PERSPECTIVE: LOOKING THROUGH SOMEONE ELSE’S EYES

A quiet moment between brothers

A mother wrote me an email message. This is part of it: I guess those of us affected by addiction are so busy being wrapped up in our own journey we forget the pains of those around us. To hear Jeff say he had to learn about himself minus the drugs…even down to what colors he liked best…Wow, that sums it up! That statement really gives me a window into how shut down the addict becomes.

My personal reaction on the passage above: When I was in the midst of my son’s active addiction, I was drowning in my own struggles and my own suffering. It was difficult (almost impossible) to step outside of myself and see things through Jeff’s or Jeremy’s eyes. They were carrying immense burdens, but I was too beaten down to hear their hurts.

When I learned how to Stay Close and get out of the way, I was able to listen (really listen) to my sons. I heard their journeys and their heartaches. Every day, I try to remember to open my heart with compassion and honesty. I want to be fully present for my sons and for those I love.

Today’s Promise to Consider: It’s normal to get caught up in my own perspective, but today I’ll step away from my own hurts and look at problems through my loved one’s eyes.

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Lisa Anderson
11 years ago

Thanks for sharing Libby. It’s always hard to be there for someone else when we’re consumed with our own sorrow. Positive thinking is a mindset change, not something you decide to do because it fits the moment…..this was a hard one for me. I always thought I was a positive person until I realized I was picking and choosing my moments to be positive. Now, I work on it daily and it’s changed my whole outlook on life.

Chrissy Huether
Chrissy Huether
11 years ago

Still early in my Al Anon Recovery, My emotions go positive to negative, not just daily, but hourly!
I go from mad to sad very easily. I suppose I am still a little fragile at times. I want to see thru her eyes and I make an effort to do this,, and reading and practicing and studying my 12 steps really helps. A bigger challenge that I have, is to convince others that she is not a bad person, but a stuggling drug addict, who is worthy of love and compassion.

Barbara Leonard
Barbara Leonard
11 years ago

I especially liked this week’s meditation. It’s about compassion, a virtue that comes from the heart. It was so difficult to find compassion for my son in his later years of addiction, because he also broke the law to feed his habit. I still struggle with how I could have been more supportive. I will continue to learn all that I can, to understand what he went through.

Nanci
Nanci
11 years ago

Hi Libby,
Thank you for your gentle reminder that as parents, we are not the only people affected by this disease. It’s a challenge and a fine line, trying to determine how much information to share with my other sons. In my attempt to protect them, I may actually be denying them the opportunity to process and FEEL, what their hearts are telling them. My promise for today is that I will try to be more mindful, sensitive and responsive to their needs.

Pat Nichols
Pat Nichols
11 years ago

I really like this post as I am always thinking my son should see life through my eyes only.

I am going to try and see life through the mind of my addicted child. I know the disease well enough to try that, then I will pause, reflect and process before responding.

My counselor uses a technique called “thoughts, 1st thought, 2nd thought.” I stop when my first thought appears and then I search my mind for what would be my 2nd thought. Guess what? I usually go with my 2nd thought!

Blessings to you Libby and continued prayers for all of us and our children.

elisabetta
elisabetta
11 years ago

Libby sto leggendo il tuo libro e ho cercato iltuo sito, per dirti che mia figlia sono 5 anni che è pulita e che la speranza deve essere il nostro sostegno perchè ogni ragazzo ce la può fare!il dolore produce nel cuore e nella mente di una madre di un o una tossicodipente quello che la droga produce nella mente e nel cuore del proprio figlio. ti fa perdere ogni senso di quello che sarebbe giusto fare e ti senti risucchiata in un vortice dal quale non sembri poterne mai uscire. GRAZIE A DIO CON MIA FIGLIA E LA MIA FAMIGLIA NE STIAMO DAVVERO USCENDO E’ DURA MA CRISTO CI INSEGNA QUALE E’ LA VIA, PROPRIO QUELLA DELL’AMORE ALTRUISTICO, DELLA COMPRENSIONE DEL DOLORE ALTRUI E SOPRATUTTO QUELLO DI GUARDARE OGNI COSA IN UN MODO NUOVO