When I was still in the painful bondage of my mental illness and addictions, my concept of love was that it was strictly a feeling or sentiment. Between that false belief and my instability, relationships and friendships were as ethereal and passing as were my momentary pleasures and gratifications.
Love was tawdry and cheap to me.
Throughout the years of my life and my time in Recovery, I have learned that love is a verb, with feelings underscoring it. Feelings are constantly in a state of ebb and flow, so to experience and give solid, enduring love, it is essential that we take actions that demonstrate and comprise that love.
Actions like active listening, supporting, helping, sharing, offering suggestions and guidance, giving, compromising, accepting the person for who they are, forgiving, treating the other person with respect and compassion, willingness to sacrifice for them, and more.
And all of this pertains to healthy self-love too.
“Service is love in work clothes.” -Dr Bob Smith, AA Co-Founder