Use BALM Conversations in All of Your Challenging Interactions
BALM Conversations Useful for All Relationships, not just communication with a struggling loved one
When you think of having a BALM conversation, who is it usually with?
If you are new to the BALM, most likely, you think of having one of those loving, fact filled, potentially boundary setting talks with a loved one struggling with, or newly recovering from, a substance use disorder or other addiction.
But one of the most interesting aspects of the growth of the BALM Program, is the way in which BALMer’s time and again report having BALM conversations in all parts of their lives: with non-using relatives and friends, in their communities, at work, at school, etc.
When one of our BALM coaches first reported that he had restructured the way in which he conducted learning conversations with staff around the BALM Conversation concept, it seemed novel. He shared with other BALM coaches how the BALM was changing the tenor in his work environment.
Then, another coach began teaching it to the parents of adolescents (no addiction or necessarily experimentation even).
And another talked about using it to help couples repair their relationships and women assert themselves in all of their relationships.
I knew I was using BALM conversations in different aspects of my life, but prior to these conversations, had limited classroom teaching of the BALM to the conversation with a struggling loved one, as our mission is to help ALL families blaze the trail to recovery in their homes and I felt our efforts were best kept to our primary focus.
As we look together at BALM principle 11, I thought it would be a good time to recognize the universal applicability of the healing BALM of a BALM conversation. The fact is, every time we give our time to our loved ones (or anyone we are communicating with) in a loving way, without judgment, enabling, fear, resentment, or anger, we provide them with a model of loving interaction going forward in their own lives and provide them and ourselves with the opportunity to grow enormously.
A powerful Be a Loving Mirror (BALM) conversation is conducted on the foundation of the personal transformation that the first 3 of the 7 steps provides, and follows the model laid out by steps 4-7. It is not a magic cure all for relationship woes, but it can help you, and those you interact with, move to a deeper level of connection and serenity, even in the middle of very difficult interactions.
And that is what Principle 11, Heal Your Relationships with Others, is all about.
For those of you new to the BALM program, the idea of healing other relationships, beyond that of your loved one’s relationship with their substance use disorder or other addictive tendencies, may seem secondary or somewhat unimportant at this moment. No need to rush into anything right now, other than learning and practicing the 7 Steps to BALM so you can help yourself and your loved one. Then, as you see yourself shift, you may be delighted to see the shift in others, both those who are struggling and those who have moved beyond their struggle or never struggled with addictive behaviors or substances at all.
The potential enhancement of all relationships turns out to be one of the lovely byproducts of BALM.
Be A Loving Mirror everyone!