December 5

LOVE MONTH: DAY 5: “Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.” ― Mary Oliver

We will learn to love in new ways as we get farther into the recovery from old ideas that we are here to practice.

I don’t always accept the gifts others want to bring to me. If it is a lesson I have already learned, I can let it be and walk away from the gift. It is always possible to allow love to be a loose garment that I wrap around that person as I step back and let them live as they choose. I do not need to live that way as well. I have learned to love others and let them be who they are. I just don’t always have to be mixed up in it or control it or play in their sandbox.

Someone recently told me that I have conditional love. That is not true. I have conditions on who I spend time with and those I will not.

Those who are still doing the same old shit and pretending that they are practicing spiritual principles are not going to be people I hang out with. I just don’t want to be in that environment. I will allow them the dignity of making their choices, but I will not be a part of the dynamic of their lives.

This is all okay with me. I am no longer the people pleaser I once was. Here is the real truth: I may love another person and know that they are not someone I will hang  out with on a personal level. I may even be in their company on occasion, because we have social interactions that make this part of my life. However, I will not embrace them as a part of my inner circle or include them in my life in significant ways.

We all have acquaintances that we love and care about. They don’t always belong inside the intimate circle of loved ones we are closest to. I have never had much trouble with this distinction. I was so happy to learn that I did not have to involve people I did not resonate with in my inner circle. It was pretty clear to me that I was okay with these choices.

I have had others who have brought their boxes of darkness to me and I kept them, believing I had to accept every gift others brought. I am grateful as all get-out that I have learned not to do this any longer. If you have a box of darkness you wish to share, please know that I can love you, but I probably won’t take your darkness. It is yours. Please keep it to yourself.

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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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