I understand disgust and anger ... addiction is a horrible disease and it affects all areas of life and society. However, it is with understanding and compassion that we will have some inner peace to be pro-active and effective, and NOT add to our inner turmoil and spread it out into the world. It is NOT to condone or turn a blind eye at all, but to reflect for ourselves and be a reflection for others that there may be another way. And there is. It just takes a departure from the way we usually think and do, it takes inner work and a broad perspective to address reality as it is, as it is, not the way we think it should be. We can question what we're believing and find the kind of truth that sets us free to be that other way. Anger and blameful attitudes aren't going to attract others to listen to us. It is going to repel them and the cycle of disease and abuse continues, in us, in them, and in the world. When does it stop?
So, of course there's anger and all sorts of emotions, but the invitation is to work through them so we can change the course of this disease wherever and whenever possible. And sometimes there are going to be things that are just not within our control.
All people come to their own realizations in their own time, and in their own way, and sometimes they don't. This IS the way of it. It always has been, and it always will be. The point is to be responsible for our own realizations and get unstuck so we're not part of that blindness and paralysis. I call that "my recovery".
Notice ... When we believe "they" are violent" how easy it is to return violence at least mentally with our judgments and condemnation and insistence that they "get it and change". But, they're not and they won't until and if they do. It's like a snake that injects poison into our veins. The snakes do what snakes do, and we carry the poison around and spread it through our veins running around in circles arguing with the reality that the snake shouldn't have done that. But that's what the snake did, and it may again, it's a snake! And when it feels the need to bite it will. It is the nature of things. People are the same way.
We all have the capacity to live out of fear, to avoid, project scary images onto an unknowable future, regret the past, and be scared to make a difficult choice. That fear, when we believe it, is going to make us act. That becomes our reality, and that is the way it is going to play out in us, from us and into the world. It is cause and effect each and every time. And fear will tell us that this is never going to stop. But it can, and it has to stop in our own lives, in our own minds, or we don't stand a chance to create something different in our lives or the world. We remain contributors of fear, stay disgusted, tell someone they're the ones who need to get informed and change, that they should stop enabling, etc. Well, they can't when they believe they should. They are living in fear! They can't because believing the fear does no allow them to see another way! If you believed you had to protect your child, would you? If you don't believe it, you won't. If you believe "protection" means they face their own consequences, then that's the outcome. See what I mean? Cause and effect. This IS the human condition, for us all, it is not an us vs. them. We're all in this together, but it is going to take each one of us to be the change we want to see in the world.
We can take care of our own beliefs and attitudes to get out of our own fear,disgust, anger, resentment, guilt, worry so we are the way to compassion, peace, more effective action, improved communication and change. It has to start somewhere. We have great choice to be the example and show another way. One way is to live in anger, another way is to approach issues with understanding and peace and be a more powerful influence. I know for me, I feel more powerful and effective when acting out of peace and peacefully. I also hear peace far more clearly than anger. Anger serves, it is completely normal, and anger can show us the way to another way. It can show us to a different way that works, and a way that inspires.
I used to live out of anger. It was painful insisting the world and people be the way I expect them to be. Well they weren't and I made my own heart and world suffer because of my unresolved anger, the lack of understanding, the lack of forgiveness. It was just painful!
They should or shouldn't? Not until they do or they don't. You really don't get a vote on what they do or don't. So, the ball is in your court, it's back to you where it always lands to consider what you're believing, how you're reacting, and how it could be when you're more peaceful. My anger made everything difficult. Peace makes a way, it clears a path to possibility. Let there be peace on earth, let it begin with me. How about for you?
To peace! With love, Joanne
They should change, and I know what would help them. Really? What if there's more to this story?
I had a most fulfilling and profound Inquiry last night with a few parents. We questioned the thought: "They (my child) should make healthy friends". Well, that is good advice. I mean who wants our children hanging out with "friends" who will feed them drugs, expose them to risky situations, condone or join their addiction, right?
But when we question the thought that they should make healthy friends (when in reality they are not!), what we come to realize, and what they may have told us, is that they feel understood and accepted by the friends they have. They fit in. Their shame is not a burning pit of pain in them, and can continue to be avoided in the groups and activities of their current lives. That's a very big deal! To be accepted and understood, not more shame heaped upon the shame they already have that they should and must change. Many times they already know this. It's a very tough way of living. It's lonely and desperate. And equally as desperate to get the next fix even when they know they should stop. For me, this is a very important concept to understand, and accept. And when I do, it makes a lot of room for compassion, for love, as is, without conditions. Because there is deep understanding of the reality of things, a movement towards what is with clarity not the confusion of control.
Let's be honest though, we'd be happier if they hung out with healthy friends because then they'd be healthier ... and so might we, right? Not necessarily true though. This thought that we know what they should do (except they're not doing it) is putting us in direct opposition with the way things actually are in reality at this time. The problem is that they can't (until and if they ever can and will). They will do it for themselves, and certainly not for us. So how does it feel to impose this kind of pressure onto their lives so that we can find relief? It is confusing at best because we simply can not control another human being. There's an energy to this controlling and fixing that says "you're not good enough as you are". It's not to condone the addiction! It's to say that we may be pushing them away because we don't fully understand or accept them. And, they're getting that acceptance somewhere else, somewhere else where they don't feel the pressure that they must change, they don't have to make anyone else happy, they're around people who get it and meet them where they are, as they are. That's a tall order for us parents though isn't it? Yes, it surely is, and that is the invitation to notice what we do with all our advice and energy when they're not meeting our standards ... more separation, more hurt upon the hurt. So, how instead can we try to meet them as they are, stay present and not in the fear of what if's and future images and just offer kind love without fixing and control?
Notice....just keep noticing with an open heart, and open mind, invite that compassion of understanding. It's not about condoning, or changing them. It's about seeing things as they really are, under the layers of fear. Notice, if you had to make new friends, would it be easy? How do you do it, where are these new friends, how do you form a bond with a new acquaintance? Is there a relationship in your life that isn't as healthy as you'd like it to be? How easy is it for you to change that one, or let it go? If you're like me, you may be realizing it is not so easy. It takes a lot of guts, effort and courage, time and skill to walk away from some friends and find new ones. Is this really what we're asking our kids to do? It's a pretty tall order isn't it? Understanding this helps.
Notice also...what kind of healthy friend are you to yourself? Do you fully accept you as you are, treat yourself in healthy ways, nurture your healthier activities, put yourself around other healthy friends, go to meetings regularly to meet new friends and invite them out to bond with them? How easy would it be if you had to start doing something that challenges the isolation, the fears, the moods, the stories we all have running through our minds that we don't want exposed to new and healthy acquaintances? I mean who would want to hang out with us if we did that, right? Not so easy. Yet this is what we ask of our children. Just notice. Understanding with compassion helps.
And notice too...what kind of healthy "friend" are we offering our child? One who says "I understand how very difficult this must be for you, and I accept you. I love you as is, always. You don't have to change for me and I'm going to really try not to try to control and change you. I'm here if or when you want to create some change in your life. I trust there's ways to do that. I love you now, and I'll love you then. So, if or whenever you're ready, I'm here for you. Or is it this kind of "friend"? Is there blame, a need for them to take care of you and suffering in agony when they don't (can't), the one who is so full of fear that we see only pain and miss the opportunity to be with our child as is for as long as is, to send love, not fix or change, just send love or offer a warm hug, a sandwich, a bottle of water? Is it a friend who contributes to the insanity or meets it with understanding, a clearer mind and more effective choices? Just notice and meet all this with understanding. Give it some love and acceptance and know that if or when, you can take steps to be a friend to yourself, and to others.
Notice, in this place of truly unconditional love, there is acceptance and understanding. And it does not mean we would engage in violence and support using. That's not kind. It means we love them because we understand. And we may understand that since we can't control or change them, we let them be and offer them our kindness, not our fear and control and giving things we know in our heart just isn't helping. We allow their life's journey, and start taking care of our own, and offering support not fixing. We're loving ourselves because we understand that unless and until we do, we will suffer even more and continue to control and fix someone we can't. And, who knows what kind of power and change this can inspire in our relationships. My experience is it makes a whole lot more room for connection. And it feels a whole lot kinder, peaceful and fulfilling than the emptiness and fear of disconnection.
So, how can you be a friend to yourself today? Let's all send some friendly energy to our child, to everyone's child. We are all children in a way trying to figure out the next step in this journey of life. It's not an us/them. It is a we, and it begins with each of us to create more space for this unconditional love we talk about. A space where there is understanding and acceptance. A space where love thrives.
Wishing you and your family peace.
Weeds or Wishes ?