That's not who I am. (A Lesson in Radical Self Love)

June 25, 2015

I have a friend who has struggled with addiction for nearly 40 years.  

After months of sobriety, a mutual friend who lives in the same building with him told me that they've smelled something coming from his apartment.  He's smoking something, and it's not pot.  

I asked my friend if he was using again, and he said yes.  But what he said next was inspiring. 

He told me he'd used a bunch of times the previous week.  "and that's okay", he said.  "I'm clean now.  I'm going to meetings.  I'm okay."

He must have seen the concern on my face. 

"Look, I'm an addict.  I've been an addict almost my whole life.  I used.  I fucked up.  But that's not who I am.  My mistakes don't define me. "

That's not who I am.  

My mistakes don't define me. 

This guy could teach a course on radical self love.  I'd attend it.  I need it. 

How often do I redefine myself based on my failures and successes?  I burnt the oatmeal.  I said something witty. I haven't worked out all week.  I look cute in this outfit. I forgot about that appointment. People are liking my facebook status.   My self worth is subject to the ups and downs of an ordinary day.  

But that's not who I am.  My failures and successes don't define me.  I am a child of god, a mama, a wife, a daughter, sister, friend, loved exactly as she is.  Burnt oatmeal and all.


The mistakes you made today? 
They don't define you.  

That sin in your past that still sometimes feels like a log in your gut? 
 It's not who you are.    

The things you've done, or failed to do? 
You are so. much. more.


You and me and my friend?  We were formed by the hands of a loving God, thoroughly treasured and cherished by Him.

May that be what defines us today.  

8 comments

  1. AHHH, this was beautiful!!! *sob-sob* I cannot tell you how excited I was to see you had posted! Thank you so much for your encouraging words-- they are needed! -Elissa @ letters-to-jayna.blogspot.com

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  2. Glad to see you posting again :)

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  3. Such an inspiring post! We are so so much more than our successes and failures. We are the sum of our experiences, good, bad, ugky, or beautiful. We are whole people and we are each important to not only others but more importantly to ourselves. :)

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  4. Such an inspiring post! We are so so much more than our successes and failures. We are the sum of our experiences, good, bad, ugky, or beautiful. We are whole people and we are each important to not only others but more importantly to ourselves. :)

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  5. Such an inspiring post! We are so so much more than our successes and failures. We are the sum of our experiences, good, bad, ugky, or beautiful. We are whole people and we are each important to not only others but more importantly to ourselves. :)

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  6. I just came across your old blog today when I was looking for some advice on the best way to repaper my drawers and cabinets with contact shelf paper. Now I see you have a new one (I'm always a little behind lol) Great to see you are still blogging. I am a follower too! HE is full of mercy and grace! I just listened to a message from Matt Chandler (The Village Church) about this very thing. When we are IN CHRIST, we don't have to be defined by anything else!

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  7. Ahh! I'm so glad you're posting again!

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  8. I just discovered your blog through Micah. Very glad to have found it and enjoy hearing about living life from a fellow twelve-stepper. I thought I was the only one who used the term "radical self-care!"

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