Spiritual Love

All I ever wanted in my life was to be loved. As a kid my parents and other well meaning adults filled me with ideas about what I must do to be loved: Behave, get good grades, set goals, work hard, don't fight with your sister. I failed at all these things and learned that love was conditional.
I picked up other ideas from movie and sports heros: be tough, don't cry, never back down from a fight, win at any cost. If I couldn't be the biggest and strongest or the best shot, then I had to be the smartest or the most ruthless. Perhaps the most damaging idea was that I should be self sufficient. I had to figure out all my problems myself and not ask for help under any circumstance.

Later on society bombarded me with the idea that I would be loved if became a success in business, make a lot of money, buy the right house, vacation in the best spots use the right deodorant. I had to keep up with the Joneses because it seemed to me that the Joneses we getting all the love. I was keeping up for a while. As Bill says "I felt I was winning at the game of life." But I still felt empty inside. I drank at that emptiness for 30 years and I pretended that I had love even though in my heart of hearts that I was certain I was unlovable.

It took 47 years, but in AA I found out that I had it all backwards. It isn't being loved that brings peace and happiness it is in being loving. My willingness to be of service both in and out of the rooms is being loving. When I have this willingness I am that channel that St, Francis talks about in his prayer. But I'm not channeling human, emotional love rather the unconditional spiritual love of the Universe, that I call God. This is what you meant when you told me that my job was to love everyone, but I wasn't required to "like" everyone. I try to remember that I don't have to "feel" loving to be loving.

"When you love you should not say, 'God is in my heart,' but rather, 'I am in the heart of God."
--Khalil Gibran, "The Prophet"