Why Be A Loving Mirror? How Can It Help?
When a family comes to coaching, they are often angry, desperate, sad, and confused. The person they love is acting in a bizarre fashion, and they have no way of getting through to them.
Family members may be fighting with each other about the best way proceed, and sometimes, money issues add to the mess due to the stealing, manipulating, and previous treatments and remedies tried. So, they get to coaching and the focus turns to this odd concept: Be A Loving Mirror. Eyes roll; backs turn. Loving? Mirror?
One dad said, “You’d better keep any mirror away from me or I may hit him over the head with it.” Of course, he didn’t mean he’d really do it. But, the feelings of rage are easy to understand for anyone who’s ever dealt with a using addict – or even one in early recovery…
So, back to the topic of the article: Why Be A Loving Mirror? How Can It Help? While family members can’t force their loved one to change or stop using, there is someone they can change: themselves. Not only can they change, but some of the ways they change may contribute to their loved one considering a change in themselves.
When a family member works to Be A Loving Mirror, they become calmer, more understanding, and more able to handle the slings of addiction that their loved one throws at them. They lose their rage and judgment and begin to clearly articulate what their loved one is doing IN THE MOMENT, without emotion or sarcasm.
Instead of enraging their loved one by their words, a BALM family member takes their loved one by surprise. Their calm demeanor doesn’t give their loved one the opportunity to use them as an excuse to use. Rather, it often allows what they are saying to go straight to the heart of the user.
Practicing BALM changes the dynamic of the family, giving the using member food for thought and transforming the BALM family member. First, it calms them down, second it reminds them that all people deserve to be treated with respect whether or not we “approve” of their behavior. Third, it gives the family member the ability to control their own inner temperature, which is good for their own health and the health of those around them who no longer have to listen to their screaming, yelling or sobbing.
When you make the decision to Be A Loving Mirror, you are choosing to provide your loved one with well thought out, mini-interventions on an as-needed basis, thus providing a win-win for everyone in the family: The struggling loved one gets to hear what is going on with them from the perspective of the family, untainted by anger or rage, so they are more able to listen to it. The family member has the opportunity to get things off their chest in a compassionate, authentic, effective way. The other family members get the benefit of having peace return to the family as they begin to see that there is a new way to relate to each other even in times of great stress and difficulty.
In other words, in multiple ways, Be A Loving Mirror (BALM) works!
Be A Loving Mirror!
Beverly A. Buncher, MA, PCC, CTPC
Family Recovery Coach/CEO
Family Recovery Resources, LLC
786 859 4050
If you would like to learn how to Be A Loving Mirror, click here.