Monday, March 7, 2011

Serenity in Sobriety - Is Love All You Need?

Currently, my spiritual journey has brought me to the realization that the more I accept and love myself, every part of myself, the more peace I experience. I spent so many years judging, berating, and despising my human condition that by the time I got to the rooms of the 12 step program, I had nearly snuffed out the tiny light of the spirit left in me. In the program, we refer to these aspects of the human condition as "character defects." I hated them.

I hated them to a point of starving myself and binging and purging as a preteen. I hated them to the point of trying to slowly kill myself with alcohol from age 15-32. I hated them to the point of subjecting myself to demoralizing experiences with men from age 16-21. I hated them to the point of purposefully injuring my body with razor blade cuts from age 18-20. I hated them to the point of considering suicide several times IN SOBRIETY.

Don't you see that alcoholism is not about alcohol as much as it is about an illness of the mind that wants to destroy the soul using any means possible? Anorexia, bulimia, drugs, sex, self-injury, doesn't care which does the job...they are all a means to the same end which is a full separation from the "sunlight of the spirit," from God, from Love.

For me, being sober is no guarantee that I won't die from this disease. For me, the only hope I have to transcend decades of self-hate is to love and accept all of me, including my character defects.

Why? Because for today, I believe that my character defects are present as a direct result of a lack of love.  Therefore, to continue to deny myself of love would merely perpetuate their existence.

The act of loving myself unconditionally - defects and all - will eventually eradicate these defects. Is this not the same thing as being willing and humbly asking God to remove my character defects as it is written in Steps 6 and 7?

Because what IS God but LOVE?

So it is LOVE that will remove them...God's love in me loving me.  Me loving me with God's love.  God and me, God's love and my love - one in the same.

For who am I but an extension of God's love?  God, Himself, said that He created us in His own image...

His image...

God IS Love

Therefore, if I believe I was created in His image then I have to believe that I was not created out of love - as something separate from love - but rather that I was created AS love.

My true self IS loveI AM love.

Therefore, to not love, to not be myself, to not BE love is to kill my true self.

Does this make sense to you? Care to share any thoughts?

For a clearer explanation read the following article.

U N I V I S I O N S: Transcending into Love

This idea keeps presenting itself to me in various ways lately and this post is an attempt to relate what is being revealed to me to my alcoholism (NOT to my drinking problem but to my ALCOHOLISM, which includes all of the illness mentioned above...the eating disorder, bipolar symptoms, depression, etc.)

Thanks for reading and letting me share.  Enjoy the music video below, All You Need is Love by The Beatles.


  1. I loved reading this, Marie. This past week I studied the 8th Step in the 12x12 with two sponsees and realized again that calmly reviewing and admitting our own basic flaws, or personality twists, leads us to forgiveness of others who are also flawed and also God's beloved children. Somehow, forgiving them leads us to forgiving ourselves. The 8th Step promises us that it is the beginning of peace with ourselves, other people, and God.

    I struggle too with a long history of self-destruction. It's been especially hard this past year with my mother's death and the ensuing chaos /hostility with my siblings. But I'm remembering that my Creator made me just as I am, knowing that I would be flawed, knowing everything about me, loving me exactly as I am. I'm a mixed bag of strengths and weakness, of beauty and scars, which all make me the human being my Creator loves.

    I wonder why we expect ourselves to meet such high standards of extraordinary goodness, when God loves us warts and all? It's a lifelong adventure, being re-created in sobriety. I'm not going graduate from life with straight A's, am I? Ha! Blessings to you!

  2. Enchanted Oak,

    No straight A's in this life for me either and to try and achieve such perfection is what causes my insanity. So, I go insane trying to do everything right - go figure! At least my motive is good...or is it?, I guess it is not because if I really examine it, my motives for attempting to achieve perfection are merely to feed my ego and avoid pain. Damn, I can't! Oh, well.

    We are a strange breed, us alcoholics, aren't we? At least we now know that we aren't unique...knowing that helps me.

    Thanks for commenting. Hope you are doing well.

  3. marie, when i read your comment on brother christopher's god is love blog i hurriedly visited your blog site. i must commend you for the acceptance of frailties and failures and uncertainties. but this is the very first step towards self-knowledge. and i must commend you more for knowing now your true self -- that you are yourself Love. now the real work is to continue on this work of remembrance of the True Self, that we may always be one with the Love Unbending, the Love Unyielding, True Love.

  4. Marie I see my own struggles so much in the struggles that you have is so inspiring to see so much growth and wisdom you have gained through the 12 step program...what a blessing it is! Thank you! :-)

  5. sito, yes..remembering is a life long endeavor. once I am in the experience of love, the human side of me wants it to last without any further effort from me. If only it could be that easy. I must put the effort in daily, however. It is what it is, I supposed :)

    carrie, thanks...there is a 12 step program waiting for you if you haven't embraced it already :)


Thank you for sharing!