(If the first thing you thought of when you read that was this video. Don’t worry, me too.)

Do you ever travel along in your own world but the same message keeps reaching out to you in a different way until you can no longer ignore it? Mine right now is loving myself.  I know, cheeseball self-help bip bop boop blah.

The concept of self-love and self-acceptance often has a feminine hippy vibe so let’s skip that part and get a little realistic. I want to talk about the power that we have in loving ourselves so deeply that there isn’t a box to hold us in, there isn’t a substance that needs to abused and there isn’t anyone else we allow to take our power. The love and power that comes from just showing up as you are.

When you change your story and you break out of your box, you get a little lost. You have to do some rewriting and editing. This is exciting because you are on the verge of new a chapter but overwhelming because what story do you now fill your blank pages with?

I read this quote from Holly on @hipsobriety instagram:

The goal isn’t to be sober. The goal is to love yourself so much that you don’t need to drink.

And yes to all that. She wrote her words about it but it struck me in a different way. Loving ourselves, yes, but also being able to be comfortable enough with who we are that we are not reaching outside to find something to alter our state. For me, the reach was alcohol but it might be your thing for you. It is important to connect with your reason even if your choice doesn’t change. If you can slow down enough to recognize, “I am reaching for vodka, porn, food, Vicodin, pot, etc because I feel lonely, out of control, nervous, socially awkward, or because I just want to sit here and not feel” even if you still choose the thing, you have more clarity around it and when you are ready you will be more prepared to let it go. Annie Grace in This Naked Mind said, “Addiction is a much bigger stressor than the stressors that you drank to remove.” The lie we tell ourselves and the box we put ourselves in is that our thing is helping us or serving us or making us better. It is not. We were already whole.

When you tell yourself the lies of this is who I am, this is all I can be, I have to have this, you are only limiting yourself and giving your power to a thing. Your past choices might have life consequences that you have to deal with but they don’t have to be your box. The freedom is that when we meet ourselves exactly where we are and let ourselves out of that box, we take back the power to shape ourselves and our lives.

The goal is bigger than just not doing the thing, the goal is that you love yourself so deeply that you don’t need anything else to make you okay. That is the freedom and in freedom there is power. Having freedom and power over your own self is the ultimate expression of love. Full circle.

Your freedom gives you your power back and your power gives you the freedom to live exactly as you want.

This is a reminder for myself. It is Memorial Weekend, my first sober summer holiday. I feel excited and also a little lost. But to all of us moving forward and putting one foot in front of the other, my mantra this weekend is, I AM WHOLE. I don’t need a crutch to make me feel fun. I was born fun. I don’t need a drink to relax at the lake. There is nothing more relaxing than waking up clear and fresh. I will not give my power over to a thing. I AM WHOLE.

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