The Interdependence of a Family in Recovery
Recovery is a journey to an awakening of sorts.
AA calls it a “psychic change”. The BALM refers to a “transformation”.
Neither of these journeys are without cost.
The price of the AA psychic change is to leave the alcohol (or other substance) behind and replace it with a spiritual connection that manifests as a result of an internal house cleaning, constant contact with a Higher Power, and an ongoing commitment to be of service to others.
The Be A Loving Mirror transformation requires a commitment to self care along with commitment to the other’s well being in the form of learning new ways of interacting that value the facts over opinion, love over ego, dignity and respect over appearance.
More than anything, the BALM path is called the loving path to family recovery because of its commitment to whole family healing above all else. When family members engage in this peaceful journey, they undertake it with an eye toward a new day of inner peace for self along with harmony with and love toward the others in the family, even those who do not ‘appear’ to the outside world as deserving of our respect or love.
At the beginning of the BALM journey, families often express a sense of hopelessness that things will ever get better. All that they have done so far has not worked and so why should this?
And soon they learn that the dual goals are not about fixing their loved one, but rather to become their loved one’s BEST chance at recovery as they get their own lives back to love, joy, and a deep and abiding peace – “the peace that passeth all understanding.”
It turns out that that peace is what carries the family through the ups and downs of their loved one’s recovery path and their own.
Every BALMer who goes through the program knows there is NO guarantee that their loved one will get and stay in recovery, though many do.
Rather, the BALM family member is guaranteed to live from that peace as a result of their tranformation through the 12 Principles and 7 Steps to Be A Loving Mirror. And that peace, what we call “the peace you wish to see in the world”, when lived from the inside out, allows for a sense of community, connection, and loving relationship to grow in the family that is fulfilling beyond words.
As recovery grows in a BALM family, so does a healthy form of interdependence. Not codependence or co-addiction, not the independence of ‘me first’ or the dependence of ‘you first and me last’.
Interdependence occurs when each member of the family becomes aware of the deep transcendent connection they share, a connection beyond how ‘well’ any one member is at any given moment.
In the acknowledgement of his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the late Stephen R. Covey stated that “Interdependence is a higher value than independence.”
In a family where neither the family nor the loved one have awakened, these words may seem like a pipe dream.
Yet, when even one person in the family begins to transform from their small minded egoic mind, this truth becomes apparent and the chance that others in the family will follow becomes greater.
“Interdependence is a higher value than independence.”
When an understanding of this statement becomes a lived experience, compassion reigns along with a spirit of helpfulness.
Judgment and enabling fall by the wayside and family life becomes the committed journey of life that it is meant to be.
Is the journey easy or only joyful?
Of course not.
Yet, it is meaningful and filled with love and understanding.
Life becomes a journey to be savored however it is showing up and we become responsible for our own peace and joy in its midst.
It only takes one member of the family to start the family on this path. In the BALM, we call that ‘the power of one’.