Whose Recovery Plan Is It?
On another phone call with my son, thinking "Here we go again, his recovery plan isn't solid enough. He's not thinking rationally. He needs to have this, do that (but he's not!)." And I'm not feeling comfortable or agreeing to what his plan is. Why? Because I think I'm the one who knows what is best for him, because I know what a good recovery plan is, and what will work for him. Really? When did I become God? When was I put in charge of my son's life to dictate the days and plans for his life? First of all, he's an adult. It would be easy to say I could do that when he was a child, but that's not quite true either, is it? I could parent and provide directions, but truth be told life changed dramatically and I didn't know even then!
Well, the most effective way I know how to meet confusion and come to a deeper understanding is with Inquiry doing The Work. Truly, a gift from God! Is it true he doesn't have a recovery plan? Is it true I want him to have a community of other people in recovery and remission? Is it true he should focus on one thing at a time for his "better" recovery? Oh, how easy it would be to think I'm right, to easily say yes, yes and yes! But, no none of these beliefs are even true!! Here's why...
He does have a recovery plan, and the most important thing to realize and accept (that really comes from this deeper understanding I'm talking about here and through Inquiry) is it is HIS recovery plan. He's not asking for my advice, not even my feedback. In fact, he's not asking me for anything. He called me which indicates he's trusting me to tell me his plans, share his experience, and his frustrations. BUT, when I believe I know what he has or doesn't have, I can't be there for him, or for me in the way I really want! That disconnect is what really hurts! I care deeply and what is most important to me, if I could get out of my own way, is that I care more to be that trusted person who he can share his stories with, to listen to him deeply and connected with him, silent, available, just loving him and not trying to change him. Then, what is real and true is that I'm curious about his plan, his goals, his newfound determination and can hear that this individual I'm calling my son and saying I love is full of potential, his own dreams, ability, designing a plan that is his own and one that he can better pursue because it is his own. My experience of him, of many and myself, is we like to talk about our plans, hear ourselves, whittle it down into more doable actions. But, I can't get to any of this when I'm worrying, and when I'm the one who knows what is best for him. Clearly, I didn't even know what is best for me on that phone call. Now I do!
So, doing The Work has shown me so kindly, so clearly the truth and what I can do instead of arrogance, instead of separating from my son, and opening up to the truth that I don't get a vote on another's path in life, even if they invite me in. Isn't that really between him and God? Yes, a very clear yes! And, I don't want to waste time and showing up as love. I don't want to miss out on being with my son, hearing his voice and another phone call. So when I also get with God and truth, and I am and will, this is my recovery plan:
Listen; Ask my son to tell me more because I would love to know more about him and not waste time in this illusion of who he is or supposed to be; Acknowledge that he really does have good ideas; Encourage him; Realize I'm not being asked for advice and not share my unsolicited advice; Notice any fear in me and repeat the above (take care of my thoughts and fears after being present with him); Thank him for calling me (I'm so thankful! He's alive and reaching out to me!); Write these instructions on poster board for what seems to be a necessary reminder for me to stop and really listen; Be the one I want to be, be the one who can be trusted to be available and offer love (not the kind with assumptions and expectations as that is so self-serving and not love); Trust that every part of his life has served and will continue to serve. And if it includes a relapse, even death, it will serve. Back to one moment, one day, one me with more clarity and a recovery plan that feels more effective and kinder. It all serves to come to these truths. I may not like it or feel entirely at peace with it yet, but there's space for this truth and so there's freedom and ability to meet my son where he is, and how he is, and just love him there, right there. And me too! Or else, I stay in confusion and stress. No thank you. There's another way, and it feels like unconditional love.
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