This blog is an invitation to become aware of how you are using your focus.
Just notice where your mind is taking you and what feelings arise when you think the thoughts you think.
For instance, you may have thoughts like, “My son is drinking too much.”
You feel your heart racing and then think, ”I can’t stand it. This is so terrible. This is making me sick.”
Your panic grows and you say to yourself or your spouse, “What if he has a crash? Let’s go look for him on the road.”
By now you are crying, upset and angry at the world. You grab your keys, and, even though you have no idea where he may be you are out on the road, tears in your eyes, searching for your drinking son.
So, what if, instead of all of this just happening until you yourself feel totally out of control, you become aware of the first thought “My son is drinking too much.”
And then just watch the escalation, as if from a distance. See how your upset thoughts lead to upset feelings. Just watch.
Then the next time you get that thought, “My son is drinking too much.”
Do 4-4-8 at least 3 times to calm yourself down. Be aware of your own ability to set your inner tone and watch how breathing in, to the count of 4, holding your breath to the count of 4 and breathing out to the count of 8 occupies your attention. Keep doing it until you have calmed down.
Then, choose your next point of focus consciously. Maybe a TV show to watch, a friend to call, a project to do (I enjoy quilting. What’s your favorite activity?)
Get in the habit of watching your inner comings and goings and choosing which thoughts to focus on and which ones to let pass without escalating. So the next time you think “My son is drinking too much” You say, “Yes he is. Love him so much.”
Remember, if all you think about is how worried you are about your loved one, the problems he or she is facing will loom ever larger in your mind and your hope of things getting better will gradually dim.
Instead, choose to watch a BALM video or attend a live class to educate yourself in the best ways to communicate your concerns to your loved one. Before and while learning how to do that, it’s critical that you learn new ways to communicate with yourself that stop your mind from terrorizing you about his or her drinking.
And for THAT moment, move to another thought rather than move to crippling emotions that keep you from the inner peace and happiness that is your birthright and the usefulness that becoming an educated, active BALMer will give you.