Growing up, the love I got from my parents was mostly conditional. They had only the highest expectations that I do well in school, work hard, get a great job, find a beautiful, educated and hard-working wife and raise a happy family.
My parents never showed disappointment or anger when any of these things didn't materialized, but the praise and rewards were not the same; I could always tell the difference.
As a consequence, I not only kept some of my true feelings, including doubts and insecurities from others; I kept them from myself as well, using denial and eventually, drugs as an excuse for failing to meet my parent's expectations.
With a year of clean time behind me, I have only recently come to realize and accept some of my faults and weaknesses:
1. I am not as smart as my parents lead me to believe I was; it's OK to not be the brightest person in the room.
2. My short-term memory sucks; especially when anxiety or depression gets a hold on me. As a consequence I need to spend more time preparing for meetings and rely on external aids (PDA, to-do list, reminders, etc.) to keep track of the stuff I need to get done.
3. Sometimes I am motivated and sometimes I am lazy; even when motivated, I am a great procastinator, especially with stuff I just don't want to do (and thats human, and OK).
4. I don't need to make a million dollars or convince others how much I have achieved to feel good about myself.
5. Being happy, wherever you are, whatever you are doing is the best feeling in the world. When I am happy, I could care less what I am missing or where else I might be.
When I am "in the zone" and my program is working as it should, I feel a sense of peace, serenity, happiness and connectedness towards every human being, animal, and living thing I come in contact with. I am truly without fear, and on top of the world. If that's not God at work, what is?
Peace and best wishes to all of you.