have consequences. For every action there is an equal and opposite reactions.
In many cases, that is true. Before Nar-Anon, I never thought too terribly much
about actions and consequences. Of course, I understood the concepts, but really
didn't think about it.
If I was pissed, I said what I needed to say. Was it kind? Probably not so much.
But I felt I had the right to act or react according to my own rules of conduct.
If I was hurt and in fear, I struck our unkindly. Sort of like hoping to shake him
I didn't really think with a great deal of compassion or empathy. I felt entitled
to my own actions. I was in charge and had to maintain control. I had to fix,
rescue and save. I didn't think much about the ripple effect of consequences on
others. They would just have to deal with it.
Yet once I started on the path of the 12 steps, I began to see things a bit differently.
I began to weigh my actions against a larger picture. I found myself wanting. I found
that my words inflicted pain on some and didn't lead to my intention of motivation.
I learned about powerlessness. I learned about control. I learned about unconditional
I learned that everyone needs to feel loved. That my son (s) and family had a deep need
to know unconditional love. Not the
kind,I love you dearly
kind,not the I love you, but
kind.I love you no matter what, just where you stand today, warts and all
I am powerless to change my loved ones, but I know that I am powerful enough to
impact them with my actions. I can be powerful. I just cannot expect an outcome of
My action of turning away and tough love to my son was not productive. My action of saying NO to every
little thing was not productive. Of course I had my boundaries. I refuse to participate in his active addiction.
I won't tolerate bad, abusive behavior. I won't hand over the keys to the kingdom. But I know this for sure,
My action of reinforcing my love of him in the pit he was in was productive.
My actions of letting him know how loved he was, what faith I had in him, my belief in his success, they
My actions of a hot meal and hug were priceless.
My action of always standing next to him in his efforts to recover were productive.
My efforts to never say
...well, that was not unconditional love.I love you but....you need to stop using, you need to get a job,
you need to go to NA, you need to work a program, you need to do this, you need to do that.
I understand that I can't stop him, never could. Can't change him either. But I also understand the
importance of love and support.
For me that meant doing what was right for me, those actions that were from the deep well of love, not meant
to punish or change, but rather to accept him as he was.
Did my actions cause him to change? Nope -- that was on him. Did my actions of unqualified love and support
help him along the way. Yeah, I am pretty sure they did. The consequences of loving actions have far sweeping
and long lasting effects. Those based on control, fear and punishment are doomed to fail.
So many posts I have seen on the impact of doing kind and loving things for our loved ones brought up so many
memories for me of the insane methods (and sometimes mean and ill intentioned) I tried to force his change.
They also brought up the peace and serenity I felt when I learned to just love him, no matter what and just do
the right thing.
It is never wrong to love, to be kind, to support. I always want my son to know there is at least one person
in this world on his side.
Take what you want and leave the rest.