The Horse’s Mouth January 2019
Love is a word frequently spoken about, but perhaps a word that is not exactly easy to define or understand. Love, it seems, “has little to do with pure reason (54:2).” Perhaps that is why love has so many false meanings. Perhaps that is why Bill W. never included a definition of love in our literature, but instead made it code to live by.
A clear distinction betweenthe real heroin addict and just a hard user, is distinguished between a person who can stop on the basis of a sufficiently strong reason, such as “falling in love (21:1),” while the real heroin addict could not stop from such a reason. Yet, our prayer is that you may “learn the full meaning of love (153:1),” and that you act as a demonstration of “Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of Life (63:2).”
So, what is the difference between these loves?
During a group counseling session at one of my many stints of rehab, the counselor brought in a mirror, and asked, “what do we see when we stand in front of it?” The exercise was of self-esteem building, but the idea of a mirror never left me. As I grew in understanding of spirituality, the mirror, took on a different meaning. The mirror, is without ego and without mind. If a little boy comes in front of it, it reflects a little boy. If a crooked object comes in front of it, it reflects it crooked, a straight object straight, a broken object broken. Everything is revealed as it really is. There is no discriminating mind or self- consciousness in the mirror. If something comes, the mirror reflects it; if something moves on, the mirror lets it move on.
The mirror is always empty of itself and therefore able to receive the other. The mirror has no conditions for acceptance. It receives and reflects back what is there, nothing more and nothing less. The mirror is the perfect lover. It does not evaluate or judge.
If I’m to grow in understanding of God’s Will, God’s Way of Seeing, and God’s Love, I must be a mirror. I must be no-thing so that I can receive some-thing. I must be liberated from my-self. I’m “undisciplined,” in my emotions, and need to “let God discipline me (88:2),” the tyranny of my own judgments, opinions, and feelings about everything.
In God, my-self is no longer its own center. There is a death of the self-centered and self-sufficient ego. In its place is awakened a new and liberated self which loves and acts in the Spirit. “The fundamental idea of God is within us all (55:2)” and we are all “children of God (62:3).” When I stand in front of a mirror, I only see the fundamental idea, the image of God, and realize, Who I Am. I am created by my “Creator (25:2),” and my personhood is therefore in a direct relationship with the Divine Personhood. For me, all Love is living out of the realization, that being, and that being is Love- I am Love- before I do anything right or wrong, nice or nasty, worthy or unworthy. Love is my objective identity. Love is simply, Who-I am- In-The-Spirit.
From this true identity, Love can happen. Whatever I do, in recovery, service or in fellowship, will only bear fruit if I live and act by this identity, this truth, our code. Conscious contact with God is then experienced at a meaningful and deep level, when it’s driven by this truth, in my involvement with people, events, occupations, and members of our fellowship.
I must remember that this is a code to live by, but by no means the standard (at least not for me). “I’m completely willing to live along this spiritual line (60:1),” but most humbly, I fall short of this truth more than I live by it. I do want to Love others out of my objective identity, and I do want to Love God for bringing me this far, but I also want to be loved for who I am (or who I think I am) apart from God, the autonomous and self-sufficient Nico. This is the source of my never-ending pride, and it never works. I can easily justify that I’m a good-guy, that I’m lovable because of my own goodness independent from God. Out of this alloy of self-gratification, and need for validation from others, I commence to forge a weapon that will one day turn its flight on me and all but cut me to ribbons. I often gather evidence to the contrary, of why I’m not good enough and unworthy. The same self- validating thoughts of why I’m good enough, boomerangs into why I’m not. This is because they are both coming from the same place, an unreliable place to say the least, but most of all, a place that is rooted in self. When rooted in my objective truth and identity, there is nothing to validate, it just “is what it is” and “I am, Who I am,” which is Love.
I need to appreciate this person- that I’m one who has been blessed, but also one who is broken. Appreciation of both sides is the real gift. I need to realize that I’m broken because my mind readily accepts the fables it is fed, and I’m blessed because that truth, a truth that is hidden, has been revealed to me1. I have done nothing to earn this way of seeing, it is completely undeserved, and that I don’t need to perform spiritual gymnastics to earn more than I already have (I already have it). I must awaken to what is already there. Our 11th step teaches me how to do this: to not take credit, to self-sacrifice for others, to deflate the ego, which starves the self, so I can receive Love and reflect it back to others, just like a mirror. By starving my-self, my judgements and ideas, I can see the fundamental idea from anyone who walks in front of my mirror, and reflect it back, without it being tarnished from my own judgement. This is how I awaken to “the inner resource (570:1),” that has been with me all along. I must realize that I’m both nothing, the mirror, and everything, Love.
In this volume you will read about men and women who have described their personal adventures and experiences with Love. We say “Love knows no bounds,”, this issue is dedicated to our members in Riverhead, that carry our message despite the barrier of distance