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Relationships Begin With You

Remember, your first relationship is to yourself. Start thinking about which new behaviors you want to accomplish as part of your later sobriety plan by using the Four Cornerstones of Intimacy. For example, your initial goal might be to focus on the first cornerstone of intimacy: self-knowledge. You'll find that admitting your own shame, guilt, or anger can bring you ease instead of tension. Choose a comfortable environment in which to practice new behaviors. Using the Four Cornerstones of Intimidations further growth and can help to recreate the bonding process you missed in the early years.

You can also think about using a single intention that can be as simple as getting to work on time or as complex as getting sexually sober. The point is that the goals you choose to support your relationship with yourself are based on the single intention of sustaining the optimistic quality of recovery. In fact, this intention is the backdrop of every goal you set and each action you take. Consequently, in the later phases of recovery, you'll constantly find yourself asking questions like, "Is this choice supporting my single intention? Does my action promote a quality recovery? Am I using the Four Cornerstones of Intimacy to take a differentiated stance? " As the first cornerstone asserts, knowing yourself well helps you relate to another person, which leads to engaging intimately.

Answering these questions will provide ideas for setting up the relationship you want to create with yourself:

· Can I look into myself and like who I am? If not, what's missing?

· Can I envision who I am becoming? If not, what's in my way?

· Is intelligence one of my basic human needs?

· Am I aware of my internal feelings when in relationship with another?

· Do I recognize my desire for connection? Can I admit it to myself? Does shame arise when I do admit it? If so, how do I handle it?

· Do I feel empty, waiting to be fulfilled in intelligence?

· Can I list my emotional needs and transform them into goals for fulfillment?

· Can I communicate these needs I've identified to another?

Another way to assess your current quality of relationship to yourself is by reviewing the healthy coping skills you developed in early sobriety. Try to recognize an area for improvement. List your strengths and what you've learned about healthy coping and share them with your partner.

Implementing the following list will spark more ideas:

· Identify myself as a whole person who has addictive behaviors, but know that I am separate from the behaviors

· Establish self-esteem, believing in my ability to keep walking through the recovery process

· Learn to forgive my behaviors and myself

· Choose commitment to self-awareness

· Be willing to speak about my needs

· Find a supportive community and stay involved

· Learn to accept help and support from others within my community

· Establish the resilience skills noted in stage one

· Realize how the same skills for self-preservation can be redirected to recovery and reconnecting

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