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Inspiring Success on the Road to Recovery

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A Love Note

To this day, I have not met one person in recovery who had much love for themselves when they started their journey. I did not feel an ounce of love for myself when I first got sober, it was more like self -loathing. Self-love was something I would have to learn,otherwise, I would never be capable of extending it to anyone else.

Psychologist Erich Fromm proposed that loving oneself is different from being arrogant,conceited or egocentric. He believed loving oneself meant caring about, taking responsibility for, respecting, and knowing oneself (being realistic and honest about one’s strengths and weaknesses). In his book, The Art of Love he states, “Love is not primarily a relationship to a specific person; it is an attitude, an ordination of character which determines the relatedness of the person to the whole world as a whole, not toward one object of love.”

So here we are in February, the month of love, chocolates, roses and valentines — but isn’t it more? 


Love has thousands of interpretations and ways it can be expressed. Sometimes love hurts – we want to possess it, or we’re afraid we’ll lose it, we fall in it and sometimes out of it. It grows when we nurture it and is forever evolving – just as we do. It is way more than fantasy. Love can teach us compassion, empathy, patience, acceptance, commitment, truth— it dares us to be real, and vulnerable. Love taught me to be in a relationship with my Higher Power, family, friends and yes, self.


In my fifth year of sobriety — love found me. And many of you knew him. While in this physical realm he isn’t with me any longer — his love is. I feel it. It’s just different.


So on the 18th of this month, I plan on taking a little time to reflect on 19 years ago. I stood on a beautiful beach in Maui, about to marry my handsome Bill, barefoot in a tux, his twinkling eyes, our toes in the sand — thanking God and him once again for one of the greatest experiences of my life. Love is one of life’s most beautiful gifts — it is here everyday... not just the 14th.