“What’s Love Got to do With It…..?”
“You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have truly lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love. “
There was a time in my life when I didn’t love myself very much. I knew there were people who loved me – my husband and family, certainly. And, I loved my children and husband as well, most of the time. How, though, could I explain my discomfort, my anger and irritation, and finally my despair, depression and alcoholism? I was enduring my life, not living it. My life, it seemed, was worthless.
Things have changed for me. It began with admitting and accepting my alcoholism. Then, with physical sobriety, I was able to clear my head and focus on the important work in front of me. I had much to do. About one year later, I noticed something – an unusual feeling. I had to think about it for a long time and eventually I recognized it – I was experiencing that feeling we feel when we’re in love! How could this be? Except for my recovery family, I was alone. I engaged in more thinking and talked to my mentor. Go figure – I was falling in love with myself and I was feeling complete happiness and joy!
“Who do I love, what do I love, how then shall I live.” These are words from a simple song that I’ve heard and sung in our services. “What’s love got to do with it…?” asks Tina Turner in one of her songs. “Everything,” I say, because I know now that if I don’t love myself, I can’t really love anyone or anything else! Love has to start with me and my life before I can love another. This new-found love, one I truly had never experienced before, gave me the courage to go on, to do more important work and to find my true authentic self. I found my “inner Buddha”, so to speak.
Today, I’m able to share what I’ve learned because others in recovery loved me until I was able to love myself.
“Love cures people – both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it.”
Karl A. Menninger