December 2

LOVE MONTH: DAY 2: “The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.” ~ Mother Teresa

We become horribly broken if we are not loved as children. We seek love in so many other ways. Our cultural structure is so damaged that most children are growing up with no sense of connection or love. Some get it from extended family members, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc.

That is not going to be adequate; because those relationships are secondary. We can receive that love and remain empty, because it is not the day-to-day, consistent sense of security and acceptance that we need.

This creates a dynamic for all of us, feeling apart from, alone, disengaged, disconnected, inadequate, and a host of other feelings and beliefs about ourselves.

We learn to make up stories about our lives, about US that are not true. Then we drink and use to feel things we don’t have inside of us and to cover up those things that we DO have inside of us. And we get something then, a sense of it being alright that we cannot get in other ways.

That does not consider the part of our disease that is biological or heritable. But the emotional component of addiction is that we need SOMETHING to make us right. And alcohol, drugs, food, sex, gambling, screens, etc. can provide that SOMETHING until we come here.

When we get here, we are faced with the bad news that recovery is going to be US, doing these things, without our favorite fix. Now, most of us will find other things to get us through. My experience of this is that I tried many other fixes until I got enough of this recovery stuff going on that I didn’t need all that other stuff. Okay. It IS a process.

Some of us come here and find addiction to service, to being busy, to shopping, to texting or FB or whatever the new fix is. Some find food, some find sex, it is all there to play with. And we do. Then we begin to see that we are not here because we need ANYTHING else. Just a spiritual connection with our self, our spirit, our Divine whatever.

And the work will give us that. The beauty of the process is that the other stuff will fall away. We will not need to be busy all the time, we will not need other people all the time, we will not need to spend money all the time, we will not need to eat all the time, and so on.

We will feel the love that we have been missing as we do this work. The whole thing is about becoming the best ME I can. As I do this, I begin to be filled with love. Love of self, love for others, love that does not have conditions attached to it. I can love you, just the way you are, because you are not here to make me right.

And that only comes when I can love and trust that there is something out there bigger than me, and accept the love from that Being that I cannot get any place other than there. And then I begin to become the person I can truly love and accept, no matter what! Woohoo!

It was never about them, the people who did not know how to love me well. It was never about the extended family or friends or others who could not love me because of who they are. It was not this story at all!

I love that I have learned these things! It lets you and you and you and you and ME off the hook. It has been a training exercise all along. I am here, in training, to learn to love. But first, I have to wander around, learning what love is by learning what it ISN’T. Oh! That is the deal! And I love it, too! My hunger is fed. It was MY job all along!

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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