“What we do have to offer is . . . a Fellowship in which we find and share the healing power of love” (The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, Second Edition, p. 1).

I recently shared my experience, strength, and hope regarding responding to someone who pushes my buttons. I shared how I literally apply love. When I am in someone’s presence and notice I am having feelings, whether feelings of irritation, annoyance, frustration, or anger, I silently affirm, “I love you,” repeatedly. I continue this silent affirmation each time the person comes to mind until the feelings subside or dissolve.

During my prayer and meditation time, I silently affirm, “I love you,” or simply “love” when a person who generates these same feelings comes to mind. I’ve used this affirmation with some people on and off for years. The result has been a shift in my feelings and attitude. In some cases, negative feelings diminished; in others, they were replaced by feelings of joy and genuine appreciation.

When certain people and situations come to mind, I may bristle, but again I apply love when thinking about them in prayer and meditation. The results have been astounding. Although feelings may surface, I no longer have deep resentments toward people. I give credit in part to this technique of applying love.

Applying love also works toward myself. “I am love” is a powerful phrase to dissolve feelings toward myself that no longer serve. Love is one of the ways I connect with my Higher Power. Affirming “I love you” is one of the two common ways I pray to my Higher Power. “Thank you” is the other.

Two spiritual principles I focus on in recovery are love and kindness. My “love shortcut” is one way I can apply these principles and transform my thoughts, feelings, and life.

I have learned in recovery that the love I crave is within me. These methods enable me to access that love in a powerful way. The Twelve Steps are the path that leads me to uncover the love within.

— Atiya, Raleigh, North Carolina USA

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