Learning to Love Ourselves

Learning to Love Ourselves

“It may seem too simple to think that all we need to do is to decide to love ourselves. But that’s our task…” – In God’s Care

One of my sponsors who is no longer with us, Chuck, used to ask me if I believe that God loves me. By this time I had a solid concept of my higher power, and had a good relationship going with him. My answer was “yes.” Then he suggested that I love myself the way God loves me. I told him I wasn’t sure how.

That’s when I got the standard suggestion that every morning I look into the mirror, specifically into my eyes and say, “I love you James. I really love you.” Being the willing guy that I am, I took his suggestion. It only took me about three years of doing this almost every day to start believing it. But there’s another reason it started actually working.

I discovered it’s hard to really love myself when I’m an asshole. When I behave in ways that are really unbecoming, there’s not too much to love staring back at me in the mirror. So to love myself, I had to start changing. Reading the book Drop the Rock, was really the beginning of that awakening. The book You Can’t Make Me Angry helped me continue along my journey into letting go of those defects. I then created (and used) character defect worksheets to discover and discard those things that were getting in the way of me becoming a great man. I began to change into someone worth loving.

Now, because I do the Daily Deal to be the best person I can be, it really is as simple as deciding to love myself. But I’ve noticed a clear correlation between my consistency in doing the Daily Deal, and the degree of love I have for myself. As is with most things, the more I put in, the more I get out. And as long as I invest in the program, making it my top priority every day, I get to love myself and… ILML!

– JamieQ


Celebrate This Success

“Now that the year is at an end, I’ll take a few minutes to contemplate the progress I’ve made, thank my Higher Power for my growth..Celebrate my achievements”. – Courage to Change

In step 10 of the 12&12 it says “It’s a poor day indeed when we haven’t done something right”.
If I’m working on improving myself, then celebrating my achievements is not gloating. It’s healthy. Today I’ll make a list of all that I have achieved and been given in 2015. I’ll celebrate this success by continuing to do what gave me all these gifts – I’ll work my program, be of service and stay connected to my HP. Happy New Year! ILML!

– JamieQ

2014 List of Gifts & Achievements

Renewed our Marriage Vows.
My son got into UC Santa Cruz.
My daughter got into Babson College.
Gave up grain & got super fit.
My shoulder surgery was a success.
Made 32 years of sobriety.
All of my sponsees stayed sober.
I bought a House in Maui.
My business is still very successful.
Christmas was amazing.
Still keeping program 1st in life.
I still have my amazing sponsor.
I’ve taken on no new resentments.
I’ve surrendered some old ones.
My relationship with God deepened.
I added about 20 new business clients.
I’ve begun meditating more often.
I renewed 12stepwork.com blogging.
My son graduated from UCSB.
My daughter moved closer to home.
I bought my son a drone.
I started earning money in new ways.
My dad got remarried. I love his wife.
I practiced often & improved on guitar.
I did a lot of nice things for my wife.
I walked through fear with lots of faith.
I took good care of me physically.
I took good care of me spiritually.
I took good care of me emotionally.
I took care of myself medically.
I went to 100+ AA & Alanon meetings.
I was charitable to unfortunate people.
I became so much more tolerant.
I decreased my frequency of blaming.
I signed up for less drama in my life.
I was of real value to others in life.
I learned to love myself a lot more.
My love for life increased even more.

– JamieQ

How to Work & Finish Step 1

Hi Everyone,

I’m often asked what someone new needs to do to complete their first step with me. The truth is, since my program is always changing and evolving, it’s often different as time passes. However, as of now, here’s a general answer. If you do all of this, you’re definitely working a rigorous program of action, and I guarantee you are loving your love WAY MORE:

1) Order ALL the books (including a journal) on this site. If you can’t afford them, talk to me and we’ll work it out.

2) Get a backpack to put the books in. This will be called your Spiritual Backback, it’s your lifeline to sanity and loving life.

3) Print out the worksheets on the 1st step, along with the page “Sponsorship with Clarification” (SWC). Read SWC, and do the worksheets. The AM Worksheet should be done every day at least until the 1st step is formally finished.

4) Read every page of the 12 Step Sponsorship Book through the end of Step one. Start at the inside cover, where it’s blank. Write something on that, and all other blank pages (like: This book will guide me through the steps, for example), or anything that comes to mind. Highlight one word of what you’ve written, write 5 words or less at the top of that page. Read one page per day, do the highlighting and writing at the top of each page. To finish the step you’ll want to answer all the questions on Step 1 in your journal (rewrite the question, then answer it).

5) Approach ALL other books you’ve ordered in the same way as just mentioned, with the exception of daily readers that are dated (note that the 12 Step Pray Book has dates of pages to read each day – look in the front). For books that run on, you can go over on page and to the end of the paragraph on the next page. If it’s a section, the following day, review what was highlighted before in that section and then continue.

6) Throughout your reading you are to be highlighting that which you find inspirational, or that which resonates for you. Try not to highlight huge sections, but just the meat of it, otherwise the whole of many of these books will be highlighted. I encourage you to also make notes in margins and at the bottom if you choose. When reading and highlighting, you are looking for something really great to text out to others in your Recovery Text Group (RTG). Put me on the group first. If you don’t have texting, you can email it. If you don’t have access to a computer, I suggest writing it in your journal each day (see below).

7) Journaling is the taking of daily inventory. I’ve found it fundamental to my happiness in recovery. Write the date, where you are located at that moment, what’s transpired since your last entry, any feelings you have, amends you may have (I suggest making them in the middle of journaling, right after written, if possible), and then your gratitude list of at least 5 things.

8) Memorize the memorization for Step 1 outlined on the Sponsorship with Clarification worksheet.

7) In order to finish the step, you’ll want to have your questions answered in your 12 Step Sponsorship Book, the pages from the cover to the end of Step One done in the step work book (currently A New Day, A New Life), your memorization done perfectly (not even one word wrong – try printing it out and hanging it in your bathroom and reading it each morning), The pages indicated in the 12 & 12 and Big Book read, highlighted and written upon. If you live near me and we can meet in person, we’ll review the 4 books together (Big Book, 12 & 12, 12 Step Sponsorship Book, and Step Work Book). You’ll recite your memorization and I’ll give you a fun 5 minute 1st step project to do which celebrates the achievement of finishing your 1st step. If you live in another city, state or country, we can do it over the phone, ichat, Skype, or Facetime (if you have the new iPhone).

And that’s my general suggestion what you need to do in order to finish the 1st Step, and move on to Step 2, with me as your sponsor.

Love Letters

On May 28th Richie and I read out of Until Today. The page (attached) suggested writing love letters. Today, several of us are doing this regularly. If you want to love yourself (and others) more, read the page and give it a try. Then comment about your experience writing love letters below. Thanks and enjoy the process (I sure do)!