Letting go does not mean turning your back and moving on!
When a loved one is fully immersed in using behaviors, it can be so painful to watch and so painful to be a part of. Many take comfort in the statement “Let go and let God,” as if it gives permission to allow God to take over while we go on with our own lives and turn away from the painful situation unfolding before our eyes.
This is not the BALM® understanding of letting go. In fact, BALM® Principle Three states: “It is important to let go, without giving up or giving in.”
When we talk about letting go in the BALM®, we do believe there is something to ‘give up’ so to speak, but it is not our attention or time. Rather, it is our tendency to obsess and try to control outcomes.
BALM® Principle three is actually a shift in perspective.
We let go of results, not the person.
When we let go of results, we allow the underlying wisdom of the universe, which some call God, to do it’s work with our loved one, vis-a-vis the outcome.
We can’t predict whether our loved one will grab onto recovery the way we have. We cannot make them do so.
We cannot force things to turn out the way we want them to.
To let go in this way fully, it does help to have a faith that their is someone who is there for them, a Higher Power if you will, a benevolent force in the universe.
But even if that is not within our understanding, it is still crucial to face the cruel fact that all of our obsessions, coercions, manipulations, etc., will not ‘make’ our loved one live to see another day or get into recovery.
We let go of results by facing the idea of our own inability to force outcomes.
And once we do this, we can get to work.
That is what the rest of the principle is about:
We let go of results and then, we continue on in our work of using BALM® and powerful BALM® recovery principles and steps to NOT give up and NOT give in.
Not giving up can look like this:
- studying and working the BALM® intensely
- attending live calls and asking questions of the experts and recovering families and persons so we can learn more
- listening to recordings that are relevant to our situation with our loved one (you can find over four hundred in the Index)
- understanding the meaning of helping vs enabling (see lesson 4 of the BALM® Principles) and working hard to help our loved one, not enable them
- getting a BALM® coach who can help us assess our interactions and plan BALM® conversations and actions
- partnering with the treatment professionals helping our loved one so we can present a united front on behalf of our loved one’s recovery.
- having BALM® conversations as needed, day in and day out, at the right time and place with our loved one and then enjoying the rest of our time with them
Not giving in can look like this:
- believing our own eyes and ears, not the lies our loved ones unfold before our eyes
- remembering that “Denial is the glue of the addictive system.” Doing the inner work needed to end denial in our own heart and mind so that we can be there as a truth teller (in the BALM® way) with our loved ones day in and day out (when possible and appropriate)
- not allowing ourselves to be manipulated or coerced by the demands and abuses that their hijacked brains may guide them to share
- having BALM® conversations rather than ignoring the facts
- staying loving in the face of anger, resentment, fear
- knowing what it means to truly be loving rather than niiiiice to a struggling person
- no longer wrapping ourselves in a pretzel to fulfill their wishes.
- working with our BALM® coach, our fellow coaching group members, and our newfound friends in the BALM® community to develop a strong constitution that allows us to grow strong from the inside out while letting go of the hurts of interacting with someone whose brain is, indeed, hijacked.
- applying these ideas in interactions with everyone, even those whose brains are not hijacked, so we can show up in the world as whole, peaceful, loving human beings, at peace with God, ourselves, and others.
The challenge is a great one.
Yet, as we study and apply this principle and all of those before and after it, and as we become BALMers by practicing the 7 Steps to BALM, we become a force for good in our own, our loved one’s and our family’s lives.
So, start by knowing your role (principle 1), understanding the process of change (principle 2) and then, here in principle three, letting go of results, so you can truly contribute to your loved one’s potential recovery.
Be A Loving Mirror everyone!
Be A Loving Mirror!
Beverly A. Buncher, MA, PCC, CTPC
Family Recovery Coach/CEO
Family Recovery Resources, LLC
786 859 4050