This week, I thought I’d share a great nugget of wisdom I heard at A Course in Miracles meeting a few years ago. 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 your experience, but this has never worked out very well for me.
The insightful woman sitting next to me shared that her dog has been a wonderful teacher on this subject. Sometimes this spirited little dog is not interested in going in the direction she wants her to go. During walks when other dogs are present, she often finds herself struggling with the leash trying to control her dog.
It occurred to her that there were many people in her life that she also has “on a leash,” trying to make them do what she wants them to do. With so many leashes going in so many directions, it’s easy to get tangled. 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 unhealthy. I struggled with this most of my life as I watched my mother’s addiction wreak havoc in her life (and thus 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 alcohol. Once I stopped trying to change her, our relationship improved, peace returned, and I was untangled!
If you are currently in a similar situation, I highly recommend Al-Anon Family Groups. They have a long history of providing support and hope for families and friends of people suffering from addiction. 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 Spiritual Coaching sessions or a private Family Constellations session. Both will help you let go of those leashes and set strong, healthy boundaries. Please look around my website for more information or to book a session. Send me an email if you have questions or would like to schedule a 15-minute introductory Zoom Session to see which service would be best for you.
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