Saturday, July 27, 2013

No one likes a know it all......

I met with a couple mama's who are in similar situations as most of us here. One told me about her moment of spiritual awakening which was so similar to inspired me to begin a "series" on my spiritual journey.....coming soon! A lifetime of situations and events have played into my spiritual evolution and I have been left with a relationship that is so beautiful and so important to me. I am amazed that I have been given this gift....I haven't always felt this way about God. I used to feel like He was constantly angry with me. What I have today is the polar opposite and it is a direct result of the past 11 years of my life.

The other thoughts that I were left with after this visit was that we all do this journey in different ways. These mom's have not chosen to work a program and have gone with their instincts and their own coping behaviors. One in particular has had a long long journey with her child....the child is improving and living a relatively healthy life by all appearances. Certainly more so than my girl currently is. Some of their methods bothered me, I didn't agree with them, and I struggled with judging them as I listened.

My program has consisted of pulling the covers back on our family's stuff, exposing, digging in and taking a good long look at our dynamics and behaviors and character defects and being honest about least to the best of our ability on any given day. What has been my part, my role in this family? How have I contributed to the dysfunction? Not to beat myself up or blame, but to shine light on the dark and then take steps to learn new ways to do life. Ways that work better for us, that are more conducive to living in honesty and freedom. We make amends when needed, we keep short accounts with each other these days.

I was feeling agitated, like I wanted to *tell* them a better way, show them the areas they need to look at.....yes, obnoxious I know! Total arrogance. But if I am going to walk in the light, those character defects pop up in me from time to time. Too often if the truth be told.

Fortunately I know enough to keep quiet....most of the time. I had to remind myself that God is in charge of their journey, not me and really, not even them. God can lead and direct their steps and they can choose to respond or not.....and it has nothing to do with me! Its none of my business! But....what about? But, but but....have you considered? I am not in charge of their journey.

I was able to leave our visit feeling relieved that I didn't have to say anything or try to convince them to do things a different way. The words, "but, but but what about" were only faintly gnawing away at my insides. Progress not perfection....right?



notmyboy said...

I believe God answers prayers with people. If you had such a nagging feeling to let them know a different (better or not) way of doing things, I think you should have tried to find a way to do that. Maybe God was trying to use you to help them along their path. Maybe.

Then again, maybe you were just wanting to be a buttinski, and it is better you stayed quiet.

All I know is I have had the good fortune of having a few buttinskis in my path who said just what I needed to hear exactly when I was ready to hear it, and it made all the difference in my sanity.

I admire your self awareness, and I look forward to reading about your spiritual journey.

Annette said...

notmyboy....I have tried at other times and that door is shut. They want to do it their own way, and that is their right. We all learn at different times and different job is to stay outta the way....until the door is opened and I am invited in. "Wait for the question," as one of my old time Alanon friends would say.

Lisa said...


I decided early on that I would seek the opinions of those further along in this journey than I was. I wanted to hear what other parents and addicts had done along the way. From those inquiries I made my decisions on how I would choose to react to my son's situation. I, however, have found as you have that the majority of parents think that their situations are unique and use that to justify what they are doing. While all of our situations and children are somewhat different, there are also too many similarities to ignore the experiences of others. I always remember the Chinese proverb "To know the road ahead, ask those coming back."

SoberMomWrites said...

Oh yes...the art of "shhhhh". I'm still learning that as well. I'm often biting back the, "we'll, what about"'s, especially out here in blogging world where I want so badly to make the pain go away.

But I've come to realize that most of us just need an ear to listen, a shoulder on which to lean, and a friend who the can call when things get hairy.

I'm trying hard to learn to be all of those and only offer my "oh so wise words" either when I'm asked or when God sends a brick my way.

I think you are doing brilliantly but that's just me.


notmyboy said...

Ahhh yes....there is that. lol

Signe said...

First, I'm looking forward to reading about your journey. :)

Second, I think before anyone gives any advice, they should think about the reason that they are giving it. Is it because it will truly help that person's circumstance or is it because 'you' want to be heard? I think it is a difficult, yet necessary skill to be able to discern the two. I also believe that God speaks through other people. A word, phrase or complete novel of ideas can help someone if your motives are clear to you. Also, I would be interested in reading what their methods were if it is not too intrusive.

Annette said...

Signe....what a great place to think it through from. I probably wanted to be heard. I love being heard and I always think I have something worth listening to also. Thus my blog! lol It takes the pressure off my real life friends and family.

Erin said...

"How have I contributed to the dysfunction? Not to beat myself up or blame, but to shine light on the dark and then take steps to learn new ways to do life. "

That really spoke to me Annette.

I'll tell you I don't say much at my nar-anon meetings but there are some people that always have their hands up with the answers -- unfortunately sometimes their answers have made newcomers not want to return. The big one is throw the addict out of the house.

When people are new thats the last thing they want to hear and in some cases it works and in other cases it doesn't work. Each situation is just so unique. I have gleaned a lot from people sharing though, I take what helps me and leave the rest. I really do love my group.

Annette said...

Erin, Throwing the addict out of the house is a very scary move with no guarantees. Each parent has to be able to live with the outcome of what they choose to do. I wish that the newcomers were told that too...only do what you can live with.

Syd said...

I know to mind my own business unless asked. If asked, then I speak my truth. Otherwise, I don't give advice. And even when asked what I say is more of a suggestion as to what has worked for me. Sharing E, S, and H is good.