Step Sixty-One

A Fundamental Act of Self-Acceptance

Step 61. Love Gives Of Itself Through Me.
Love gives of itself through you when you are ready to be its vehicle of expression. You do not need to try to be loving to appease a sense of self-inadequacy or guilt. You do not need to try to be loving to win the approval of others. Do not fortify your sense of helplessness or sense of unworthiness by attempting to place a happy or benevolent sentiment upon them. Love within you will express itself, for it is born of Knowledge within you, of which it is a part.

Each hour today as you look upon the world, recognize that love within you will speak for itself. If you are without judgment, if you are capable of being with the world as it truly is and if you are capable of being present with others as they truly are, love within you will speak for itself. Do not try to make love speak for you. Do not try to make love express your wishes or your needs, for love itself will speak through you. If you are present to love, then you will be present to the world, and love will speak through you.

Practice 61: Hourly practice.

Here you will find the entire book free for download

Here you will find pointers for getting started if this is your first encounter with this practice: Taking the Steps to Knowledge.

January 20, 2012 Round One: Allowing love to be expressed through me without any ulterior motive is certainly something to work on. I always thought I understood the concept of “unconditional love” and try to practice it, however, am I not just trying to be loving to appease a sense of self-inadequacy or guilt? Interesting question! On the other hand, I can think of plenty of examples in my life where the love within me “speaks for itself.” Therefore, I am practicing being present to love today.

September 9, 2014 Round Two: Love gives of itself through me when I am not thinking about it or making any special effort. I can feel the difference between this and the times I try to make love express my wishes, when I try to be loving to appease a sense of self-inadequacy or guilt. Love cannot be contrived or forced. I think I give love, but maybe I don’t, maybe I don’t really love myself enough to be able to love others. I don’t know if love speaks through me, I don’t know if it speaks for itself.

As I practice this Step today and think about what it is conveying throughout the day, I am looking at myself objectively and seeing that love does not always give itself through me. I can be narrow-spirited and ungracious, egotistical and self-centered.  Recognition of this makes it easier to refocus my energy in a more productive direction.

Giving the gift of love is spontaneous, it does not expect recognition or rewards in return, it is given from the heart generously and with compassion, seeking nothing for itself apart from the joy that comes from the very act of unconditional giving. I strive for this, despite the difficulties involved. I read somewhere recently that it is the intention that counts. I don’t really think having the intention is enough. I think it requires concerted and diligent effort to make what I intend come true.

At the end of the day I read in Wisdom from The Greater Community, Vol. 1, Chapter 12. Love: “Love arises when you honor your nature because that is the fundamental act of self-acceptance.”

P.S. Just a word about the photo quote for this Step. When I found the swan picture I was reminded of some work I did on self-acceptance during the time I spent in Alcoholics Anonymous dealing with my alcohol dependency. An AA friend suggested I look for an image (some form of wild life) I felt some deep inner identification with. The image I found was the ugly duckling. I nurtured that duckling until it became a magnificent swan.

I was delighted to find this picture and even more delighted to read the blog it came from (see the caption to the second image lower down). I am still working on this.
August 23, 2018 Round Three. Today marks the 28th anniversary of my return to Russia and I am finally coming home. It has been a process, a gradual process, but I am getting there. I’m not there yet, but I am getting there…
As I Iook upon the world, I will recognize that love within me will speak for itself. I am ready to be its vehicle of expression.
I find it hard to be an expression of love regarding Volodya. My spirit wants to express love toward him, but my mind resists and baulks at this expression. I want to tell him to get the hell out of my life. I try to avoid him as best I can, but my mind riles up against him. How can he not realize how noisome he is? How can he be so self-centered?
I wish to allow the love within me to speak for itself today as I interact with Lera.
It did. We had a wonderful walk in the forest, talking and communing. We are on the same page. She is a child of nature, like me, taking delight in small details of the beauty around her, collecting mushrooms to paint, walking barefoot to feel the earth beneath her feet. She is simple and natural, uncomplicated but seeking. She is feeling her way and still has a lot of fear. Her devotion to Michael is complete. I allowed my love to flow out to her, accepting her as she is and enfolding her in my heart.


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