A Question for Family Members: Are You Channeling Anger or Channeling Love?
This week, as we explore the third BALM® principle, “It is important to Let Go without Giving Up or Giving In, let’s look at inner emotional energy.
As we have discussed before, at any moment, a family member is either contributing to the addiction or to the recovery. Contributing to the addiction includes behaviors such as enabling, staying in denial, and treating the loved one with disrespect and even contempt.
BB (before BALMing) you may have done these things because, quite frankly, who wouldn’t bail out a loved one from jail with no strings attached? Who wouldn’t want to believe what their spouse tells them? Who wouldn’t be disgusted by the behaviors addiction leads their loved one to participate in?
AB (after BALMing), however, things just aren’t the same…you see yourself starting to ‘take care of things your loved one can do’ and you recoil, you hear the same lies over and over and you no longer believe them, and you start to the see the value of treating your loved one with dignity and respect.
But then there is this little thing called ANGER. And who wouldn’t be angry at a loved one who is snorting all their potential up their nose or shooting it all into their veins? At a certain point, the BALM® program asks you to reconsider even your anger…not the initial feeling of it. That initial response, is after all almost primal.
But, the question is asked, what will you do with that anger and will you control it or will it control you?
Unbridled anger goes part and parcel with contributing to addiction. It leads to yelling matches, tears, and sometimes even brawls. Ultimately, unleashing one’s anger on a using loved one gives them a ready made excuse to go out and use/drink again, as in: “If you had a wife/husband/mom/dad/aunt/sister who treated you like that, you’d drink, too.”
In principle three, we learn that that we can’t force outcomes, but we can learn new behaviors and attitudes that will allow us to contribute to potentially better outcomes.
Among those new behaviors you will master over time in the BALM® is the ability to channel love rather than anger toward your loved one. As you listen to the Principle Three Lesson on “How to Let Go without Giving Up or Giving In”, see how its tips can help you dissipate your anger in favor of a new, more loving approach.
We are not talking about the feeling of romantic love here.
We are talking about love as an energy of seeing your loved one as capable of moving toward health and well being and taking productive, non-enabling actions to help him or her get there.
Of course, the 12 principles provide the information while the 7 steps provide the tools, moment by moment to empower you to Be A Loving Mirror.
If you have not taken the 7 Steps course yet, sign up for the upcoming new class start on Wednesday, February 3 at 11 AM ET and become a channel for love rather than anger in your world. (To do so, click here.)
You will be very glad you did!
Be A Loving Mirror!
Beverly A. Buncher, MA, PCC, MRLC, CTPC
Family Recovery Coach/CEO
Family Recovery Resources, LLC
786 859 4050