Putting myself on the list was a big eye-opener. I recognized how others rejected and abused me. I treated myself the way my mother taught me to treat myself. But I never realized or thought about how I had abandoned myself, abused myself, neglected myself, punished myself; in other words, continued the cycle. This was a totally new concept to me.
I had to look at how I had rejected my Higher Power by taking things into my own hands and making a mess of my life. I set aside my moral compass. I sought out sex when I wanted love. I said what I thought someone wanted to hear. I bailed irresponsible men out of financial jams. I had no self-respect, no boundaries. I believed all the lies my mother had taught me since toddlerhood. And all along God was there to help me — and I gave Him a slap in the face.
Once the awareness was brought to light I no longer had to hide in the darkness. I could work on forgiving myself. Then I could move on and start forgiving others as I finally saw my part in my dysfunctional actions and the choices I had made.
I learned that asking for forgiveness is all about me. It has nothing to do with the other person. Forgiving myself was the hardest. Eventually I could ask God for His forgiveness — which was there all along for the asking.
A Fourth Step is not a One and Done! As I work my Program new awareness comes into my life in areas I never saw before or wasn’t ready to face. My Higher Power reveals my character defects to me as I can handle facing them. Then I need to return to a Fourth Step in that area of my life.
Only then can I begin to live the Promise: “I release myself from worry, guilt, and regret about my past and present. I am aware enough not to repeat it.”
Thank God for Co-Dependents Anonymous!!