This morning I read a passage in my daily reflection that spoke of the various masks we wear in our lives. In my addiction, I was an ever changing person always accommodating the outside world and never truly revealing who I was inside. I would dress up and paint on whatever face I thought was expected of me on any given day. I would hide under layers of make-up and pretend to be different people, all the while never truly knowing myself at all. I never took the time to get to know the girl under the façade. Instead, I hid there scared of what would be revealed if I let the world see me; or worse if I let me see me.
I was so bad that I wouldn’t even go get the mail without a full face of make-up in place. I never let anyone see the real me; mainly because I had no idea who that was. It wasn’t until my third year of sobriety that I began to really peel back all the layers of false personalities and personas that I had placed upon myself, that I truly began to discover who I really was underneath it all. I began to see myself clearly. I was a clean canvass ready to embrace whatever appeared as recovery came into my life, instead of forcing the paint upon me to craft my identity. I discovered that I was beautiful. I found that inside my spirit shined so bright that make-up need not be applied. The joy of recovery shone through so brilliant on my skin that I glowed when I walked into rooms. The natural color came back to my face and skin. Most importantly, I finally fell in love with myself.
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day—this odd Hallmark of a day where we are to outwardly express our love to others; as though only one day is sufficient in this world. The greatest gift you can give anyone on any given day is to love yourself.
So whether you have a significant other or you are spending this year’s holiday alone, know that you are not alone.
You have the greatest companion of all–YOU
Spend the day not only expressing love to others but give yourself attention and love as well. That is the starting point of true love and compassion. Remember in recovery, we learn that we cannot give away that which we do not possess ourselves. Love yourself first and then true and meaningful love will find you.