The world needs your love. I try to live by this motto. I often get distracted when I perceive any shortcomings within myself that others might not like, but my love of self and others has to be in harmony. When young, I quit reading for over a year, because of being bullied over my vocabulary. I vowed to never read another book for the rest of my life.
Years passed, and a so-called friend said he would be killed or raped in prison if I did not send him money immediately, so I robbed a store. I got caught and years later, found out he lied and just wanted money. At the time he asked for it, I had sold everything I owned for pot and alcohol. I had a mattress on the floor and one rickety dining room table and no means to pay my next month's rent. I had tapped-out everyone who cared about me at all, and my employment checks (I had two job to support my habit) I had just cashed.
I will not cover all of the shitty decisions I made in life over my severe codependency and contaminated criminal justifications, but it was everything to me to help others in need...even when the needs were Sick Needs.
So you see, I made a choice to these things and that's my responsibility to own it. But I will point out that when a plant is in the basement with one window and it grows toward the light at a 45 degree angle, it does not mean the plant should be destroyed or given up on because it looks hunched-over and sickly, growing at a bizarre angle. The plant is doing what its genetic DNA coded it to do, and that is to grow toward the light. The same is true with the Sunlight of the Spirit. It can shine through prison walls, but no one comes out of prison the way they went in. But the solution? Rather than freak out when you see your fellow crooked and bent over, expose "it" (LOL!) to normal lighting and over time, guess what, it will self-correct. Surround it with love and light and see what happens, but don't expect instant gratification for change.
Me, I did not have a drinking problem, I had a thinking problem. Drinking was but a symptom. I replaced the drinking with the decision to surrender everything to a loving Higher Power and surround my consciousness with those who resonated with that light and Love.
If you love someone, you will not hurt them. If you love yourself, you will place yourself in harm's way, either. Love others as you love yourself, but REALLY love yourself. If your love of self is ill, and you love others as you love yourself, you are not doing anyone any favors by loving them as you love yourself. So, if you love others, you will love yourself. Lastly, if you love someone, you will serve them. Thank you for letting me serve you. God is Love. Love is my religion and action is my Gospel.