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“True love is inexhaustible; the more you give, the more you have.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
“Love is like the sea. It’s a moving thing, but still and all, it takes its shape from the shore it meets, and it’s different with every shore.”
Zora Neale Hurston
“All that you’ve loved is all you own.”
#10 All love given returns.
I am learning to know that I am loved.
Over the weekend, love took many forms as our youngest was married. This beautiful, one-syllable word wove through the smallest of moments and into the largest of pictures. Love stood strong and unmistakable, as well as silent and serene. Love returned again and again, and again.
Sobriety and the WFS New Life program laid a path to experience this past weekend with increasing gratitude, clarity, and of course, love. In the past, active addiction severed relationships and created deep divides but Statement #10 in action offers healing and hope. It creates a portal for forgiveness and introspection all the while cementing depth.
Amid beauty and the bride, love was a wellspring, refreshing corsages and connections. From each precious moment came the knowledge that love was present and was the present as well. Love danced, delighted, and I felt content embracing all love given returns….
Hugzzz and love
Dear 4C Women,
Even though I wasn’t at this beautiful celebration, my heart swelled with the love being experienced and expressed as Karen described the many moments of love at her daughter’s wedding.
As Karen talked about severed relationships during active addiction, I thought of all the women who have shared similar situations over the years. It is so important to understand that self-forgiveness and forgiveness from others is the path to all love given returning. We need to learn how to forgive ourselves so we can seek forgiveness from others. It is this authentic forgiveness that sets us free to give love and learn to know we are loved.
At the beginning of my recovery journey, I have to say that my negative attitude blocked feeling loved by anyone, including myself. I was giving love in hopes of receiving it yet I built a wall so impenetrable that nothing felt believable. As my negative attitude decreased thanks to Statement #2, I chipped away at the wall of being unlovable and slowly let love, self-love, and forgiveness/self-forgiveness enter into my sober life. As my marriage ended, I also realized that love comes in many forms. It wasn’t always about romantic love.
As I looked closely at my relationships in recovery, I realized that my life was filled with love in so many ways. I was one of the fortunate people who loved the work I did at the YWCA, learned to develop deep friendships, had a new life purpose in facilitating WFS meetings, more time to spend with family, learning self-care, and so much more as time passed. I saw a plaque the other day that had a familiar phrase – Bloom where you are planted – yet this one said “Grow where you are planted.” I thought about emotional and spiritual growth in Statement #8. As personal growth was blooming, I was growing! I was growing where I was planted – single, working mom, responsible, forgiving myself for what I could not change, and learning to forgive and seek forgiveness.
The end result was that love given does return and I finally believed that I was loved! Before that, when love was expressed, my self-talk was oh sure, you love me but my heart said it couldn’t’ be true because I didn’t love myself so why would anybody really love me. It was lonely. So, it goes back to learning to love and forgive ourselves so we can grow where we are planted right now. And for me, the most important lesson was, as I mentioned before, love comes from many different sources. Embrace what brings you joy, what makes you smile when you are in that space. There is love in volunteering, friendships, family, pets, hobbies, travel, nature, groups that support our joy such as WFS, book clubs, hiking, and lots more. Seek it, be vulnerable to it, love it, and be loved in return.
Bonded in practicing the WFS program with all its phenomenal statements and learning to give love, knowing you are loved, Dee