December 6

LOVE MONTH: DAY 6: “There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”― John Lennon

This quote is always one of my favorites. Why? Because John Lennon had such a powerful voice in the world in which I grew up. I was 9 years old when the Beatles became a huge presence in the world and they each had a powerful voice to add.

I know the truth of this quote very deeply. Self-love is the only road to loving others. What we see most often in our culture and in the world is a kind of love that is needy, demanding, and full of fear and insecurity and jealousy and ugliness. These kinds of dependencies on each other are so toxic and sad. It is only when we become self-actualized and healthy that we can transcend our cultural sickness and become truly loving.

The process of the 12 steps is, for me, the roadmap to this place. Not the first 100 or 200 times through, as I see it, but maybe the 500th time we process through these things. Why? Because few of us will truly see ourselves in the first 100 or 200 times through. This is the sad truth.

But, I also believe that we are here to learn these things. That is the journey we came here to have. Many will succumb back into addictive behaviors and ways of believing (with or without substances) and never get to that place of truly owning and allowing ourselves to love without strings and conditions attached.

It is a long, lifetime process. And we may “know” these things in our Ego-centric way, but never live them. That is what I see in the world. We are all grasping and developing these ideas to the point that we can, on any given day; but seldom will we truly incorporate them into our souls and ways of being. That is the longest journey, from the head to the heart.

And, until my heart can completely accept and love ME, I will never be able to completely accept and/or love YOU. It is just not going to happen.

If we are still destroying ourselves in toxic ways, we are not loving ourselves. The journey to love is with ME, and then you. As the book says, we “cannot transmit something we haven’t got.”

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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