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Often, people in recovery can be heard proclaiming, “If you don’t give it away you’ll lose it!” When I first heard this it sounded so paradoxical to me  I had trouble understanding what they were really trying to communicate. Now, after thirty two years of being exposed to this philosophy, I, myself, have been heard to say the same thing numerous times because my experience has taught me what it means in terms of recovery. If I want to stay in recovery and free from the bondage of my addictions, I have to share the spiritual, life-saving message embodied in A.A.’s 12 step program. If I don’t,  I will slip out of recovery back into any or all of numerous addictions available to me. It’s kind of like “pay it forward, ” but it is more than that because this philosophy realizes  it is in giving that we receive. I think this quote from Keating may help my readers understand what “give it away or lose it” means to me:

“The best way to receive divine love is to give it away, and the more we pass on, the more we increase our capacity to receive.”

T. Keating, 2008,   Heart of the World, p. 15

As you can see by the above quote, I think my spiritual journey is based on sharing and receiving God’s love. This spiritual foundation works not only for nurturing my recovery and that of others but also in all aspects of my life. I am not claiming to have perfected living by this philosophy. I have to work at it one day at a time, and some days I am better at it than others. Thankfully, I know  what matters is the journey—- my willingness to try to the best of my ability. It is immensely relieving to realize I don’t have to be perfect. I must also continuously remind myself the minute I start feeling prideful about any accomplishment—-even being loved and being loving—- I begin losing my “spiritual balance” and start slipping back into the “bondage of self.”

Please comment and share your thoughts. God bless and keep you.

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