December 19

LOVE MONTH: DAY 19: “Radiate boundless love towards the entire world — above, below, and across — unhindered, without ill will, without enmity.” – Buddha

This is a long-term goal for me. I can do it for minutes at a time, and getting better at time and remembering  unconditional love. I have agendas; I think this is our human condition.

We want others to be well, because it suits us, or we have a purpose for them in our lives. I want to be free from this.

Even in this recovery thing, we believe it is best for everyone to stay in recovery. I don’t know about that. I suppose it is the best, but I know it is not everyone’s journey, or we would have resolved this whole addiction thing a long time ago.

So, the struggle isn’t to cure cancer or to stop addiction, but to look at the reasons that they can exist in the first place and heal some of that.

In a love-filled world, we would not need addiction. Although it has so many heritable properties, I see it as a social construct. The idea that we are in need of SOMETHING outside ourselves to be okay or complete. This is not always drugs or alcohol. We are also culturally addicted to doing rather than being.

This is addiction as well. It all fosters the notion that we are supposed to be other than what we are.

In this kind of environment, there is no human connection, there is no sense of love.

At this time of year, love takes on a very material sensibility. It is all about a new car or diamonds, if you watch the tv commercials. The most toys wins the day!

That is not love, nor is it the thing that we are truly dying to have. Connection on a deep and spiritual level, with another person, with our own souls. That is where love lives.

We have diseases because we are substituting so many things for love. Food, chemicals, drugs, alcohol, gambling, shopping, hurrying, running hither and yon. Very few can sit still through an entire meeting any longer. They are so jacked up on caffeine and nicotine and adrenaline and ego that they cannot stay off their phones or sit in one spot for an hour and listen to others. This is so sad. The love in the rooms is certainly hard to feel when there is so much inattention.

And that is one place. It was wonderful, yesterday and Sunday, to live in my community. We survived horrible fires these last two weeks, actually living in the middle of them. And the sense of joy we shared after the air has cleared enough to take our masks off and see each other is palpable. People were smiling and speaking to each other. Especially downtown in our little town. I love this little town. There are some lovely people here. We shared and survived something horrible.

I believe these things exist to remind us that we are here together, feeling what we feel, doing what we do TOGETHER. And that love, real love, exists without things, without conditions. At the end of the day, we are all happy to have survived this thing. Just like the rooms. When we are really present to the group, it is amazing that we are all happy to have survived this thing. That sense of fellowship and love is wonderful and has kept me coming back for a long time. Let’s not forget to pay attention to THAT.

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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