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Unconditional Love (Daily Reader)

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The first post in each thread should contain a piece of literature for review by other members of CGAA. Preferably each post contains the full text, but if the text is very long or in a format garbled by this forum software, it can be put in another online document with a link provided here. All comments are welcome here. If the piece is in a Google document, detailed comments can be submitted directly into the document.
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Literature_Bot
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Unconditional Love (Daily Reader)

Post by Literature_Bot »

Unconditional love was a challenge for me. I talked a big game with it, but never quite felt like I was doing it right. Then one day I realized what the problem was. I could be unconditionally loving towards myself- I knew I was working a program and that I would eventually right any wrongs I committed. With others, however, especially those who did not seem to have any accountability, "unconditional love" was out of the question. With these individuals, unconditional love meant I was going to allow them to get away with things, and this I could not do. I had to be conditionally loving. They would get my love if they repented. And so I was trying to control other people's recovery.

This was how I behaved; but it was not the ideal I was striving for in myself. For one who held unconditional love so highly, how could I so easily be kind with myself when I made mistakes or hurt others, but not be so for others? For me, what does it mean to be unconditionally loving? This led me to the realization that unconditional love was about being kind to others, even when I did not think they deserved it. Shortly after this realization, I saw a sign that summed it up, "The real test is being kind to the unkind."

I've had some healing to do to get to the place where I can do this fairly reliably. First and foremost, I have had to let go of my victim mentality and the selfishness, self-centeredness, and self-pity that came along with it. Many painful experiences helped me to see this aspect of myself and how it was hurting me, if not others around me, while I was working Steps 4 and 5. Steps 6 and 7 helped me to finally let go of it, let God in, and begin a new way of life. Steps 8 and 9 allowed me to close any old wounds left open because of my victim mentality and my unwillingness to be unconditionally loving towards others.
Last edited by Literature_Bot on Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
etgothome
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Unconditional Love (Daily Reader)

Post by etgothome »

Lovely piece Morgan :) ...thank you for sharing this.
One thing I thought might be a helpful addition to your daily reflection is to maybe share your experience of  unconditional or conditional love prior to being game-free and very early recovery. This might allow the newcomer to relate more and find hope and draw from your strength. It will also keep our literature in line with traditions and our primary purpose.
Thanks again for sharing
Eli :)
MorganF
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Unconditional Love (Daily Reader)

Post by MorganF »

"It will also keep our literature in line with traditions and our primary purpose." - I take it you mean that since I do not directly reference gaming addiction, this piece is not in alignment?

Your suggestion would probably do better as a separate reader. This is already at the limit of what daily readers typically are on length. 

At most, I think this could use clarification of why unconditional love is related to recovery from gaming addiction. Something along the lines of "Unconditional love, such as what the fellowship provides,..."
LND_5678
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Unconditional Love (Daily Reader)

Post by LND_5678 »

Morgan,
 
I really like this topic. When I have received unconditional love from another, it was only after I could believe and trust they accepted me 100% as I am, warts, defects, and all. If the other is attempting to have me change my appearance, my personality, my thinking, my feelings, my words, or my behaviors, then they are not accepting me, and so if they seem to be loving and kind, it is a conditional loving-kindness.
 
I have found the ability, at times, to be fully accepting and loving towards myself. When I succeed in doing so, this experience is a stepping stone for me to be unconditionally accepting and loving towards others. When I fail, this experience is a stepping stone for me to have compassion towards people who also can't find a way to be unconditionally loving towards themselves.
 
There are times when I reject what could be unconditional love from another because of past betrayals. When I can't trust someone as truly accepting without judging, I can't believe they love me unconditionally.
 
If CGAA is judgmental, cliquish, off-putting, snobbish, and uses language to discriminate against me, then it can't be one of my higher powers. I can't trust I am being accepted and loved unconditionally.
 
That's me. Your mileage may vary...
 
etgothome
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Unconditional Love (Daily Reader)

Post by etgothome »

MorganF wrote:
"It will also keep our literature in line with traditions and our primary purpose." - I take it you mean that since I do not directly reference gaming addiction, this piece is not in alignment?

Your suggestion would probably do better as a separate reader. This is already at the limit of what daily readers typically are on length. 

At most, I think this could use clarification of why unconditional love is related to recovery from gaming addiction. Something along the lines of "Unconditional love, such as what the fellowship provides,..."

Hi Morgan,
I guess the purpose is that the literature is a work in progress and not a set-in-stone, done-and-dusted piece of work. Of course, in the end we need to decide when to stop making amendments. I really like the addition of such as the/our fellowship provides. It ties it together well. Otherwise I do think it is diverting from our primary purpose.  Without it, it would make a great SLAA or SAA reading though. As game-addicts, we will never get to a point where we can genuinely muse over conditional or unconditional love, if we don't stop and stay stopped. We have an illness where our denial can lead us to losing our jobs, homes, savings, families, relationships and sometimes our life. I don't know it's up to you, but I think it is important to reflect on the message. :) ... I know it is about sharing our experience, strength and hope, and from what I have experienced and listened to over the years, there is no 100%. Makes me thing of the old  "progress not perfection", but I do believe my HP loves me 100% with full and total acceptance. Warts and all!
Eli
etgothome
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Unconditional Love (Daily Reader)

Post by etgothome »

LND_5678 wrote:
Morgan,
 
I really like this topic. When I have received unconditional love from another, it was only after I could believe and trust they accepted me 100% as I am, warts, defects, and all. If the other is attempting to have me change my appearance, my personality, my thinking, my feelings, my words, or my behaviors, then they are not accepting me, and so if they seem to be loving and kind, it is a conditional loving-kindness.
 
I have found the ability, at times, to be fully accepting and loving towards myself. When I succeed in doing so, this experience is a stepping stone for me to be unconditionally accepting and loving towards others. When I fail, this experience is a stepping stone for me to have compassion towards people who also can't find a way to be unconditionally loving towards themselves.
 
There are times when I reject what could be unconditional love from another because of past betrayals. When I can't trust someone as truly accepting without judging, I can't believe they love me unconditionally.
 
If CGAA is judgmental, cliquish, off-putting, snobbish, and uses language to discriminate against me, then it can't be one of my higher powers. I can't trust I am being accepted and loved unconditionally.
 
That's me. Your mileage may vary...
 

Thank you LND  
This made me reflect a lot. I love the concept of "conditional loving kindness". I had a recent talk with my other half about this. His behaviour sometimes was very difficult and we talked about unconditional love. He follows a 12-step fellowship too and he understood when I said "Your HP loves you unconditionally" but in relationships there are conditions or boundaries. For me one is respecting my time, work and for him that I respect his spiritual principles, for both that we don't engage in physical abuse. All work in progress though. ...it also made me reflect on a time after my Steps 6 & 7 where I looked in the mirror and I felt my HP in my eyes. That moment I felt a full acceptance of myself, my life, my story, my addiction and recovery journey, pain, loss, joy, celebration... the lot. It was amazing. I get varied moments like this, but it made me think of compassion. The more compassion I allow myself, the more compassionate I will be able to be with others. :) ...odaat - if I stay game-free for today! Otherwise, all bets are off.

Hope you and Morgan have a great game-free day.
Big hug from the UK
Eli
MorganF
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Unconditional Love (Daily Reader)

Post by MorganF »

So I think unconditional love is very much a part of our fellowship and our recovery as gaming addicts (though the fellowship has to speak on that point). First there is the unconditional love of the fellowship, which I presume us to have and value. It certainly was in the AA meetings I attended before moving over to CGAA- even a vital part of helping the newcomer settle in. From a recovery standpoint, if we hold ours to also fundamentally be a spiritual malady and the remedy to lay in a spiritual way of life, then unconditional love is also a vital part of our recovery. I like what the Big Book says about resentment and its ability to wreck our sobriety. Resentment definitely does not fit in unconditional love. Of course, whether gaming addicts find resentment to be a primary source of relapse is yet for us to reveal.

As an aside, if someone is reading this and thinking worried unconditional love means we have to stay in unhealthy relationships or unconditionally accept bad behavior, no, that is not the case. Holding boundaries with bad behavior does not mean we are being conditionally loving, and staying in a toxic space is not being loving towards ourselves. There is a balancing act.

So I need to work gaming addiction into this piece and help it be more clear how it fits with our fellowship.

Also, nothing on this forum is final. It is all up for us to have exactly these sorts of conversations around. "Does this piece of writing reflect who we are, as a fellowship?"

Morgan
ADH
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Unconditional Love (Daily Reader)

Post by ADH »

How about changing the "I" language to the "we" language?

The "I" language leaves room for escape while the "we" language connects to us all.
MorganF
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Unconditional Love (Daily Reader)

Post by MorganF »

ADH wrote:
How about changing the "I" language to the "we" language?

The "I" language leaves room for escape while the "we" language connects to us all.

Because this is meant to be one member sharing their personal experience strength and hope, "I" language is more appropriate.
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