Tara Brach told this story: In the first week of life of a set of twins, each one was isolated in her respective incubator. One was not expected to live. A hospital nurse fought against the rules and placed both babies in one incubator. When they were together, the healthier of the two threw an arm over her sister in an endearing embrace. The smaller baby’s heart rate stabilized and her temperature rose to normal. Through connection and love, the weaker twin went on to live and thrive.
My reflection: When my son was in active addiction, the standard advice for parents was tough love. Although there were some aspects of merit to this thought, in Italy I learned a more effective approach for our family: “Stay Close. Don’t abandon him, but stay out of the chaos of his addiction.” By staying close, my son knew my boundaries, yet he also felt connected. He knew he was not alone in his battle.
Today’s Promise to consider: Today, let us remember Rumi’s words:
Through love all that is bitter will be sweet.
Through love all that is copper will be gold.
Through love all dregs will become wine.
Through love all pain will turn to medicine.
Let us join together in prayer that love will be the healing energy in our suffering ones’ lives.4527
Always, always, Libby, you say the things that I need to hear.
Thanks, Pamela. We walk together and help each other. xo
I am trying with my daughter to set boundaries and show her love. How do you handle it when they do not stay within the boundaries, for example, I let her use the car to go to IOP and meetings but then she comes home hours late acting like it’s no big deal. Or I ask her location services to be on while using our vehicle and they never are she claims something wrong with the phone… I’m so anxious and frustrated.. she’s been out of rehab now for a week and 3 days.
Dearest Trish, Dr. MacAfee, my son’s beloved addiction therapist, once told me, “Boundaries are essential – not just for the parent, but for the addict. Like driving over a bridge, the person needs guard rails to keep her safe or she drives right over the edge. The addict needs to trust the parent will keep the boundary and she needs to know, really know, where the parent starts and stops.”
It took for 14 years to learn this lesson. In the end, I only made statements that I was sure I could keep. My son needed to know – for his own sake – what I would accept and what I wouldn’t.
My love to you and my prayers.
Trish, I experience the same type of situation with my son. What I learned was this, if my child was not willing to abide by our boundaries then it was also likely they are not following their recovery plan either. This leads to relapse! So, I learned to be understanding and not angry, I learned to be forgiving and not disappointed, I learned to be loving and not frustrated, I learned to be patient and not anxious. The disease of addiction has to run its course. Our children find recovery in their own way and in their own time. Prayers for you and your daughter.
Dearest Pat, Your comment is beautiful and it speaks to me – not just with addiction, but in everyday family life: “So, I learned to be understanding and not angry, I learned to be forgiving and not disappointed, I learned to be loving and not frustrated, I learned to be patient and not anxious.” How I wish I could do this with both my sons. How I wish the world worked this way. My sincere thanks.
My friend has his medical license suspended and is now out of money as he blew thru all his retirement. My heart aches for him. I use to tell him he would lose everything if he continued down this path. I pray he survives this all.
Dear Linda, I join you in prayer. Addiction wants to suffocate us. xo
Love, always. It was so good when we found Libby, someone who understood how we travelled .. boundaries are good, necessary yes ,but trust your love. then you will not act out of fear or trying to fix .. love them right where they are. We can only love, love love. We parents of struggling ones know the meaning of true love. I think must be how God looks down weeping and still loves us
Dearest Joy, Your message – love, love, love – is like manna in the desert of addiction. Our suffering ones need to know they are loved and not alone. I love your thought: “God looks down weeping and still loves us.” God bless you. Thank you.
I just want to thank you for your mediations every Thursday, sometimes they’re the only thing that keeps me going
Dearest Mona, Your comment means the world to me and my sons. Thank you. YOU keep us going.