Friday, June 6, 2014

Courage

Written at the end of August 2013, I am readying this blog on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy, D-Day, June 6, 1944. How's that for synchronicity ...


"Freedom from means freedom to." ~ Al Anonymous from One Day At A Time
A while ago I was treated to a talk about courage. I often doubt my own. We all do. We all doubt that when needed, we will have the true courage to do what is right for us, our children and others who love us. This true courage is the courage that is authentic to our journey, not the bombastic bravado we had exhibited in the past as controllers, ragers, fixers and perfectionists.

I really needed to hear this talk. That evening provided me with one of the God-moment Universal reminders that we all will receive when we truly need them. These reminders from the Great Creator are very often presented to us and are there for us to accept if we allow it - if we are open to the possibilities.

This evening we all travelled the speaker's parental journey with an addicted son, a son so beautiful, intelligent and lost. This talk hit home. This parent's chid, like mine, is a 14-year-old trapped in a much older body, the effect of years of marijuana addiction.

When I reflect on courage what comes to mind are the soldiers along Highway 1 in Afghanistan, our local police, firefighters and reservists who could be called up at any time.

What we do as parents of addicts on a daily basis to take care of ourselves is similarly courageous as those heroes mentioned above. We all, we band of brothers and sisters in whatever struggle we embrace mix bravery and resolve with self preservation to push through, to persevere, to emerge not unharmed but alive and victorious. The speaker that evening in fact repeatedly mentioned the word "resolve" and I took this as my personal message from the evening.

Resolve is a major player in any courageous act. Resolve implies intent and as a noun has as much action inherent in its meaning as any verb you can imagine. When we say "I resolve" we go beyond a pledge or promise. Resolve is personal.

We don't make New Year's resolutions for someone other than ourselves. So why do we attempt this for our children?

The origin of the word "resolve" from the Latin solvere meaning "loosen" had somehow morphed over the centuries until in the 1590s when it had settled into today's interpretation to mean a determination, firmness of purpose.

For parents of addicted children I feel the original meaning, the Latin, has more power.

When we master the courage to accomplish anything in our lives there are often many burdens we must loosen, shed, and jettison to succeed. A personal thing, resolve cannot be thrust upon others any more than we can will someone to breathe or command someone's heart to pump.

We've all become comfortable in our little spaces. It requires courage to let go of the burdens and shackles that have kept us stuck in our foxholes, hiding within our fears, secure in our seclusion. We even use our children as an excuse to avoid making those courageous decisions that will move us forward at a time in their lives where they could benefit from seeing us changing, living, growing and getting on with our lives.

The disease within our addicted children is the true enemy we are up against and would like nothing more than to see us stuck, mired and stymied. It's time we break through the line and take the battle to the disease.

There are many areas of our lives where we can resolve to let go, to loosen, to break apart from in order to live our lives completely and fearlessly. It requires courage to face our fears, let them go, hand them off to something outside ourselves and to do something to combat what has kept us pinned down far too long. Here's a short list of some of the paralyzing fears, character tendencies and future uncertainties we have all certainly comforted ourselves with from time to time:
Fear of the unknown, fear of success, fear of failure, SHAME, projections of doom, money issues, loss of connections with family and friends, procrastination, fear of loss, self pity, unresolved anger
So we can resolve to live our lives, to bring courage to our journeys and make it an active, personal decision. We can make our lists, keep moving forward and start loosening the grip these roadblocks have put in the way of our happiness.

 …  keep coming back

"Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle hardened. He will fight savagely." ~ General Dwight D. Eisenhower's message to the troops just prior to the Invasion of Normandy, June 6, 1944