When we love someone who struggles with substance use and addiction, it is all too common to believe the thought “he/she might not be able to do IT for themselves”. Of course, it doesn’t mean we always believe that, it’s just that if we’re totally honest, we can sometimes believe that thought. At least I do sometimes when the rug is pulled out from under my feet, again.
Another slip. Things were going ok for about a month after another slip, and another, and another. Years of other slips. It makes sense that the thought “he might not be able to do IT for himself” will show up. So I'm not going to judge the thought. It has a right to show up. And when it does, the stress is so potent that the kindest thing I can possibly do (for me and my son) is to question it. Pain becomes the guide, the teacher, the path to peace when these thoughts and beliefs want to say otherwise.
Join me in this exploration, to find truths that arise in the stillness of an open mind, an open heart.
1. I can not possibly know the future, his future, my future. What does “it” even mean? Abstinence? Just not being homeless? Staying alive? Only smoking weed?
2. When I believe the thought, even if briefly, I can barely think of anything else except worrying about his future, my future. I leave my wisdom, my heart, I go into fear, imagined worst case scenarios … and it is painful. I doubt him, I doubt the benevolence of Love itself. This thought might try to help save me from further pain to anticipate it, however, it actually causes more pain. There would be no preparation to worse. The worse is already happening in my mind and imagination. And to put my son there hurts him, hurts me, hurts the love I can feel now, now, now. I have left love, no wonder it hurts. I know Love wants me back though, I want it back too.
3. I know to question the thought, to give myself an opportunity to contemplate this situation without believing the whole story of him not being able to do IT. And when I don't believe the thought to be the only truth, I am available to breathe deeply into now, into the support of my chair, the deep breaths that keep grounding and centering me enough to be moved throughout the day without crumbling, to notice imagination vs just not knowing. Not knowing is far kinder. I become kinder to me, knowing I will be kind and compassionate in this unfolding situation as best I can. Again, the only IT I really need is to try and show up as Love, loving, acknowledging he has IT – he has Love too!
4. I can not do IT for him. I wish I could. But, if I go to war with that reality, I suffer. If I suffer in that argument with the way things are, my relationship with him is sure to suffer too. I don't like it, but it is the way it is. What can I do? This work, from fear to love, and loving.
I don’t know the future, do you? We can not. What we can know is to set our minds, our hearts, set intentions to love now, and the next now as best we can. It will be imperfect and so much better than not doing this work. The way back to the awareness of love is through the fear. This is one of the most powerful ways I do that. Questioning the fears. Love finds me every time. It can find you too!
The answer is LOVE, always. How does Love show up and how do we join it? What do we need to join it, to take care of our fears, to take care of our needs, to take care of the ones we love so dearly without imposing a scary future onto them, onto ourselves, onto now? Now is where Love lives.
Weeds or Wishes ?