- What is Love?

What is Love?




Topics and discussions related to being single and or dating while in recovery

Postby garden variety » Tue Aug 08, 2006 9:34 pm

I'm afeared to say this, but I guess I have to because where there is fear, there is no love. But tell me if I get it close to the pin, Mr. Dallas.

Well I think it starts at the Top. There is a Love that is Perfect, and that comes to me along this journey of life. But to get it, I have to be prepared. You know, Love needs a home to come to that will let it live and grow. That home is in my heart or my soul...that's where it's always been, but I just haven't got into the place to tidy it up a bit. I been living on the outside of the house of Love for a long time.

I meet this guy who is living there that I never knew before. And he's the guy who has the gift of Love given to him from the Top. I peek into this place, and he tells me to come in, sit down, and relax. He tells me to come visit him every day when I'm awake so I get to know him better because I also own this place where he's living anyhow. Then he kindly lets me know that if I knew the real value of what I have, and what a great housekeeper he is, I could go a long way to getting to know all about Love. He's the guy with the direct line to the Top, and he lives in "my house".

He shows me something I never seen before. He unbuttons his shirt, and there across his chest is a name, a beautiful name. He says it's the name of his beloved. He loves no other lady more than her, and he tells me that she's got his name in the same place. He tells me she is a daughter of the one at the Top, just like he is a son of the one at the Top. I'm just listening and wondering more about this guy, and what is he doing here in my house? And why is that name written on his heart that never goes away?

Then he tells me the story about a Love that gives it's best so that he can live and love in the same way. He tells me about this Love that comes from the Top that doesn't have any limits. That Love loves the ugliest scuzziest lowlife the same way this guy loves his beloved. He tells me the only way I can ever feel a love that knows no limits is to give a love that knows no limits. If I want that kind of love to come to me, I have to give that kind of love.

I take a deep breath and am about to say you mean... and he says I know what he means which I do. It means I gotta love the most low down creep that hates me and is my worst enemy, the same way he loves this beautiful beloved girlfriend of his. Talk about "what an order"! So I ask him how on earth do I love somebody that hates me so much.

He tells me to pray for the creep the same way I pray for the one I love the most. If I can't express my love for someone in the flesh, I always can express my love for someone in the spirit. And prayer is how I do that. Then he makes me a guarantee...if I learn to love that way, then I won't ever have to worry about finding love. Love will go out of her way to find me. And the love she gives me will be the kind that has no limits. I figure I can't go wrong with a love that has no limits, because I know I can sure be a jerk. It would be a good thing to be loved like that even when I'm a jerk.

Then he tells me about this beloved of his. She's gonna meet up with him, and when they touch and embrace and get intimate, he says it's their way of physically touching and feeling the same kind of love that comes from the Top. It's the one at the Top's way of giving them something real that each other can physically touch and express their love to the one at the Top, in a physical way. He tells me that a man and a woman have this gift of expressing Love and Companionship in an intimate way that comes from the Top. And that kind of love is the closest thing he'll get to the Top until it's time for him and her to move out to where the one on Top lives. He tells me this kind of love is a feeling I'll never want to let go of when it comes to me. I believed him.

Then he went on to say more. He said that when his beloved is not near him, he still has her name on his his heart and she has his name on hers. He said that's the thing that changes an otherwise dull, dreary, or even tragic day into something that is beautiful and meaningful. He says when he gets a little lonely for his beloved, he'll think about her. Then before he knows it, he finds himself doing his best to get whatever he needs to get done that day for the sake of his beloved, and for the one at the Top who gave him the gift of Love. He says that everything I do here regardless of how boring or trivial it might seem, can be made into a Work of Love, and as a way I can show my gratitude to the one on Top who put this guy in my house to take care of it, and the beloved lady that will come to him.

Then he really shook me up a bit when he said, everything that was his, including his beloved, is mine. He gave me a key to this place where he lives, and he tells me to go forth and prepare a place for love, because she surely will be coming to be at my side. And wherever, I am, she will be, just like she is with him. And the one on Top will invite both of us to one day to dwell in the same Neighborhood. But while we're still here in this house, this guy and his beloved will be there to remind me, and the love that will find me, that we are always welcome guests, whether it's here or There.
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Postby Dallas » Wed Aug 09, 2006 4:47 am

Great stuff, GV!!! Keep it coming! Now I won't have to feel so guilty about those long messages that I post! :lol:
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Postby anniemac » Fri Aug 11, 2006 4:29 pm

To me, love is allowing, love is non-judgmental, love is accepting, love is being concerned for the wellbeing of another, love is sharing in the joy of another, love is being open without blocks and barriers.

to me, God/HP = Love.
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Postby Candy » Sat Aug 12, 2006 7:28 am

For Me?

Love is a four letter word that describes what I feel when I get what I want when I want it. :lol:
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Postby kjeank » Sat Aug 12, 2006 2:41 pm

I LOVE all these definitions of LOVE. :)

I am not sure if this question belongs here or not, but I will ask anyway.
How does Love and the "selfish" part of AA go together?

I know that our sobriety has to come 1st before everything else, but what else does that mean? The way it is discussed sometimes, it doesn't sound like there is room for the kind of love being defined here.

I am confused! (What else is new?! :) )

KJ
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Postby anniemac » Sat Aug 12, 2006 11:18 pm

Hi KJ ~

I've heard people say that this is a selfish program, and I don't go along with that. I believe this is a self-caring program, and to me, that is very different. I spent most of my life selfishly seeking what I wanted; in AA I work to undo that. I can be self-caring and at the same time be of use to others. Matter of fact, if I don't care for myself, I'm of no use to others.

Part of self-caring can be establishing boundaries, such as not engaging in family insanity. Others may view that as selfish, if I extract myself from, say, a family gathering because it's too crazy to handle. I suppose it's perspective. I view that as doing the next right thing to preserve my serenity, and if I am serene then I am able to give to others.

Hope that helped; I found it all confusing in the beginning also. It took time for me to figure out the balance.

Annie
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Postby Dallas » Sun Aug 13, 2006 5:59 am

Hey Annie!!! That was an awesome reply! I really like the way you put it. Self-caring.

Selfishness is something that I try to be rid of... selfishness is one of the things that harms me and those around me (when I'm being selfish). I don't see anything selfish about A.A. and when I hear those who say "AA is a selfish program"... my first thought is "keep coming back... hopefully, someday the fog will clear!" (If anything... perhaps self-less would be more like it).

The way you put it with "self-caring" is right on. If I don't care for myself... the only thing I have to offer is a care-less self! Which isn't worth anything to me or anyone else. :wink:

Dallas
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Postby garden variety » Mon Aug 14, 2006 1:32 pm

That "selfish" program thing is worn-out BS a bunch of folks just grabbed it and ran. Not true. Is not in the Big Book, is not in any of the 12 steps, is not in any of the 4 absolutes. There's nothing else you can call that line but pure crap with a bunch of people repeating it. AA is not, never has been a selfish program. Go tell that line to a fence post if you like it so much, but keep it out of the rooms please.

Oh sorry there I go getting blunt....

"Self-caring" is good. I also heard it as "self-concern". I also know that if I don't take care of myself, I can't expect others to do that. That's just a common sense thing. If I take care of myself, I live longer and can be of better use to God and my fellows. Why would I get involved in a "recovery program" that didn't help me recover? Duh? Pretty simple idea behind recovery - I need to get well.

Its true if I help another alcoholic, I get something out of it. Its true if I pray for my enemies, I get something out of it. But all of this might look like that helping another is selfish if you twist it up enough...but it is not true. It's like saying birds are selfish because they can fly and nobody else can. God gave that benefit to birds because He wanted to...just like God gives me the benefit of being blessed for being honest, unselfish, loving, and pure. Don't blame me for a miracle by calling me selfish...go tell it to God and argue with him about that kind of nonsense.

I guess only alcoholics with that "peculiar mental twist" can turn around "helping others" or "being of maximum service to God and your fellows" into meaning "AA is selfish". It makes me want to throw things thinking about telling that line of crap to a new guy! That's just plain foolishness in my opinion...I can't go around confusing the heck out of a new man or woman like that.

I'll say why it looks that way, though. To me, I know if I take one step toward the God of my understanding, my God will take 4 steps toward me. If I give something away with a pure heart, my God will give back 4 times more to me. It never fails. I can never give back as much as what God has given God won't ever let me. Elsewise, God wouldn't be a Higher Power. Nobody can outgive the Giver.

Now if you can honestly turn that into "selfish", well lets just say sometimes things come fast to a person, and to others it takes a little longer. Keep coming back.
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Postby MikeM1968 » Sat Jan 26, 2008 7:46 pm

I do understand why some say "It's a selfish program" more than I did when I first came into the rooms. When I first came in, I immediately engaged in people pleasing and approval seeking. I wasn't keeping my side of the street clean and I was totally incapable of being honest with anyone, including myself. I learned quickly that I'd rather be honest than set myself up for pain, even if my honesty is offensive to others. I had lots of fears of being judged and being dis-approved of. My sponsor always said, when the pain gets great enough you'll drink again. Fortunately I am proud to say I'm a first time winner, that's not something we hear about enough anymore at meetings.

I wanted to be popular and be what everyone else wanted me to be. This was finally my chance to be popular, because I never was popular in High School and that had to be why I began drinking....Right? Or I was never good at talking to girls and could never get the kinds of girls I wanted to go out with me.....that had to be why I started....right?

I wanted to be an AA celebrity and actually became one, instant chairperson and everyone knew me by name. I had arrived!!! I followed my sponsors suggestions (with my own secret motives). I wasn't being 100% honest with him.

I took that whole "selfless" thing literally and wound-up hurting myself. I didn't truly have the quality of Good Orderly Direction in my life that I needed to avoid other kinds of temptations besides alcohol. The kinds we may actually find at our meeting halls. Female 13th steppers do exist and they won't have sex with you either!!!

Thanks to doing the work of the steps and making them a part of my life today, I know what my motive(s) were!!! I was definitely seeking approval from women and hoping to get into a sexual relationship right away as a replacement for my drug of choice (alcohol). I never got anywhere with any of it because I was still pretending to be someone else.

I had to get right with God and myself first before relationships of that kind began to come my way. I had to have Good Orderly Direction in my life.

So yeah, I see why they say it's a selfish program. God steers the boat, I still have to row it. Our literature doesn't tell us anything about even attempting to help other alcoholics until we've reached step12 anyway. We have to have Good Orderly Direction in our own lives first. We need a firm foundation under our own feet before we start helping others out. I still have to perform that (sometimes) ugliest of four letter words (work) and the outcome is in God's hands.

A miracle for someone who always felt that having no responsibilities was a good thing. Someone who refused to grow-up and basically stayed drunk and lazy until he was 34 yrs old sitting on a park bench in Paterson NJ wondering where he was going to sleep that night. Someone who ignored plenty of consequences and made all sorts of poor decisions along the way (2 DUI's, Poor choice in a Marriage partner, Soliciting Prostitutes, Loss of some very good jobs, loss of credit, throwing money away in Go-Go Bars, etc., etc).

The best suggestion someone in recovery gave me was this:

GROW-UP!!

When I was a teenager I had dreams and goals and I was on the right path. My parents had high hopes for me and great expectations of me. Then I began to believe that alcohol would make me someone else because I didn't truly love (accept) myself. I wasn't raised by wolves and I knew right from wrong, and I knew how to be responsible. I just never took action, I never took the reigns of life. I just dropped the reigns and said F-it!! Maybe I was afraid? It's not important. I was distracted by alcohol and began journeying into the woods all alone. It takes a while to come out. I'm 39 yrs old now and sober for 4 1/2 yrs. I spent more than half my life drinking and I can't ever say F-it to myself.

Mike
Last edited by MikeM1968 on Sat Jan 26, 2008 8:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby MikeM1968 » Sat Jan 26, 2008 8:13 pm

As far as what love is:

Love = Acceptance (of self and of others) plus Involvement (action)

Let's keep it simple

Mike
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