Do you find yourself saying this: "I don't know what to do anymore". If you've ever been in a relationship with someone who drinks too much or uses drugs, my guess is that you've at least wondered what to do next.
I've been there, too.
Searching for the clues, digging for empty bottles, like a little detective. And, if I'm going to be honest, it felt good. It felt productive. But, at some point it becomes an obsession. "If I can just catch them, then I'll know I'm right."
So how do you move forward into peace when everything is so chaotic? I've been seeing lots of commentary about how to stop playing detective and this week's topic is about focusing on yourself. Instead of searching for bottles or cans, marking bottles with liquor levels, or finding some other evidence, ask yourself this question: "How does this make me feel?". Does it make you feel peace or is your chest tight and anxiety ramping up? Is searching serving you? Do you want to feel the way you feel?
The great thing about all of this is you have a choice. I have a choice. We get to decide how we want to feel. If you don't want to feel anxiety, stop looking for evidence. If the idea of stopping brings up a different kind of anxiety, then working on acceptance might be a good next step.
Acceptance is hard. It takes time and there is no easy way to get there. One time, my therapist pushed me into acceptance. I didn't know what she was doing at the time, but looking back, one simple question helped me get there. That question was, "Can you just accept this person as they are?". I laughed and horrifically said, "No, I can't stop trying." My therapist went on to say how this person in my life might never get better and in fact, could likely be sick for the rest of their life. I left my therapist's office thinking she was crazy but her question and comment lingered in my head. And, slowly, I took steps to detach and place less emphasis on how I could fix the situation. It saved my sanity.
The biggest thing that I took away from this experience was this: I can no longer do for others what they can do for themselves. So, if I find myself faced with a decision whether I should I help, I ask myself this question: "Is this something they can do for themselves?". If so, I do my best to step aside and trust that whatever is meant to happen, will happen. It is not my job to get someone a job, a place to live, or money for food.
Notice I said, "I do my best. . .". I am still a work in progress and will likely always be. Everyday I try to do better than the previous. If you slip up and find yourself enabling more than helping, grant yourself some grace and do the next right thing.
Saying "No" is not mean. It does not make you a bad person or someone without compassion. It is exactly the opposite. If your intentions are good, it is LOVE. Yes, love. Your loved one might scream back at you, call you mean names, and threaten you. Let that roll off your back with the knowing that hopefully one day, your loved one will actually thank you for making them face the consequences of their choices.
I wish you peace and love on your journey. And, if you ever need an ear to listen, I am always open. Send me a message or comment below. firstname.lastname@example.org
All the love,
If you know of someone that needs to hear this message, please share it with them.
I created a blog post a few weeks ago about detaching with love: https://www.riseupmission.com/post/how-to-detach-with-love-the-foundation-of-peace