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“She always thought she needed someone to love when all she really needed to do was love the world and let love find her in its time and in its way.” ~~Kate McGahan
“All recovery roads lead to the ability to love and be loved.” ~~Nancy Cross
“You don’t get to tell people how to love you. You get to choose if you want to participate in the way they are loving you.” ~~Iyanla Vanzant
#10 All love given returns.
I am learning to know that I am loved.
Love is different for everybody; obviously no two experiences are ever the same. This truth was not evident to me before my New Life. I expected to have/be/feel exactly as others and oftentimes what I thought love was, was misdirected energy disguised as something else. It has been through sobriety and recovery, therapy and the WFS New Life Program that I have been able to understand love more clearly, as well as give and receive it. Also, I have much to learn still.
Statement #10, the second Statement of Level 5, assists us in improving our relationships. Instead of being dependent on alcohol or other substances, we can re-center our lives and relationships. In the past, some of our relationships suffered and there is uncertainty about their future. By creating healthy new habits each day, we are creating new histories, which in turn can help to strengthen strained relationships. It is rewarding to see the rekindling of relationships that seemed broken and/or lost and to release those that are unhealthy.
In our WFS Beginner Collection on page 43, the exercise asks us to “do something very nice for someone by making a special effort. Visit someone who is lonely, give encouragement to someone who seems depressed, take someone to lunch who never gets out. Write about the entire experience you had today and explain your emotions in detail.” With social distancing, instead of getting together in person, one of the things that I have been and enjoying doing lately is sending homemade cards. From writing their address to writing a special note inside, love is being shared. You never know how much a few kind words can uplift and bring a smile to someone. Today, our world needs more love more than ever. What ways can you share your love today? How does this feel?
Hi 4C Women,
I am learning to know that I am loved was probably the most challenging belief in my life. I used to wonder why anyone would love me, then did they really love me and if they did, how long would they love me? I finally realized these feelings were based on my not loving myself. My idea of love was completely based on giving away all and any parts of myself that might prove I was lovable. Let’s face it, my self-esteem was non-existent. I didn’t trust love. It took a lot of that inside work to change my thinking and beliefs. I didn’t have to drink away my feelings of not being enough to be loved. It’s been 32 years since I became sober and I am so grateful for the WFS Statements that encouraged me to change and accept my worth. It was quite a journey.
My biggest lesson, besides understanding that self-love was where I needed to start, is that love comes in so many beautiful forms. I always thought it had to be romantic love and I measured my worth solely on that premise. Romantic love is wonderful yet so is loving a pet, a dear friend, a hobby that brings joy and smiles. So many ways of receiving and giving love. I have been blessed by all of these facets of love.
I found this quote which helped me better define self-love: “Self-love grows from actions that support our growth. It is accepting our weaknesses as well as our strengths. It is having compassion for ourselves as we continue to grow and find our life’s passions. Self-love is not a destination or a singular event. It is a practice that requires time and patience with ourselves. It can be the foundation on which we build a happy and stable life.”
Self-love is forgiving ourselves, practicing self-care, finding what you love and paying attention to your thoughts. The way I practiced self-talk those many years ago would have kept me stuck in self-dislike with no place to grow. Think of the love you are giving to yourself, to others, and let that be the lesson of knowing that you are loved, accepted and worthy.
Bonded in learning self-love and knowing that we are loved, Dee