compassion · gratitude · growth · healing · love · recovery · relationships · self-care · spirituality

Today’s Lesson: Love. (Don’t Vomit.)

Today is affirmation day.
Per the last exercise of Calling in The One workbook/coursebook/spiritual revolution catalyst,
today, I’m supposed to affirm my availability and openness to Love and to meet
love, not just in a romantic partner, though that is an aspect, but to meet
love within myself, my life, and in all other people.
When I got sober, I used to hear people say
“We’ll love you until you can love yourself.” At the time, that sentence felt
like I just got slimed on Double Dare.
No way, dude. Get it off me. Keep that gross thing, “Love” you’re calling it?, to your own
damned self.
At the time, “love” to me was a series of fabulously tragic
relationships and an invitation to be hood-winked. I imagined love was like The
Simpsons
’ Nelson, asking me to sit in this
lavish chair, and just as I was bending into it, he’d pull it out from under me
with his catch-phrase “HA HA!” I can hear it. Love was not to be trusted; love
was a lie; love was an invitation to be hurt.
So you can imagine, that when people also said that “G-d is
love”, I threw up in my mouth a little bit, every single time. I still think
it’s an extremely gooey phrase, but I
don’t get (as much) acid reflux from it anymore.
For quite some time, I used to say that I received
compliments like one of those lamp-light bug zappers. Compliments, and we can
extrapolate “love,” would only get so far toward me before ZAP! Dead. You ain’t
getting in here, no way no how.
One of the meditations in the workshop I went to this weekend asked us
to envision the light from various teachers and positive sources coming into us, and to then to allow that light to pour out into others. I did this
meditation a few years ago, about 3 or 4 I suppose. At the time, I vividly
remember that I wasn’t going to let these people’s “light” come anywhere near
me. I’ll send light out to those behind me, sure, but keep your light to
yourself. I would send from my own bucket, tap from the (limited) source within
myself. I didn’t need your light – I can do it on my own.
This past weekend, however, sure, I recognized I still was very uncomfortable accepting the light from these loving
sources, but I let it in. It was like slipping into a fur coat that’s been in
mothballs for years – comforting but icky. 😉 That said, to know that I was a)
willing to accept light, and we can substitute the word “love” here, from
others was a huge shift, however uncomfortable I am to receive it, I was
willing to do so; and b) I didn’t have to send my love/light to others by
depleting my own reserves. Instead, I could be a funnel, a filter, a channel,
as is often said.
So, here I am. 30, single, hesitant to believe in a thing
called love (to quote the song with a cringe) ;P but opening more to it.
There’s been a level of conceit which says I’m able to give love and you’re not
allowed to give it to me; a level of conceit which says I know the right way to
love and you’re giving it to me wrong. These have kept me quite alone over the
years.
The reality is that I haven’t fallen in love with an addict,
alcoholic, unavailable, or taken man in a long long time. Doing these things
helped to cause my belief that love was a cruel trick. I haven’t had proof of
this for a long time. Instead, what I’ve been given evidence of as “love” has
been self-less, light, thoughtful, and consistent, and this love has come from many people, not only lovers or boyfriends. I’ve begun to give myself the same
respect and consistency, and finishing this course (and because I mainly just
read through it with lots of underlining(!), and didn’t complete all the exercises, I will now go back
through – there are a bunch which I know want my attention to help sever these
old ties of beliefs) – finishing the course, going on my date with myself, not dating jerks, all of these are helping to firm up
the new system of belief which is that your love (and my own) is not going to injure me, but
rather it is going to bolster me in my climb out into the sunlight.
For all that, I thank you, friends, readers, little secret
gnomes, who are sliming me with the support and generosity of love. 
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