Love doesn't just sit there like a stone: it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.
--Ursula K. Le Guin
Everyone could use a new batch of love every day. Way too often, we forget to make a new batch. Then we end up eating hard, old, crumbly stuff that doesn't even taste good. We forget to talk with the people we love. We tell ourselves that they should "know" we love them, even if we haven't called to connect with them for a long time. So we expect them to live off hard, old, dry crumbs too!
But baking a fresh batch of love is a lot easier than baking bread. All we have to do is make a phone call, write a letter or an email, or stop by our mom's house. We need to deliver the message that the people we love are important. What could be easier or more rewarding?
Higher Power, help me remember that love is a verb - something I do, not something that can be given once and stored forever. Help me be active in loving the important people in my life.
Mothering or Enabling?
When I first came to Al-Anon, I spent a great deal of time wrestling with the term, “enabling.” I am a mother. Surely a mother’s role is to enable her children, is it not? It has been a struggle to understand, let alone accept, that the behavior I viewed as that of a good mother was actually unhealthy! All my life I have held the belief that a good mother encourages her children, fixes their problems, fights their battles and cooks and cleans for them. Surely a good mother is in service to her children.
With the help of Al-Anon, I have begun to learn that being a good mother means loving my children but also allowing them to live their lives. My children should have the right to learn life’s lessons in their time, their way. I owe them that. Doing everything for them, unintentionally or not, would do more harm than good! By placing my children’s lives ahead of my own, I was doing everyone a disservice, especially myself.
What a phenomenal moment when I realized that what I was doing for my children was actually the opposite of why I was doing it. Wow—the freedom of that weight being removed from my shoulders! Not only could I stop the exhausting experience of doing it all for everyone, but it opened the door to self-exploration by allowing my children the freedom to live their lives. I found I now had the time and desire to look at myself, take care of myself, and define myself.
By Stephanie W., Ontario September 2017
Reprinted with permission of The Forum
Al-Anon Family Groups Incorporated, Virginia Beach, VA
Today's Hope is a Recovery themed site with a focus on Friends and Families of Alcoholics and problem drinkers. We are not affiliated with any 12 Step program. The daily sharings contain a reading from
Al-Anon's Conference Approved publication The Forum, an inspirational quote/saying and a recovery based reading/meditation. The intent of Today's Hope is to share experience, strength and hope. Please take what you like and leave the rest.