It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
—Antoine de Saint Exupery
It has been said that intuition is a talent of women, but in this program we, as men, are learning to listen to our own inner feelings. This is a strength, which has nothing to do with gender. Many times we have a quiet inner knowing of something, but in the past we developed insensitivity to these messages. Our growing self-respect includes the ability to stand up for what simply feels right. We don't have to prove anything to ourselves. If we dismiss our own private feelings, all we have left to go on is someone else's idea of reality.
This realm of inner feeling is the realm of wisdom. It is the creative part, the mysterious part, the spiritual part. It is the foundation of honesty with ourselves. In these quiet moments, we are more able to perceive what we know in our hearts. As we grow, we respect and trust it more.
Help me respect my private messages from within.
From Touchstones: A Book of Daily Meditations for Men ©
I never loved another person the way I loved myself.---Mae West
This sums up how we used to live. We were in love with ourselves. We had to be on center stage.
Our self-will ran riot. Recovery pulls us out of that world. We learn to focus on others. We learn to reach out to them with love. This is the best way to love ourselves. This doesn't mean that we live our lives through others. It means we invite others into our lives. It also means we ask to be invited into their lives. Recovery breaks down our self-will. It makes room for others in our lives.
A beginning, even the smallest, is all that is needed.
Once we have placed the key of willingness in the lock
and have the door ever so slightly open,
we find that we can always open it some more.
Though self-will may slam it shut again, as it frequently does,
it will always respond the moment we again pick up the key of willingness.
- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 35
It works -- it really does.
H O W = Honesty, Open-mindedness, Willingness.