For many family members of addicts, these holidays of family visits and meals bring a mixed bag of joy, fear, and angst. There are the wonderful memories with so many loved ones, the initial joy of seeing everyone, the wonderful smells of delicious holiday foods, the anticipated peace of the season.
At the same time, there is this image of a giant shoe, hanging from the ceiling, waiting to fall with a clunk and ruin everything – the food, the joy, the atmosphere, the peace, the smiles, the memories….
Many family members attribute the potential for holiday ruin to the addict(s) in the family.
Here’s another perspective…
Addicts do what they do when they are using. (Yes, I know I’ve said this before…) – and of course this list is both incomplete and not true of everyone…But when the fear comes, it comes not knowing what to expect but conjuring up a whole bunch of possibilities including…
- obnoxious behavior
- passing out
- verbal abuse
- physical fights
- not showing up
- making promises and not keeping them
- etc., etc., etc.
Of course, by focusing on these possibilities, we dull our own anticipation of the holiday and raise the tension in the atmosphere for ourselves and everyone else. We expect bad bahavior and put ourselves on high alert. Often, if it comes, we react with tears, anger, storming out of the room…Others in the room may fight back as well and before you know it, a bomb of unhappiness, discord and ruin has infected what we had hoped would be a joyous holiday.
But there is a BALM® designed to prepare you for and avoid the potential fiasco you may be creating in your mind and expecting to play out in your home.
It is called Being A Loving Mirror.
In his book Keys to the Ultimate Freedom spiritual giant Lester Levenson once said, “Love is the balm, the salve, that soothes and heals everything and all.”
When I read those words this morning, I was reminded of this wonderful tool we have as family members of addicts. It is possible to be that balm®, to ourselves and those we love. When we focus on Being A Loving Mirror (BALM®) we can bring peace to our hearts and homes during any and every season.
The people around us may have trouble brewing within them, but when we bring peace and love to the table, we don’t react, we respond. We bring a sense of calm that permeates our heart and mind and affects that of those around us.
The interesting thing about our attitude is that it is permeable. It does affect others. If we are peaceful, others feel that.
Sometimes it will further agitate them, true. But often, it will allow them to breathe a sigh of relief.
If an addict behaves badly, it need not be an occasion for blame, rage and recrimination.
Just as God allows us all to be who we are, we too can do that for each other.
When we respond back to anger with anger, rage with rage, threat with threat, we only raise the tension temperature.
When we listen to sarcasm, accusation, or rage, really listen, and simply send love from our heart to theirs, silently, we lower the temperature within ourselves, and possibly within them.
We stay sane in the middle of chaos. We continue to focus on the joy of being together.
Accepting others where they are, without expecting them to be otherwise, is true love.
It doesn’t preclude carefully observing what we see them doing or saying and sharing how we have seen them act later, directly with them.
It doesn’t preclude taking protective action when necessary.
It’s not what we do or they do that ruins a day. it is how we perceive it, whether we react or respond, whether we bring the BALM® of love or the BOMB of an out of control reaction to a situation.
Are you Being A Loving Mirror (BALM®) or a Bomb during this holiday season? It’s not too late to start over! The New Year has still not arrived!
Prepare by focusing on love and reading the free report offered on the sidebar of this page!
Have a Loving Day!