My son relapsed during his visit over Thanksgiving. I quickly ran through the range of reasons to try to understand, minimize, rationalize, answer what the hell this all means. I want answers. I want to control. I want to pin blame. I want to alleviate my pain. I’m witnessing myself slipping back into my old ways of reacting. I’m still trying to control people, places and things I have no control over. My brain goes into overdrive as I grasp at ways I think I can stop the madness and force a solution. I’m beginning to understand the concept of how a Higher Power can help me detach and remain focused on that which I can control. My reactions.
I’ve been hung up on this concept of HP for a long time now. And because my nature is to be in control of my environment — daughter of an alcoholic — I’ve limited myself. On top of that, I don’t like being wrong or at odds with what my husband believes or my brother believes.
I think I believe that my husband and brother (for very different reasons) will judge me based on my own beliefs about my HP. Because I want to be LOVED, I often fend off my intuitive sense to seek and deepen my spiritual underpinnings. I’m almost ashamed that I need an HP as if it’s a weakness. I’m also a bit self-righteous about religion because when I was a young girl, I determined that there was no God of my understanding who would choose just one group of people and leave the rest hanging. No way. So I’ve spent most of my life rejecting organized thinking, fighting institutions and tamping down my own intuitive sense of a deep spiritual connection.
That’s about to change.
I’m new to Byron Katie’s work and currently reading Loving What Is. Given her teachings, I am beginning to understand a bit more about why I’ve been so busy taming (and controlling) my spiritual questing. Two of the four questions Byron Katie suggests include Is it true? And more importantly, how do I react when I believe it’s true?
Let me unpack this. Is it true that my husband would reject me if I were to declare I believe in an HP? He has never said this to me. He always tells me he supports me in whoever I choose to be. He lets me know he appreciates how I make our home an “oasis.” My concept of “oasis” is a direct result of my spiritual influence and practice. The answer to this question is no. He would not reject me if I were to declare I believe in an HP.
What about my brother who is, I believe, an evangelical Christian. Would he reject me if my beliefs differ from his? I don’t believe he would. He loves me, and ultimately, I think he’s interested in my finding the God of my understanding. His journey has proven immensely healing and redemptive, and he wants that for me. He loves me. The answer again is no.
I want to be loved and accepted. I want connection. I want to love. I want peace. And I can have it when I stop thinking I can control what other people do or say. Peoples thoughts and actions are not the truth. They’re based on feelings. My thinking that I somehow can control my son’s actions and beliefs are just thoughts. It’s not a truth. I have no power over my son. I can love him and have compassion and set boundaries. He is the only one who can control how he moves through this life, along with his HP. And in turn, I can only focus on making the next right decisions and turn the rest over to my HP. That’s how I find the connection, love, and serenity I desire.
Day 133 here.