Once in a while, I hear something too good not to share. That happened last week at Unity of Houston during the Sunday morning study group for A Course in Miracles. We were talking about the false but prevalent idea that to be happy, we need others to act a certain way. The ego tells us if only they would change, then we can be at peace. I don’t know about you, but this hasn’t worked so well for me in the past.

The insightful woman sitting next to me shared that her dog has been a wonderful teacher for her on this subject. Sometimes this spirited little dog is not very interested in doing what she wants her to do. On walks when other dogs are present, she often finds herself struggling with the leash trying to control her dog.

She realized that there were many people in her life that she also had “on a leash,” trying to make them do what she wanted them to do. With so many leashes going in so many different directions, it’s easy to get all tangled up. Her solution was simple. Drop the leashes. Let those people go their own way and live their own lives. That’s how she gets untangled and returns to peace. I thought this was a brilliant analogy!

I know this is sometimes easier said than done, especially when someone we love is making choices we feel are not healthy. I struggled with this most of my life as I watched my mother’s addiction wreak havoc in her life (and often mine.) It took me many years to learn how to set healthy boundaries with her, like simply choosing not to be around her when she was drinking. Once I stopped trying to change her, our relationship improved, peace returned, and I was untangled!

If you are in a situation like this, I highly recommend Al-Anon Family Groups. They have a long history of providing help and hope for families and friends of alcoholics. Al-Anon  groups were part of my healing journey, and I still use the tools I learned there. If you would like some one-on-one assistance, I would be honored to help you with a series of Life Coaching sessions or a private Family Constellations session. Both will help you let go of those leashes and set strong, healthy boundaries. Look around my website or send me an email for more information and to schedule an appointment.

Until next time, may you experience the peace that comes from dropping those leashes!

As you release, so will you be released. Forget this not, or love will be unable to find you and comfort you.

A Course in Miracles – T-16:VI.2

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