December 1

LOVE MONTH: DAY 1: “I looked in temples, churches and mosques, but I found the divine within my heart.” – Rumi

I resonate with this one very well. I went everywhere; and mostly in Nature, I finally found the spiritual connection I was longing for all my life.

Step 12 is all about love. Not romantic love, although I read Rumi and believe he is talking about a loved one, and he is talking all about his relationship with that spiritual being.

But the love we receive in recovery from that Being and the love we display when we give of ourselves without condition. The kind of 12-stepping that does not demand that we get anything from those with whom we work.

I make no bones about my great love of H+I work and going, specifically, into jails and prisons. This, I believe, is the greatest work we do. The more undesirable someone is to society, the more I am going to love them. That is how I roll.

I don’t know if it is an identity thing, having been an undesirable one myself, or whether it is just that I can see through the disguises we wear. I can always see the heart at the center of the person, no matter how hard they want to cover it up. And I can always give love in great measure, because I know that, at the center of that person is a wounded and frightened little boy or girl who desperately needs a great deal of love to heal.

That is all we need, a great deal of unconditional love. The kind we get in recovery and in these steps. I can give that today, because I have it for myself. I don’t need it from others. That didn’t heal me, but it made it safe for me to sit still in your presence while I did the work to heal.

That took all 12 steps, many, many times over. That is because I was such a broken and battered and thrown away person. How can I not love those who are like me the most?

And in this process, this amazing and beautiful process, I found the way into my own heart. I unpeeled the many layers of covering I had constructed over myself and found the beauty at the center, in my heart. And that is now available for me to share with others. I can carry my pockets full of hope and love with me wherever I go.

And these steps have shown me who I truly am…a loving and radiant, albeit battered and bruised, child of a loving Creator who gave me these gifts to share with others. I am blessed, and I think we all are. We are not disposable, nor worthy of being thrown away. We are redeemable, and this is how we get it done.

I love this step. I have been redeemed, like an empty soda bottle. And my value only lies in what I can do to give this back to others. I cannot have it unless I share it. I have always been very good at sharing. The only hard part is to shut me up! And that, my friend, will only happen when the Universal Power tells me it is time to shut up! Amore…

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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