Love is the extremely difficult realization that something other than oneself is real.
For me, there are two places from which my actions can come: 1) fear or 2) love. Until I came to the program, I always acted out of fear. And that bred resentment and suffering until I was filled with only those three things – fear, resentment, and suffering. I had no idea how to undo it.
Then I came into the program and learned about love. I thought love was something that I had been denied for many years. And whether or not I consciously knew it, I had decided that I had to take care of my needs and I couldn't trust anyone else for anything – not even to take care of themselves. This was extremely unhealthy. I made choices that I would not make today, in recovery. I stopped addressing anything else around me as real or anyone as human. I was in survival mode and in survival mode it was me vs. the world.
Today in recovery, I learned what love is. Love is seeing myself as human and seeing others as human. Love is respect and trust and acceptance. And strength was in vulnerability. All of these concepts were foreign to me before the program. Today, through the 12 Steps, direct sponsorship, and the fellowship of recovery, I learned how to love. And I did it by seeing the world rather that shutting it out. Once I did, I was able to act out of love, and little by little, one day at a time, the fear, resentment, and suffering started to go away.
A meditation for July 24, 2013.