Mike DeForbes, LCDP CPC ELI-MP is a Licensed Chemical Dependency Professional in the state of Rhode Island. He is also a Certified Professional Coach (trained at iPEC – the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching) and a certified Energy Leadership Index – Master Practitioner. He has been dedicated to his own long-term recovery, spirituality, and personal growth for over 18 years.
I’ve been where you are, and I’ve found a way to know and feel the peace, joy and unconditional love WITHOUT it being dependent on my behavior. The secret: it all comes from within.
I began my journey in recovery in Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous seventeen years ago. I stayed in those programs for six years, attained “abstinence” from everything for several years. I worked the 12 steps and sponsored people who had more experience in these groups. And I helped to start SLAA fellowships and men’s sexual issues groups in a different cities across the country.
But I always had a yearning that was left unsatisfied. I learned about a Higher Power, and getting support from my sober network, but in me was the burning question: If my Higher Power/God loves me unconditionally, then why am I constantly getting the message from everyone to change? I am heterosexual, but how I felt was analogous to a gay man struggling with his identity and shame, wanting to accept his sexual orientation for the first time.
I took a radical departure from 12 step programs and traditional addiction treatment and began to address those strong parts of me who just wanted to be heard, validated and accepted. As a result, I began to know true Unconditional Love of Self.
Now my relationship with my Higher Power is not dictated by anyone else (not my wife, a therapist, 12 step groups, etc). My loving relationship between me and God/my Source/my Higher Power is more personal than ever. Now I know a deep happiness and unconditional love, and I always have access to it no matter what I do. For it is NOT based on changing my behavior.
It never was.