Acknowledge that we are powerless over depression and anxiety and that we have lost sight of our purpose and destiny as we struggle to simply survive.
Depression and anxiety are so common, but we feel as if we are the only one suffering. It is silent and isolating. We can be in a room full of people and feel completely alone. We see our world through a different lens. Our lives become unmanageable as we seek ways to avoid our feelings. Sometimes our days are good, but it takes a small thing to trigger those feelings of depression and anxiety and we fall right back into that tired place of survival. It is hard for us to think about the future. For some of us, the future is a weight we can't bear. What can we do to feel okay? Most of our decisions to relieve the pain hurt us and in the end make the pain worse. It is hard for us to imagine a life where we are carefree and full of hope.
Believe that we are perfectly loved and that the power of Love can restore our lives and show us our purpose and destiny.
We think, how can this be done? How can we believe that we are perfectly loved? The answer is that Love is all around us. Love lives ubiquitously. Love is always there for us, yet we are often blind to it. We must look for Love not just in those closest to us but everywhere. Often we choose people from whom we desire Love, yet they are incapable of providing us with the kind of Love we need. Many times these people are family members or close friends. We think if they don’t love us then we are not lovable. The secret is this, even close friends and family members do not know the beautiful destiny that is in store for us. We are not defined by our actions, “mistakes”, or others’ opinions. Love comes from nature, a smile, or even an encouraging word from a stranger. Until we learn to recognize this Perfect Love, we will rely on the Love as a whole in our meetings and on a common bond of Love outside of our meetings with fellow members. We will support each other in our journey to live a life aware of the Love around us.
Decide to turn our will and our lives over to the care of Perfect Love choosing to see it and receive it.
How do we turn our lives over to the care of Perfect Love? First, we believe our definition of Love. Love accepts you exactly the way you are and does not wait until you change. Love forgives you perfectly, completely, and continually. Love does not demand anything from you. Instead, Love sees your future, purpose, and destiny. Love does not test, Love does not judge, Love does not punish. Love is never angry. Love catalyzes hope and causes you to believe in something better, something greater. Love gives you the feeling that at any moment something great and unexpected could happen. Love has the power to heal you mentally, spiritually, physically, and emotionally. Love frees you from the cares of the world and from what people think of you. It frees you from hopelessness, depression, fear, jealousy, and loneliness. Love protects you from those who would harm you with their judgements and words. Love teaches you by gently carrying you through difficult times and causing you to somehow come out stronger and more confident than ever before. Love is simple and pure. It has no agenda and expects nothing in return. As we see the beauty and power of this Love, it will be easy to turn our will and our lives over to its care.
Accept ourselves exactly as we are, believing that change can only happen with acceptance.
Love knows nothing other than acceptance, as acceptance is an innate part of Love. Love does not distinguish; it accepts effortlessly. Love never tries to change a person. Love through acceptance is what gives another person the freedom and power to change. This applies to loving ourselves as well. Love through acceptance of ourselves will enable us to develop into the people we aspire to be with little or no effort. We all have certain standards we have set for ourselves, sometimes unknowingly. Some have been imposed by family members, some by friends, some by society, and some are self-imposed. If and when we don’t meet those standards, we must still accept ourselves and love ourselves knowing that we are perfectly loved exactly as we are, now, at this moment, today. We are each unique and we are in the waiting to see how we will love the world with our gifts and talents that are yet to be revealed. We are patient and we are accepting.
Continually forgive ourselves and forgive others.
Some of us think this is a tall order! But we have a way to accomplish this. Love gives us the power to forgive. Forgiveness is a decision. Once we make the decision, the feeling will follow. Unforgiveness towards ourselves and others will affect all relationships in our lives and cause hopelessness and anxiety. So, we must first start with recognizing unforgiveness towards ourselves. It is crucial in our quest for overcoming depression and anxiety. The moment we recognize this, we must speak out loud, “I forgive you”. We will see how miraculously the feeling of forgiveness follows the action of speaking it out. We find that this method also works just as well in forgiving
others. Some people can be toxic for us to be around and should be avoided, but we can still forgive them from a distance. It is miraculous and freeing!
Continually make good choices for ourselves knowing that Love for ourselves follows the action.
We have found the secret! Every time we make a good choice for ourselves, we love ourselves more. The feeling of Love follows the action of Love. We must believe that this is true and be excited to make good choices. It is not a chore; it is a privilege with positive consequences. We continue daily to make good choices for ourselves. What advice would we give a best friend? Most of us find that we are much harder on ourselves than we are on others. We must step outside of ourselves and be our own best friend. If we feel lonely and isolated then we must reach out to those who identify with us, love us, and support us. We do our best to avoid people, places, and things that trigger sadness, depression, and anxiety. These are just a few of the good choices we continue to make. Love for ourselves opens the door to our future and destiny. We will begin to recognize our gifts and talents as we grow in confidence through Love.
Decide to hear and listen to the still small voice of Love within us and let that be louder than the negative voice of depression and anxiety.
The still small voice of Love is a voice that has always been there. It spoke to us sweetly when we were very young. It whispered our dreams to us, and filled us with hope for our future. Gradually, we drowned out the voice with negative thoughts from disappointments and hurt. We must listen to that voice of Love again. The inner voice of Love speaks to us gently and leads us through a feeling of peace. It encourages us, forgives us, and tells us that our dreams can come true. As we let the voice of Love speak louder than our negative thoughts, our unique gifts and talents will be revealed and we will be filled with hope for our future.
Continue to take inventory to ensure that we have not taken on shame or guilt and when recognized, quickly replace with Perfect Love.
We must aspire to living a life free from shame and guilt. There is absolutely no purpose for it in our lives. It will counteract all progress that we are making since it is the source of depression and anxiety. Shame and guilt will sneak up on us when we are scorned by a parent, friend, or stranger. It will sneak up on us when we don’t meet a standard we have set for ourselves. Many of us need to change our standards and what we expect of ourselves. We must allow ourselves to “fail” and then gently forgive and love ourselves. We all make "mistakes", we are not perfect. We are imperfect people who are perfectly loved. We must love ourselves, forgive ourselves, and accept ourselves as soon as we recognize shame and guilt. We must reach out to those who identify with us, love us, and support us. We do not let shame and guilt take root. Perfect Love is there for us.
Continue to take inventory of the dreams, passions, and desires in our hearts as Love reveals them and believe that we can and will accomplish every dream, passion, and desire placed in our hearts through the power of Love in our lives.
Love is what will reveal to us our true passions, desires, gifts, talents and dreams. Though we may doubt that we possess any gifts, we will soon discover them as we grow in Love for ourselves. It will become easier and easier to find treasures within us as we stop listening to what others think of us and listen more and more to the still small voice of Love within us. We will watch as doors open, and unusual opportunities arise. We will visualize our dreams and feel as if they have already happened. We will be in the right place at the right time. We will receive new ideas out of nowhere. We will find a unique way to use our gifts and talents to Love the world as we fulfill the passions in our hearts. Our lives will be rich and full!
Having had a Love awakening as a result of these steps, we make it our purpose to love each person that is placed in front of us each day. We will carry the liberating message of Love to others suffering with depression and anxiety.
The greatest compassion for others comes out of suffering. Knowing how others feel in their suffering, we make it our purpose to love all and to share with them our experience, our liberty, and our hope. We help and love those still struggling in our meetings as well as those hurting in the world. Love is the answer and Love has saved our lives. How can we keep it to ourselves?