Valentine’s Day is not about the teddy bear and box of chocolates; today is the day to reclaim your love! Everyone needs love. That need may drive you to do crazy things. It may even drive you down the path of destruction. The root of whatever drives you is for an essential need, and in many cases it is the basic need for love. We are created in love, for love and to love. Disorders attempt to steal our love. But the truth is you can experience love, no matter where you are at in your recovery!
The Love Practice Principles:
Be Aware of Love
First step in experiencing love is being aware of love. Imagine a moment in your life where you may feel or have felt loved (past, present or future). Perhaps it is with a person, an animal, in nature or through an experience like dancing, singing or reading. Connect with that moment; what is it like, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually? In my recovery, I’ve become aware of how I experience love. Personally, I’ve found love in all of the examples mentioned above. I feel safe when I feel love; my body feels warm and soft, my mind is peaceful and my spirit is awakened. Stay mindful of how love resonates with you so you can let love in your life, beginning today!
Learn Unconditional Love
Sometimes the moment is full of love and it can overwhelm you, sometimes you have to dive in the moment, search for love and pull it out, and sometimes you have to bring it to the moment yourself. If love is given to you, the best response is gratitude. If you searched it out, recognize it, grab hold of it and then give thanks. If the moment seems without love, then my friends, you must learn the value of unconditional love. Love does not come from your circumstances. Unconditional love is the purest form of love. Unconditional love exists without the who, what, where, when, why and how. It loves regardless. Today, begin to believe that you are loved unconditionally.
Guard Your Heart
Your heart is the wellspring of life. Open your heart to love, but keep it guarded. By guarded I do not mean shut off from the world, but mindfully on guard from what you let in and out, this will protect yourself against your disorder, and all that led you into it. In your recovery, you will learn what serves you and what does not. Only allow what serves, establishes and nourishes you to come in to your heart. Guard against the rest. Open your heart to love and stay on guard so nothing can take that love away from you.
Our disorders tend to build walls around ourselves, so we end up in a fort, isolated and blocked off from the rest of the world. In your recovery, it is vitally important to let those walls come down. That may sound scary at first, but the truth is, as those walls come crumbling down, the power (and pain) of the bricks falling on the ground does not compare to the power (and joy) of love that can reach you through the opening in the wall that you created. Not only can love come to you through this opening, but your perspective is widened and you’re now able to reach out to grab it or give it.
Let love in so you can let love out. You must receive before you give. Once you are full of love, then you are able to offer it to someone or something else. As you give love, you establish a connection between the giver and receiver. You’re able to receive while you give. The tool in this is to keep your heart guarded as you give love. Only give what you can offer, while keeping your mind, body and heart full. What is a way you can show love today? Can you serve someone who is in need, offer words of encouragement to your self or another? You are surrounded by people who need love, just as you do. Find love for your self today then offer a piece of it to someone else.
In recovery, love must be practiced. Just as we cannot learn to speak a language over night, we cannot learn the power of love over night. We can, however, take steps towards understanding and operating in love. Begin by staying mindful. Mindfullness will lead you understand and welcome love in your life. Work with a therapist to let your walls come down so you can receive love and be liberated through love. As you receive love, accept it with gratitude. Keep your heart guarded. Then give love.
Practice this process throughout your recovery, and let love manifest in your life, beginning today.
Inner Door Center is here to help heal and guide you into recovery. We offer traditional and holistic modalities, including Mindfulness-based Yoga Therapy for Eating Disorder, Substance Abuse and a variety of co-occuring disorders. Please contact us to schedule an appointment or learn more at 248-336-2868.