Endigar 864

From Courage to Change of May 3:

Detachment. At first it may sound cold and rejecting, not loving at all. But I have come to believe that detachment is actually a wonderful gift: I am allowing my loved ones the privilege and opportunity of being themselves.

I do not wish to interfere with anyone’s opportunities to discover the joy and self-confidence that can accompany personal achievements. If I am constantly intervening to protect them from painful experiences, I also do them a great disservice. As Mark Twain said, “A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.”

I find it painful to watch another person suffer or head down a road I believe leads to pain. Many of my attempts to rescue others have been prompted by my desire to avoid this pain. Today I’m learning to experience my own fear, grief, and anguish. This helps me to be willing to trust the same growth process in others, because I know first-hand about the gifts it can bring.

Today’s Reminder

Sometimes it is more loving to allow someone else to experience the natural consequences of their actions, even when it is painful for us both. In the long run, both of us will benefit. Today I will put love first in my life.

“All I have to do is keep my hands off and turn my heart on.”

~. . .In All Our Affairs

END OF QUOTE—————————————

by obnoxiousnox on deviantart

The problem with detachment is that the consequences an addict/alcoholic face may cost them their lives. I am a double winner, qualifying for both the AA and Al-Anon fellowships. I know what it is like to live in the upside-down world of active addiction, where consequences are beneficial if I survive and the comfort of protection is damning. An addict/alcoholic is more likely to seek freedom from the sting of consequences of their own making. Without consequences, I cannot imagine ever wanting to stop seeking the relief that mind-altering chemicals provided.

No matter how tragic the fruits of chemical dependency become, I have to keep in mind that when I detach I am providing the best hope my loved one has to find recovery. And it is also more likely that I will build a life worth emulating. Improving my own spiritual life and honoring their free-will is the best I can do for my loved one trapped in the upside-down world of alcoholism.

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