Do You Focus on the Journey or the Destination?
Everything in the BALM leads us to this one idea:
That joy, peace, and love can be found all along the journey to our destination.
If you are new to this perspective, you may be wondering how i could even say that!
“After all,” you may say, ” My loved one is struggling, my home is in chaos, I cry myself to sleep each night and I THOUGHT the BALM would be an answer to my prayer of how to get my loved one sober. How can you even imply that I could find peace and joy in my current situation.”
The paradox of family recovery is, my friends, that NOW is the only place joy and peace can be found.
Now, amidst the DUI’s, lies, stolen funds, confusion and fights.
Now, amidst the uncertainty and the fear.
So, how could that be?
It could be because, peace, joy, and happiness are states of being, not emotions.
Psychologist/Author of the book The How of Happiness Sonja Lyubomirsky, says we all have a happiness set point that we come back to again and again. She writes that that set point makes up about 50% of our happiness and the rest comes from the practices we employ in our lives and the circumstances we face.
While the circumstances we face as family members CAN be challenging, they do not have the power to fully determine our state of being.
Here are some BALM practices that have been shown to reduce trauma triggers, increase inner peace, and allow more joy into our our lives regardless of the challenging circumstances we face:
- Mindfulness practices – Learn how to Be The Peace You Wish to See in the World -(BALM Step 1). A few of our mindful practices include:
- 4-4-8 breathing
- meditation on the breath
- focus on the task at hand
- Practice lovingkindness- Your Primary Task is to Be A Loving Person (BALM Principle 6) A few of the things we learn here are::
- helping rather enabling
- healthy self-love as the basis for the love of the other
- loving, fact-based, non-judgmental communication
- Nurture healthy relationships – Heal Your Relationships with the Spiritual (Principle 9), Yourself (Principle 10), and Others (Principle 11). In these principles, we
- find peace in our own approach to spiritual practice
- develop respect, love, and acceptance of our own strengths and foibles as we face them head on
- forgive and make amends to those we love, seeing them as on their own journey just as we are on our own.
Of course, living from our peaceful inner core is possible for all of us and when we consciously do so, happiness and joy surely follow. The structure of BALM work supports the path and increases our chances of reaching the destination we have set.
We are, all of us, spiritual beings having a human experience. As such, perhaps the journey IS our destination, and seeing outcomes go the way we want them to go may be a preference, but is not required for us to have meaningful, peaceful, joyful lives.