SA Lifeline sees recovery as an ongoing process of living with God at our center, “One Day At A Time.” But what does God-centered love look like?
For those of us who have lived with a loved one in addiction, we have often fallen into a model of dysfunction, putting our addict at our center.
When this happens, we of course become overwhelmed with feelings of chaos and trauma: fearful, depressed, hyper-vigilant, overtaken by obsessive thoughts, resentful, confused, angry, numb.
When we step back and realize the chaotic and unreliable individual we have put at our center, it is easy to see why we would be at the mercy of such an emotional roller-coaster.
Interestingly, in the chaos of our circumstances, we often believe that by putting our addict at our center, we are trying to show LOVE.
Are You In “Fish Love?”
Rabbi Dr Abraham Twerski gives his insights on “Fish Love,” the kind of love that is actually self-serving and unconsciously motivated by trying to fill our own needs for physical, mental, and emotional fulfillment.
It is only when we begin to realize that only our Higher Power carries the capacity to make us a whole person that we begin to turn to the One who can fill us–instead of paltry substitutes. This realization, this spiritual awakening, is the true purpose and eventual result of working the 12 Steps.
When our needs are truly being met by a perfect, loving, forgiving God, it frees us to be able to love others in a true giving way, which includes empathy as well as healthy boundaries.
Putting God at One’s Center
In recovery, I can say that when I truly feel God at my center, I have a much greater capacity to both offer and receive love.
Although it has felt counter-intuitive, in order to truly love my husband, I have had to kick him out of my center with healthy boundaries and some periods of detachment while I attend to my own healing and recovery.
These uncomfortable periods of time have paid huge dividends in the long run, and are changing our “Fish Love” into something closer to the Real Thing.
1 John 4:18 says,
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”
What are your experiences with “Fish Love?”
How is trying to live with God at your center shifting your ability to love in a giving way?
How have establishing healthy boundaries in your relationship enabled you to love without fear?
How is your perception of what love looks like changing through recovery?