December 25

LOVE MONTH: DAY 25: “The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day.”― David Foster Wallace

When we have freedom of choice, we get to do what Love actually requires…become more and more of selfless service to the world around us. The epitome of this quote is Mother Theresa, or Gandhi, or so many others who devote their lives to service for others.

When we REALLY love, it is no longer that codependent type of sacrifice where we are martyrs in our own minds and souls. I know so many parents who are resentful and angry because they have to put their children’s needs before their own. Their own selfishness means they are terrible or martyred parents, whose giving is mean-spirited and clingy.

This also happens to those who feel trapped by caring for a parent or a partner who is in bad health and who requires more from them than they are willing to give. It is important to be honest enough with ourselves and our families and friends in what we are and are not willing to give to them. This sounds “selfish” to many in that codependent-guilt world we come from.

But it is imperative to not be martyred and resentful in this arena. Service done under demand or with resentment is really not freedom at all, but slavery. No one is happy when slavery is the essence of so-called service. There is NO love in it, and it sucks!

Truly loving another means we are given the freedom to be honest in all areas of our lives, with self and each other. That is the real way of Love. Most don’t have that. None of the people I admire for their service were resentful or felt put upon by their devotion to serving others. It was their calling and they loved themselves and their calling enough to serve with joy and love. That is the point. Anything else is a burden for everyone involved and should not be done.

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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