And say “There’s no place like home”.
Everyone wants to start the New Year fresh and free from the things that seem to cause us great pain and anguish. New years resolutions are a great time to do that with lists, small goals, and frequent rewards. It takes a lot of work and continued effort. If only we could solve all our problems with a simple click of the heels. If only we could wave a magic wand, recite a verse and yes, I’m going to say it– take a pill.
The dynamics of human behavior have been the subject of millions of studies and the birthplace of just as many theories. The affliction of addiction is no different.
There are many opinions on how to handle the behaviors of addiction. Many still believe that doling out harsh ultimatums and threats will give us the outcome we want. The theory is like this maze depicts: As the struggling person loses everything one by one, they will surely have their come-to-Jesus moment. This looks reasonable especially when we continually hear cliche phrases of “they will have to lose everything to wake up”.
Losing each of these things is an entire trauma in itself, yet we are sometimes misled into thinking that by forcing more damage onto someones unraveling life, we will bring them to their knees faster.
This theory of cause and effect may work on a mouse or other predictable lifeforms, but not so well on souls that have so many other variables such as free will.
There’s a difference between experiencing natural consequences and inflicting more cruelty and pain onto a struggling person.
We forget that we are not in control of someones destiny just as they are not in control of ours. In reality, addiction's path looks more like this maze.
Pain can be a great motivator, just as desperation can. But these things in and of themselves, without the mindset to change; will just result in more pain and desperation. We can look at any homeless encampment and ask if their pain and desperation just isn’t enough yet? How messed up is that thinking?
We forget how easily we can lose ourselves in wanting to change destiny. We want so much to be in control of how we feel. We think that the most probable way of making that happen is to actively change others instead of working on ourselves.
Boundaries are one way to work on ourselves and allow for the natural consequences to occur without vitriol and anger, directed at the struggling soul. But mostly, boundaries are for our peace, without worrying about the outcome.
When we become clear in our role, our peace can have the space to rise up and push aside the worry; because we know we are doing all we can, with love and dignity for ourselves and our person.
As I reflect back on this year, I am overcome with the blessings I have. It’s been a roller coaster ride, balancing my role in my adult family as it relates to the struggles of my son. I have been dealt pretty straightforward ‘advice’ that if only I would do….. XYZ, then it would make … XYZ happen AND the icing on the cake, is that THEN I would be worthy of having the respect (?) or at least the privilege of a relationship with certain people. However, if there’s one thing I’ve finally learned in my 54 years, is that it’s impossible to please everyone.
Luckily we all get to choose our battles. We all have the freedom to do what’s in our heart and what we are capable of providing at any given time. The sooner we learn our capabilities and limits of our time and energy, the more at peace we will be. Running around trying to please everyone, is mentally and physically exhausting.
The casualties of addiction are spread far and wide by systems and consequences out of our control. The very least we can do is not be a casualty ourselves, and not spread more damage and pain.
I saw a meme lately that said “it doesn’t matter what your intentions were, it matters what actually happened.” This made me sad, because there are so many variables out of our control, how can we take responsibility for it all?
My intent was never to cause more division. My intent was for everyone to find their peace, to have more joy. To have oodles of love and laughter. If I thought my actions and presence would cause such discontent and anger; I would rather not even be here. But once again, I am not in charge. That brings me great relief that I don’t have to try to fix everything anymore. I don’t even have to do damage control, because my power is not that great. My glory is to do what I think is best and treat people as best as I can. E
When my heart starts aching in pain at the thought of certain family members being alone or unhoused or cold and hungry or others missing their daddy that they used to love, or those who feel abandoned, even by me; I have to turn it over to the One who has the power. I don’t have the capability to know everyone needs and their destiny. I don’t have the power to fix everything and everyone. I only have the power to do the best I can with me.
And this is my goal for 2023.
To find peace in the journey
Maybe that’s what it has always been and I just went about it wrong, searching every crevice for the cure. But now, equipped with all the wisdom from my travels, and the knowledge of my true role; I can face 2023 with hope and peace. Peace that I don’t have to have all the answers. And the One who has the answers, requires my complete cooperation in faith.
May you find your peace in 2023🕊️