MEETING AVERSION WITH COMPASSION

IMG_3792Jeff sent me a passage from a text he’s reading, Aversion is not the enemy; it is just the normal reaction of the mind and body to pain. Whatever the hurt we feel – whether of mind, body or emotion – our biological survival mechanism tries to get rid of it. The problem is that we don’t actually have the ability to escape from all of the painful experiences in life. It can’t be done. The good news is that by greeting those painful moments and feelings with compassion, we decrease our personal suffering and bring about an experience of well being.

My reaction: Facing a situation that is uncomfortable or painful is difficult. This can be as simple as having to clean the house or exercise, where I can think of ten things to do first like checking email or calling someone on the phone before I start. In this way, I avert facing what is unpleasant and substitute distractions that give me pleasure. Aversion can also be complicated and lead to huge trouble like drugs. Jeff tells me that drugs help in the same way, “Instead of facing painful situations, drugs allowed me to deaden my senses and go under.” Some people might use food or shopping, others might use pornography or drugs.

Today’s Promise to consider: When life becomes painful, I can find many ways to avoid or avert it – from the small tasks to the big problems. Today, I will face my problems without anger or disdain. I’ll see clearly the difficulty, call it out by name and face it with compassion for myself and others.

 

 

 

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Barbara
Barbara
8 years ago

Dear Libby,

After my son overdosed and passed away, I was guilty of negative aversion for a couple of months. I drank a glass of wine every evening and soon thereafter, I was drinking several glasses of wine, and soon thereafter that, I was drinking a whole bottle of wine every evening.

It’s easy to avert the painful things that happen in our lives, in a negative way. The wine that I drank, helped numb the pain and grief that filled my heart and soul at that time.

One morning, while I was praying, I experienced somewhat of an epiphany. After that day, I quit my daily ritual of drinking wine.

I substituted the negative aversion with a positive one and started reading books. I was never an avid reader at the time, but the reading helped me avert the pain and suffering I was feeling.

Thank you Libby (and Jeff), for reminding us that we can avert our pain in positive ways. It takes will power and diligence, but it’s necessary for our well being.

Love you!

Barbara

Penny
Penny
8 years ago

Wow, Libby and Jeff it seems like you always know exactly what I need to hear. However, I didn’t read this soon enough. About an hour ago I lashed out and was pretty nasty to my dear addicted son. I know it is so much easier on me to be compassionate, but anger took over. My main rule I follow is to tell him I love him after every conversation and I didn’t do that this afternoon. (I have rectified that mistake and talked to him and ended the conversation with a heart felt I love you.) What if that had been my last conversation with him? That is my biggest fear. Anyway, enough of my rambling. Thank you again Libby and Jeff for being awesome examples for moms and recovering addicts. Love you both.

pat nichols
pat nichols
8 years ago

I learned I could not remove my pain or fear. It was destroying me. I finally reached my point of total desperation, it was then that I gave my will over to the God of my understanding. He restored my trust, faith and provided a clear vision of truth.

The reward I received was God’s peace. A release from the hold my child’s addiction had on me.

I renewed my mind by the power of God working in and through me.

I was transformed back to the life I was meant to have, a renewed peace and serenity that had escaped me for many, many years.

May it be so for all who suffer from this disease.

Sue
Sue
8 years ago

Wow! The post this week hit a cord with me and with such clarity.

My husband and I have dealt with our daughters addiction in very different ways. I became totally caught up in it (many times bordering on enabling) and he started drinking more and more.
The one thing I have noticed over the years is that I have compassion for my daughter’s addiction but little understanding or compassion for my husband. Aversion is exactly how I have been feeling toward him lately.

I long to decrease my personal suffering and I think this post expresses exactly what I need to do in order to obtain that peace. I think this is something that my NA, AA groups have been trying to say for a long time but somehow this post was so clear I think I finally understand what I need to do..I will focus on compassion all around.

Thanks Libby

Jane
Jane
8 years ago

Thank you Libby and Jeff with this weeks topic. I remember doing an awful lot of journaling during my dark days. It helped and s a mechanism for purging feelings. I also did a lot of eating and gained too much weight. So 1 coping mechanism was positive and another negative.
I attended lots of support groups and threw myself into literature about addiction to learn. Nothing removed the pain…..until I was moving towards acceptance. Then it seemed to lesson as I let go more and put it into Gods hands. Time helped healing . It doesn’t hurt as much anymore but pain is still there at times. It just doesn’t encompass me like it used to.
Love
Jane

Barbara
Barbara
8 years ago

Dear Jane,

When I began reading books, I also threw myself into literature about addiction. That’s how I came to read “Stay Close”.

I agree with you, the pain never goes away and time does help the healing, along with very special people like you, and the ones who frequent this blog.

God Bless you, Jane. Your humble spirit inspires me. Thank you for sharing.

Love you!

Barbara

Barbara
Barbara
8 years ago

Dear Penny,

I re-read your posting about your fears, and you stated “what if that was my last conversation with him”.

My last conversation with my son was over the phone. I had company, and I cut his call short. I still feel guilty and so bad about this, even though my last words to him were a hastily, “I love you”.

Compassion is necessary when dealing with our addicted children. But, we are human, and anger is a normal defense mechanism. Don’t beat yourself up. If we take care of our minds and bodies, hopefully, we can find the compassion needed for our addicted children.

I will pray for you and your son.

With love,

Barbara

Laura
Laura
8 years ago

Before I read these posts today, I had been thinking about sending my son a letter begging him to find recovery and holding him accountable for the pain I am suffering because he is in jail for 4 years for a stupid decision he made so that he could get high. I wrote the letter last night, but something stopped me from sending it. I think that I knew it wasn’t really going to help him or me. I sounded blameful and desperate, which never worked before he went to jail, so why would I think it would now?

Instead I will show compassion without the enabling, codependent behavior that I have been working on recovering from.

All of your comments always help me to feel a little bit stronger. Thank you.