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Old 07-15-2011, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by cynical one View Post
Are humans even capable of unconditional love? Doesn't unconditional love equate to total acceptance?
Isn't that something we should strive for? Yes, it does mean acceptance. What's wrong with that?

Sometimes I get so upset at Philip Morris. Really angry. My mother died of emphysema. AH had stopped smoking when he stopped drinking but he has since relapsed on both counts.

I get so angry and so fearful that something stupid like a cigarette can take someone I love away from me. And of course, I am at war with the alcohol, too. I have in my mind the endgame, but that's just a figment of my imagination. My fears have NOTHING to do with reality.

I have to absolutely let go. It's not enough that alcohol will probably kill AH--but tobacco will have a hand as well. It makes me so angry!!! Of course, I know that Philip Morris isn't holding a gun to his head, and neither are the manufacturers of Grey Goose. He has made his choices.

I have to moment by moment say to myself that this is not my doing and it won't be my undoing. It just is.

That one thought alone helps me appreciate AH for who he is and love him for who he is. It brings me peace.

At the same time I have stopped shoving reality under the rug, I have stopped much enabling, I have started nurturing my own growth.

It really does all come down to the Serenity Prayer!
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Old 07-15-2011, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by SoloMio View Post
Isn't that something we should strive for? Yes, it does mean acceptance. What's wrong with that?
Well said Solo. I think that humans are capable of Unconditional Love. It is a rare thing, but it does exist and its not something that should be mocked. In my opinion, its a really sad state to see that Love should be branded in such a way as to make it seem like a weakness when in fact it is a strength.

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Old 07-15-2011, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by m1k3 View Post
You can't love/control anyone to change. They will only change if they choose to.

I was dumb and in pain when I came here.
Progress not perfection.

Your friend
Lol Being the eternal optimist, I was going to be the one exception; the one who made it. Boy, was I dumb. It took awhile, but eventually the rose-colored glasses came off and I began to see the truth. My XAB said once that my promises to him seemed to be conditional. I told him yeah, I guess they were. If it weren't for his lies, I would still be there. They were conditional on him being honest with me.
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Old 07-15-2011, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by lillamy View Post
Another Cyrano quote I'm saving. Word.
So that's what I am! A recovering Pollyannish moron! Great description. I love it. It really helps when something makes me smile when I'm feeling sad about the XAB. Reality check.
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Old 07-15-2011, 05:17 PM
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Unconditional love: I love that person for who they are as a person and that they are in my life (or were in my life).

That doesn't mean that we stay in any type of abusive situation or dysfunction because of that love.

Unconditional love has nothing to do with codependence.

You can be codependent and be a manipulative, demanding person. You can be codependent and put all kinds of conditions emotionally on the other person.
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Old 07-15-2011, 05:58 PM
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I don't think the word "love" even needs the modifier "unconditional" in front of it. I think love is unconditional.

I love my daughters. I ask nothing of them and they ask nothing of me, really. (I'm trying to think of anything at all- and can't.) We give to each other, but I don't really think we expect or demand anything of each other. We disappoint each other at times, maybe even get angry at each other occassionally, but none of that erases the love. I've never felt that the love was at risk with either of them. Same with my parents.

However, when my XABF wanted something, he would say, "I love you" or "But I really love you," as though his loving me was a reason that I should do something (like not leave him). That was coercive, and not any form of love by my definition of love. It might have been fear or anger that I was doing something that hurt him or that he didn't want. (Which is fine, valid.) But I see that as separate from love.

Now, partnership, living together, sharing time and expenses, whether I want to invest or not- very much conditional for me! Even if I love the person.
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Old 07-15-2011, 06:27 PM
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I find this discussion very interesting.

My only contribution is that the more I have loved myself the more full my own cup is to give love to others. I am only just figuring that out and previously thought I needed to drain myself to give to others. I think this gives me a better shot at the word love in general.

I also want to say that I think I did not realize there were other options/ways etc to love before getting into my own recovery. I truly thought all the care taking (care taking is not bad...it is when you sacrifice yourself for it), codie stuff I did was love. I am so glad that I was so wrong.
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Old 07-15-2011, 06:40 PM
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I also find this discussion very interesting. And I also want to extend the question to those of you who say unconditional love is something you can only feel for your children, or:
I love my daughters. I ask nothing of them and they ask nothing of me, really. (I'm trying to think of anything at all- and can't.) We give to each other, but I don't really think we expect or demand anything of each other. We disappoint each other at times, maybe even get angry at each other occassionally, but none of that erases the love. I've never felt that the love was at risk with either of them. Same with my parents.
So... what if your child was the alcoholic in your life?
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Old 07-15-2011, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by lillamy View Post
I also find this discussion very interesting. And I also want to extend the question to those of you who say unconditional love is something you can only feel for your children, or:


So... what if your child was the alcoholic in your life?
lillamy,
my son IS the alcoholic in my life, and I love him, and always will, no matter what. I guess I would in my mind, remember who he was before he was sick. that there was a loving tender person there, who loved me so much too.


quite an interesting thread.
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Old 07-15-2011, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by lillamy View Post
I also find this discussion very interesting. And I also want to extend the question to those of you who say unconditional love is something you can only feel for your children, or:

So... what if your child was the alcoholic in your life?
I don't think either of my daughters is an alcoholic. There are no indicators of that right now. But my younger daughter was in very big trouble a few years ago. I have two daughters- DD24 aka “A” and DD20 aka “E.” When E was 17, she was in trouble with drugs, alcohol, stealing cars, violence, flunking school. As part of a deal with her juvenile court judge, I sent her to a boarding school where she lived for 10 months, completed high school and “served” her time. It was called a "therapeutic boarding school for girls." (HA!) The whole period was wrenching- before sending her there- so I really identify with the pain Chicory and other parents express here.

So she is kind of a "qualifier" for me, but that therapeutic environment didn't frame it that way. The therapy and the treatment was about everyone in the family. Many of the same lessons and tenets as al-anon, but without the idea of a central problem-person.

But love has nothing to do with any of that. That's just logistics and power struggle. I am certain that A, E and I all love each other unconditionally. You can feel it and it’s something we can count on in each other.
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Old 07-15-2011, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by grumpybear View Post
The fable of the two codependents*

(Quoted verbatim from growingaware.com.au)
thanks for finding this
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Old 07-16-2011, 12:45 AM
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Lillamy, I can tell you that I am not a religious person, but I occasionally shoot a prayer to my HP to practically beg him not to make my daughter an A in the same way my XAH is. Because it's been incredibly hard for me to detach from XAH because of the unconditional love I have for him, and I can't even imagine how much worse it would feel for me to do the same with my dd.
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Old 07-16-2011, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by blueblooms14 View Post
I don't think the word "love" even needs the modifier "unconditional" in front of it. I think love is unconditional.

I love my daughters. I ask nothing of them and they ask nothing of me, really. (I'm trying to think of anything at all- and can't.) We give to each other, but I don't really think we expect or demand anything of each other. We disappoint each other at times, maybe even get angry at each other occassionally, but none of that erases the love. I've never felt that the love was at risk with either of them. Same with my parents.

However, when my XABF wanted something, he would say, "I love you" or "But I really love you," as though his loving me was a reason that I should do something (like not leave him). That was coercive, and not any form of love by my definition of love. It might have been fear or anger that I was doing something that hurt him or that he didn't want. (Which is fine, valid.) But I see that as separate from love.

Now, partnership, living together, sharing time and expenses, whether I want to invest or not- very much conditional for me! Even if I love the person.
BlueBlooms, I think you're right on. If I'm being honest with myself about the word "love" - say the word and you'll be free...sing it with me! I love plenty of people - my kid for sure, but all of my immediate family, my in-laws, some of my closest friends. And I love them no matter what they are doing/not doing at the time. Sometimes they infuriate me, and I can't always be around them or support them in their actions, but that doesn't change how I feel about them overall.

My husband, who is my qualifier though I have plenty more, has done some really awful horrible stuff, but during those times what I felt was a loss of control, and a fury that he couldn't see that he was wrong. Not less love. Of course now I know what I was angry with was myself, for not being able to let go of the situation.

I don't think love equals acceptance, or need, both of which have been brought up in this discussion. As individuals, I feel as though we don't "need" many people, it's more of a question of want.

As far as kids go, my kid's life is wrapped up into mine in a way no one else's is. I'm not into rating the love I have for him against the love I have for other people because it isn't the same thing, and it can never be. Your mileage, as always, may vary.

People are different. I've always wondered how one person can be so closed off emotionally while another can cry in public at the drop of a hat. Perhaps our discussion here has to do with how we deal with our emotions, and how we feel about loving, as opposed to love as a concept.

I feel super-hokey now and will shut up. Thanks for the very thought-provoking discussion!
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Old 07-16-2011, 12:50 PM
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When normal people love someone I don't think they are as prone to attach all the conditions we might as co-dependents. (Of course we don’t actually state them)

We are prone to give love as a payment in advance almost for some need we have. If we don't get that need met we feel slighted.

It is getting away from this type of ‘conditional’ love that is talked about in Al-Anon.

I don’t think true love can have conditions. It is a feeling which is felt and will cease to be felt under certain circumstances. Conditions are not a normal accompaniment to love.

In response to Cyranoak’s comment that you can't love someone into recovery or sobriety, probably true, but it is likely that if they still feel their family love still them for what they are inside they may find more motivation along the hard road of recovery, once started.

Just IMHO
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Old 07-16-2011, 01:39 PM
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I used to see love as an emotion. Somewhere in this journey I began to see it more as a demonstration. Love as a verb, instead of a noun

As far as love and the 3 C's go, I learned another C here; I think from cynical one: Contribute.

I didn't cause, I can't control or cure, but I can contribute to someone's issues.

When I flip it sideways: My love doesn't cause, control or cure others issues, but it can contribute. Even if it's from afar.

Just my 2 cents
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Old 07-17-2011, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Chino View Post
I used to see love as an emotion. Somewhere in this journey I began to see it more as a demonstration. Love as a verb, instead of a noun

As far as love and the 3 C's go, I learned another C here; I think from cynical one: Contribute.

I didn't cause, I can't control or cure, but I can contribute to someone's issues.

When I flip it sideways: My love doesn't cause, control or cure others issues, but it can contribute. Even if it's from afar.

Just my 2 cents
Chino, I like the way you phrased this...saving for a later read. Thanks!
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Old 07-18-2011, 06:20 PM
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My apologies Chicory...

...and thanks for your thoughtful response I was speaking more of the behavior than the people, though I do believe as a species we have done and continue to do some mind bogglingly stupid things. That said, I am not dumb but I've done some pretty dumb things and imagine I'll do more in the future.

Take care,

Cyranoak

Originally Posted by chicory View Post
Cyranoak,

It is hurtful to me, to hear you calling some of us dumb. If your a was your daughter, you might understand a bit more, of how we wish our love could reach them. Unconditional love may not be what you feel for your wife, but it surely would be what you felt for your daughter. Because at the bottom of all these fears, is the main fear that they will die. and we cannot help but try any means possible.

Some people have a lot of faith in the power of love. You can cure lonliness with love. You can cure a lot of things with love. These ones you deride, maybe they need time to realize that it is a disease, and accept that they cannot cure a disease with love.

TWYWALTR,
chicory
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