Love and the BALM
Principle Six – Your Primary Task is To Be A Loving Person, could be seen as the core message of the Be A Loving Mirror (BALM®) program.
In my early days as a newlywed in Al-anon, I was angry. Angry at my using spouse, angry at life, angry at the unfairness of being with someone who had huge problems and angry that I had no idea how to help him.
I was fortunate to have a sponsor who responded with a few simple phrases whenever my upset went off the rails.
“Your only obligation to another human being is to be a loving person. It is what we are spiritually called to do.”
As we worked together, I learned what she meant by that and supplemented her teachings with reading Al-anon literature and listening between the lines to the words of the old timer Al-anon members at meetings.
Over the years, as I implemented what I was learning, I saw that without this love in action, carefully implemented with patience and compassion, family members often ended up mistaking enabling for love, denial for love and angry demands and threats for love. I do not blame them or myself for when we get off track and lose our way on the recovery journey. Yet, the loving path is clear and it is always calling us to Be A Loving Mirror.
One of my favorite songwriters writes about the power of love in his song Show the Way. My recovery interpretation of this song is that, in the end, it is love that guides recovery, love that deepens recovery, love that empowers us to share recovery and love that allows recovery to flourish in a family and in a community. And when we are practicing BALM®, we become love in action.
As David writes “for in this darkness, love will show the way.” (from the song Show the Way by David Wilcox)