Just Believe that I Believe

The lessons that were taught to us were not the truth. The truth about us is what good people see when they look into our eyes (this requires we look up from the floor). The truth is that kindred spirits recognize one another and while we may not know the truth about ourselves, it is not at all difficult for us to see the truth about each other.

Today I know the truth about me. Even better, I feel it to my core. I need healthy people in my life who foster this. Left alone for more than brief periods of solitude, I regress. The love of good people made/makes possible my self acceptance, self love, and self respect.

Today I know that my Higher Power wants great things for me and loves me. The road from where I was to where I am today began with a seed of doubt that maybe what other misfits saw in me was real.

In recovery we say, “Just believe that I believe” and the recipient most always thinks to themselves, “If you really knew me, you would not like me, much less believe in me.” One of the many benefits to relating to people in recovery is that none of us are saints. We are highly imperfect people who make mistakes but who are not mistaken when we say with absolute conviction, “You’re worth it.”

Three beautiful words that will fuck you up.

Many of us believe that we are unforgiveable, unlovable, unacceptable and yet…we are wrong. I will admit one exception to the rule…it’s one of the few things I still manage to judge: If you are someone who enjoys harming innocents than I will judge you. Other than that, it doesn’t impact me to know your past. You judge me positively without knowing mine. I’m no saint either.

“I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints. The sinners are much more fun. – Billy Joel “Only the Good Die Young”

Our desire to hurt the people who hurt us is not bad. It’s just a feeling. Feelings aren’t right or wrong. They just…are. Our self doubt and self persecution are primarily a product of judging ourselves unfairly. We are the best kind of hypocrites – we judge others fairly. Our self loathing is based in believing that there must be something very wrong with us that we were treated as we were/are.

Children always blame themselves and too often they become adults who seek to prove their worth. Some of tried to be perfect and some of us tried to be the baddest motherfuckers around. Yet this inconvenient truth remains: Our past does not define us.

What we choose today does. So I will tell you, fellow misfit, what I believe you deserve, because I know with the same certainty that I am vertical and breathing that you are wrong about you:

You deserve safety and to be free from harm. It is not ok for anyone to hurt you, most especially you (it’s not fair and it’s an all too easy way to stay stuck). You deserve to be amongst people on similar journeys. You deserve to have a voice, to be heard and to be understood. You deserve respect, acceptance and love.

You deserve to have a manageable life and progressively a life second to none. You deserve to forgive yourself and be free of the burdens you carry. You deserve the freedom that only comes from self acceptance. Between now and the day you experience that please do not push away we who care about you. Just accept that we see you and accept you, warts and all.

Jim LaPierre

About Jim LaPierre

Jim LaPierre LCSW CCS is the Executive Director of Higher Ground Services in Brewer, Maine. He is a Recovery Ally, mental health therapist and addictions counselor. He specializes in facilitating recovery (whether from addiction, trauma, depression, anxiety, or past abuse) overcome obstacles, and improve their quality of life. Jim offers a limited amount of online therapy to those with very flexible schedules.