My life experiences taught me to suspect and question the kindness of others. I thought there would always be a price to pay when someone was kind to me or loved me. I grew up with active addiction in my family, and the price I paid for kindness and closeness was steep. I could not afford to become close to others, as I did not want to pay that price. When I tried relationships outside the family, I picked the same type of people as my family members, and the relationships failed.

I then protected myself from being hurt by avoiding a commitment in any kind of relationship. In time, I recognized that this strategy was becoming dangerous to my health and I was not really living. Self-imposed isolation had become my commitment. I was alone because that was the only way I felt safe to live. I decided no one was going to hurt me again. After some time, I realized that this way of living was also wrong.

As I turned further into myself, I could see I needed help. I took a chance and began attending Nar-Anon meetings. I had a wait-and-see attitude. I would wait to see if the Nar-Anon principles of recovery were true, and more importantly, what they would cost me. I needed a new life; the old one did not work anymore. I needed freedom from my fear of rejection and abandonment.

In the Nar-Anon program, I have a new, loving family that offers unconditional kindness. I am learning to receive this kindness with an open heart. I am also learning to give. I believe that real love and kindness are gifts that will only grow when given freely.

Thought for Today: I have a need to interact with others to live a full, happy and healthy life. The Nar-Anon program has shown me that real kindness and love do not always have a price attached.

“Real love is selfless love. It expects nothing in return. It is not conditional. It doesn’t keep score. It is too seldom given. Many of us came into the program hurting, feeling unloved, looking desperately for love, unable to love selflessly. But we are learning.” ~ Each Day a New Beginning – Daily Meditations for Women