to understand if that is what you want.

Today I will stop doing all the work in my relationships. I will give myself and the other person the gift of requiring both people to participate. I will accept the natural level my relationships reach when I do my share and allow the other person to choose what his or her share will be. I can trust my relationships to reach their own level. I do not have to do all the work; I need only do my share.

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Old 11-09-2016, 12:28 PM
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November 10

You are reading from the book "The Language of Letting Go."

Beliefs about Money

I was starting a new job for a corporation. I was good at what I did for a living. The personnel manager and I were down to the details of employment, and he asked me how much money I believed I deserved. I thought about it and came up with a figure of $400 a month. This was back in the sixties. I didn't want to ask for too much, so I decided to ask for the smallest amount I could live with. He hired me and gave me what I asked for. Later on, when I left that job, the personnel manager told me he had been willing to pay me whatever I wanted. Had I asked for $600 or even $700 a month, which was a tremendous salary at that time, I would have gotten it. I had limited myself by what I believed I deserved.
--Anonymous

What are our beliefs about money?

Do we believe that money is evil and wrong? Money is neither. It is a commodity on earth, a necessity. It is what people need to purchase many of their basic needs, as well as luxuries and treats; it is one way they are rewarded for their work. Loving money, however, can be as self-defeating as loving any other commodity. We can become obsessed with money; we can use it as an escape from relationships and feelings; we can use it compulsively to gain a temporary sense of power. Money is simply money.

Do we believe there's a scarcity of money? Many of grew up with deprived thinking concerning money: There's not enough. There will never be enough. If we get a little, we may guard it and hoard it because there's no more.

Money is not in short supply. We do not have to waste our energy resenting those who have enough. There is plenty of money here on earth.

How much do we believe we deserve? Many of us are limiting ourselves by what we believe we deserve.

Money is not evil. There is no scarcity, except in our mind and attitudes. And what we believe we deserve will be about what we shall receive.

We can change our beliefs through affirmations, by setting goals, by starting where we are, and working slowly forward to where we want to be

Today I will examine my beliefs about money. I will begin the process of letting go of any self-defeating beliefs that may be limiting or blocking the financial part of my life.

1990, Hazelden Foundation. All rights reserved.

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Old 11-10-2016, 02:00 PM
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November 11

You are reading from the book "The Language of Letting Go.

Discipline

Children need discipline to feel secure; so do adults.

Discipline means understanding there are logical consequences to our behavior. Discipline means taking responsibility for our behavior and the consequences.

Discipline means learning to wait for what we want.

Discipline means being willing to work for and toward what we want.

Discipline means learning and practicing new behaviors.

Discipline means being where we need to be, when we need to be there, despite our feelings.

Discipline is the day-to-day performing of tasks, whether these are recovery behaviors or washing the dishes.

Discipline involves trusting that our goals will be reached though we cannot see them.

Discipline can be grueling. We may feel afraid, confused, and uncertain. Later we will see the purpose. But this clarity of sight usually does not come during the time of discipline. We may not even believe we're moving forward.

But we are.

The task at hand during times of discipline is simple: listen, trust, and obey.

Higher Power, help me learn to surrender to discipline. Help me be grateful that You care enough about me to allow these times of discipline and learning in my life. Help me know that as a result of discipline and learning, something important will have been worked out in me.

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Old 11-11-2016, 11:45 PM
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November 12

You are reading from the book "The Language of Letting Go."

Timing

Wait until the time is right. It is self-defeating to postpone or procrastinate; it is also self-defeating to act too soon, before the time is right.

Sometimes we panic and take action out of fear. Sometimes we take untimely action for revenge or because we want to punish someone. We act or speak too soon as a way to control or force someone to action. Sometimes we take action too soon to relieve feelings of discomfort or anxiety about how a situation will turn out.

An action taken too soon can be as ineffective as one taken too late. It can backfire and cause more problems than it solves. Usually, when we wait until the time is right - sometimes only a matter of minutes or hours - the discomfort dissolves, and we're empowered to accomplish what we need to do.

In recovery, we are learning to be effective.

Our answers will come. Our guidance will come. Pray. Trust. Wait. Let go. We are being led. We are being guided.

Today I will let go of my need to control by waiting until the time is right. When the time is right, I will take action.

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Old 11-12-2016, 11:19 PM
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November 13

You are reading from the book "The Language of Letting Go."

Taking Care of Ourselves

We do not have to wait for others to come to our aid. We are not victims. We are not helpless.

Letting go of faulty thinking means we realize there are no knights on white horses, no magical grandmothers in the sky watching, waiting to rescue us.

Teachers may come our way, but they will not rescue. They will teach. People who care will come, but they will not rescue. They will care. Help will come, but help is not rescuing.

We are our own rescuers.

Our relationships will improve dramatically when we stop rescuing others and stop expecting them to rescue us.

Today I will let go of the fears and self-doubt that block me from taking assertive action in my best interest. I can take care of myself and let others do the same for themselves.

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Old 11-13-2016, 12:26 PM
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November 14

You are reading from the book "The Language of Letting Go."

Letting Our Anger Out

It's okay to be angry, but it isn't healthy to be resentful. Regardless of what we learned as children, no matter what we saw role modeled, we can learn to deal with our anger in ways that are healthy for us and for those around us. We can have our angry feelings. We can connect with them, own them, and feel them, express them, release them, and be done with them.

We can learn to listen to what anger is telling us about what we want and need in order to take care of ourselves.

Sometimes we can even indulge in angry feelings that aren't justified. Feelings are just feelings; there is no morality in the feeling, only in our behavior. We can feel angry without hurting or abusing others or ourselves. We can learn to deal with anger in ways that benefit our relationships instead of ways that harm them.

If we don't feel our angry feelings today, we will need to face them tomorrow.

Today I will let myself feel my anger. I will express my anger appropriately, without guilt. Then I will be done with it.

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Old 11-14-2016, 12:23 PM
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November 15

You are reading from the book "The Language of Letting Go."

Benefits of Recovery

There are two benefits from recovery: we have short-term gains and long-term gains.

The short-term gains are the things we can do today that help us feel better immediately.

We can wake up in the morning, read for a few minutes in our meditation book, and feel lifted. We can work a Step and often notice an immediate difference in the way we feel and function. We can go to a meeting and feel refreshed, talk to a friend and feel comforted, or practice a new recovery behavior, such as dealing with our feelings or doing something good for ourselves, and feel relieved.

There are other benefits from recovery, though, that we don't see immediately on a daily or even a monthly basis. These are the long-term gains, the larger progress we make in our life.

Over the years, we can see tremendous rewards. We can watch ourselves grow strong in faith, until we have a daily personal relationship with a Higher Power that is as real to us as a relationship with a best friend.

We can watch ourselves grow beautiful as we shed shame, guilt, resentments, self-hatred, and other negative buildups from our past.

We can watch the quality of our relationships improve with family, friends, and spouses. We find ourselves growing steadily and gradually in our capacity to be intimate and close, to give and receive.

We can watch ourselves grow in our careers, in our ability to be creative, powerful, productive people, using our gifts and talents in a way that feels good and benefits others.

We discover the joy and beauty in ourselves, others, and life.

The long-term progress is steady, but sometimes slow, happening in increments and often with much forward and backward movement. Enough days at a time of practicing recovery behaviors and piling up short term gains leads to long-term rewards.

Today I will be grateful for the immediate and long-term rewards of recovery. If I am new to recovery, I will have faith that I can achieve the long-term benefits. If I've been recovering for a while, I will pause to reflect and be grateful for my overall progress.

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Old 11-15-2016, 12:32 PM
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November 16

You are reading from the book "The Language of Letting Go."

The Victim Trap

The belief that life has to be hard and difficult in the belief that makes a martyr.

We can change our negative beliefs about life, and whether we have the power to stop our pain and take care of ourselves.

We aren't helpless. We can solve our problems. We do have power - not to change or control others, but to solve the problems that are ours to solve. Using each problem that comes our way to "prove" that life is hard and we are helpless - this is codependency. It's the victim trap.

Life does not have to be difficult. In fact, it can be smooth. Life is good. We don't have to "awfulize" it or ourselves. We don't have to live on the underside.

We do have power, more power than we know, even in the difficult times. And the difficult times don't prove life is bad; they are part of the ups and downs of life; often they work out for the best.

We can change our attitude; we can change ourselves; sometimes, we can change our circumstances.

Life is challenging. Sometimes there's more pain than we asked for; sometimes there's more joy than we imagined.

It's all part of the package, and the package is good.

We are not victims of life. We can learn to remove ourselves as victims of life. By letting go of our belief that life has to be hard and difficult, we make our life much easier.

Today, Higher Power, help me let go of my belief that life is so hard, so awful, or so difficult. Help me replace that belief with a healthier, more realistic view.

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