[Extracted from the monthly ECO NEWS - February 2019]
All About The Love
Since this month is February, it seems appropriate to write about love.
Becoming a member of Alcoholics Anonymous is about three things: getting the alcohol out of one’s life, passing on what was given to us, and learning to live life on life’s terms. We talk a lot about the wonderful tools Bill W. and Dr. Bob gave us: The Big Book, the Traditions, the Concepts and the Warranties. Other legacies given to us these last 80 years of AA involve spiritual growth, patience, generosity, tolerance, kindness and love. But most of all … the love.
There are many references to love in books written by Bill W. and also in articles from the Grapevine. The Big Book, the Grapevine Daily Quote and, of course, Language of the Heart – all are full of wonderful quotes. “Love is our glue”, “….the vast import of our brotherhood, love and service”, “When we love, we will see in others what we wish to see in ourselves”, “….these life-giving communications spring out of living experience and are rooted in sacrificial love” and “when we concentrate on loving those we think are unlovable, we find out how expansive love is” are just a few.
Someone wrote “we are either operating from fear or from love in all our actions. There is no other place from which we operate.” How true, those words. When operating from fear, I feel judgment, comparison, envy, tight and small inside. All of my resentments come from fear.
Page 449 (or 417) in our Big Book talks about how “nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God’s world by mistake.” It says, “When I stopped living in the problem and began living in the answer the problem went away.” Acceptance leads the way to love…for me. To “accept every person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it’s supposed to be at this moment” …that also includes me, and all my varied traits.
We love each other until we can begin to love ourselves. “Of course, I love myself” I’d say, as if it was crazy to think otherwise. However, having worked on some childhood issues lately, it’s obvious that deep down inside, I haven’t loved me for some time. This is a common theme among alcoholics and others. Learning to love myself is not a small thing; it’s not easy to do. It takes work.
My daughter was 7 when I got sober. She went with me to meetings, sitting in the adjoining room coloring. As a result, she knows a lot about our program. Years later, when she was a teenager, she asked me specific questions of what AA is all about. I explained as best I could; her response, after a thoughtful few seconds is with me still. She said, “It’s really all about the love, isn’t it?” What a profound yet simple way to sum up what we do in Alcoholics Anonymous. For all the tools we have to explain how this life-giving fellowship works, it really can be summed up in one word: love.
Thanks for letting me share these thoughts with you and thank you always for my sobriety.
Becky P, Panel 68 Delegate, Area 78