Let’s Talk About…Love Baby…

Let’s Talk About…Love Baby…

What the heck is love anyway?  I’ve thought I have been “in-love” before, I have told people I love them when I really didn’t, and didn’t really know what love was until I became a mother; even then I don’t think I do it perfectly.  When you get into the a 12 step program they talk about, “We will love you till you can love yourself,” “unconditional love,” and “you have to love yourself before you can love someone else.”  Let’s pick this apart here.

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We will love you till you can love yourself, with unconditional love, but you can’t love someone else until you love yourself.  

What!! Is this for real?

Yes, absolutely!

It is the weirdest thing I have ever experienced, but it works and it really shows a person how love can have such a powerful presence in one’s life, all by example.  I can remember my first meeting  (I am sure if you are aware of 12 step programs what I am about to say or have heard it a million times already) I sat in the back of the room and intently listened to the stories, thoughts and emotions that were being expressed.  All I could think was, Wow I have done that.  Are you kidding me?  I felt that way too.  I spoke up and just said a simple, “I need help.”  People were cheering, people told me I was important, and most of all they hugged me like I have never been hugged before.

What is this?  Why are people hugging me?

Out on the streets I have never got hugged like that; with such passion and empathy with each person.  That was the first time I felt unconditional love.  These people wanted nothing in return from me, but for me to get better a day at a time.  Was this love?

It took some time for me to understand what this love was all about.  My time, thus far in the program,  has been calm waters for the most part.  As I have told you in other posts that I was in an abusive relationship before I got clean, well what I haven’t told you was that man decided to follow me down to Virginia to “get his family back.”  Since I was very, very early in my recovery I wanted to make my family work, I wanted to be loved, and I wanted to show my daughter the same love that was given to me when I was growing up with a mother and father in the same house, and I thought no other person is going to love me because I didn’t love or accept myself.

He no longer…physically…abused me, but emotionally and verbally did, but I made excuses for him because I thought I loved him and he was in a bad spot…but he was trying.  I became his sponsor and he became my Higher Power.  In February 2015, I just had learned my patterns and a little on how I ticked.  What I would accept and keep on accepting because I didn’t know any better. Until that day when it was shoved in my face; he told me he was lying to me the entire time.  He had been using under my nose.  While I was working a full time job to support us, take care of all the bills, our daughter, go to meetings, do the laundry, and show him attention…he was out getting high.

Whoa! Stop the music! What just happened here!

Enough was enough!  I finally found enough worth in myself. I finally found enough love for MYSELF that what he was doing was not acceptable to me.  That I would rather be by myself with my daughter than with a man that was lying to me. That didn’t show me love in any form.

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We will love you till you can love yourself, with unconditional love, but you can’t love someone else until you love yourself.  

I finally got it! The greatest example of love was learned by the relationship with my sponsor. She taught me what was acceptable, how to show love (and not in the physical form which is what I thought love was) and slowly showed me how to receive love.  Unconditional love is love without wanting anything in return.  My ex’s love always came with a price; I love you baby….do this, do that, can you get me this…awe baby I love you thank you.  Finally, I understood the fact that he did not love himself, so it’s not that he didn’t love me, he didn’t know how to love me.

No one can tell you how to love yourself, or if you’re ready to love another person.  Even when my son was born, during the start of my real downfall of my active addiction years, I knew I loved him, but I was very unsure how to show him that love.  My idea of what love was consisted of spending money and gifts.  I have always associated love with gifts that you can give a person because that was what my mom did.  We use to get into arguments when I was younger and then my mom would take me shopping to show me she was sorry and she loved me.  After that she would say well look at everything I have done for you, I love you sweetie.  Love always came with a price or a condition.

It wasn’t until I had my daughter that I truly started to understand what love really was.  That I knew that it had to be more than what I was able to give her materialistically to show her love or at least I knew that I wanted to show her more than just that.  Thank goodness for the 12 step fellowships that helped me not just HOPE I could show this to her, but taught me how to love her, myself, and others.

No one person is perfect, so I will not say I am perfect at this on any given day, but I can look back and see the progression and say now, I understand what love is and what love isn’t.

We will love you till you can love yourself, with unconditional love, but you can’t love someone else until you love yourself.  

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