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Accountability and responsibility are hugely important in recovery. The difference between being accountable and being responsible is a matter of understanding. You have an obligation toward it. Justify your decisions. Being responsible and liable are esteemable acts because you are holding yourself to your word, which has gained more meaning in recovery.
Over the course of their active addiction, many alcoholics and addicts completely destroyed their self-esteem because they had to engage in behaviors that were not conducive to building a positive self-image. They would have to steal, lie, manipulate, etc. in order to continue on with their addiction and even if they were not caught doing these things they paid the consequences by slowly deteriorating their self-esteem. It was almost impossible to maintain a positive self-image while engaging in these acts and it was made worse by the guilt that was felt at their inability to stop using. Many addicts and alcoholics before they got sober were unaware that their addiction was not a sign of weakness, but rather an illness. Not knowing this, a great many addicts and alcoholics further ruined their self-esteem with feelings of uselessness at their inability to overcome their addiction.
It is an incredible experience and one of the wonderful by-products of getting sober, but as stated in the quote above, to experience this, you have to do esteemable acts. On a certain level, we are all aware of what this means, but I have found that possibly the greatest esteemable act to engage in is random acts of kindness.
Part of how this is accomplished is through random acts of kindness. Performing these acts allow others to feel loved, accepted, and worthy and in the process, we begin to feel these things ourselves.
I call these esteem-able acts. Actions - often small ones - that improve your overall sense of self-esteem, dignity, and self-worth. These acts boost your self-confidence - not in a superficial way - but in a genuine way that aligns with your values.
Even if these small acts of kindness feel hard to do at times, somehow if we can stick with and build upon them, over time our thoughts and feelings will eventually come along for the ride. And, as self-care increases, we will also indirectly set the bar for how others treat us. We communicate our value and set standards by which people act towards us, by the way we choose to treat ourselves. Self-care and self-love is at the core of leading an emotionally healthy life.
A gamut of different deeds defines esteemable acts. Taking the shopping cart back. Going on a job interview. Opening the door for an elderly person. Working the 12-Steps. Volunteering for a charity event. Making time for self-care. Being of service to mankind as well as on a personal level, is what helps with gaining self-esteem.
I do know that love is an action, not a feeling. People get cause and effect reversed\u2014they think that they feel love, which compels them to perform esteemable acts towards another person. It is the other way around. You perform esteemable acts towards another person, and then you feel love. I took an oath when I got married that I would love my partner in sickness and in health, until death do us part. If you\u2019re not shitting your pants when you get married, I don\u2019t know what to say to you. At our wedding, I was doing okay until the organist played the first chord, at which point I almost fainted. In the last 25 years of our marriage, there has been a lot of sickness. There have been good times, and profoundly bad times. If we had tapped out during the bad times, we wouldn\u2019t have experienced the love that we have today. 2b1af7f3a8