(Adapted for personal use from May 30th's Courage to Change in Alanon.)
I grew up in a household with physical and emotional abuse, so the concept of being gentle with myself was foreign. "What was familiar was striving for perfection and hating myself whenever I fell short of my goals."
I first heard the Slogan, Easy Does It, at a long ago Emotions Anonymous meeting. (While is is no longer listed in our 12 Slogans, it endures in our updated literature, as well as Al-anon's.)
The Slogan made sense when I thought about other people. But I didn't take it to heart until my current Sponsor, C, insisted, "Be kind to yourself!" I didn't think I had deserved kindness. I had a hard time with the idea, until I was able to picture a young child sitting on her grandma's lap, and how that grandma might stroke that little girl's head as they sat in companionable silence. I imagined how that grandma would express love, tenderness,compassion and patience. I quickly put myself in that child's place and focused all of those feelings in my direction. It worked!
"As I have grown in my program, I have come to see that my Higher Power holds me in the same gentle way--protecting me, guiding me and loving me every day.
Let me remember that instead of being hard on myself, I deserve gentleness and kindness from myself. Being human is not a character defect! Today I will be gentle with my humanness."
"The question is not what a man can scorn, or disparage, or find fault with, but what he can love, value and appreciate." John Ruskin