There is so much to do and so little time to do it!
All of us have known the disappointment of wanting more out of life than it can deliver. We have also known the frustration of having life deliver more than we have ordered, or so it seems. We have been “whelmed” many times in our recovery by the demands of life as we tried to determine what the priorities should be.
John and Elaine Leadem are licensed clinical social workers whose combined investment in the field of addiction treatment spans more than sixty years. Their commitment to helping recovering families has provided the core inspiration for the development of a "A Decision to Be IN Love"© which has helped many couples move from the traditional parallel model of recovery to strong united core support group. They are both certified Sex Addiction Therapist and have co-developed a model for treating couples during the crisis stage of recovery.
Editor: Saad Shaheed
Where do we start? How will we endure?
At times the drone of life was deafening and the frustration of trying to manage “all the stuff” left us emotionally toxic (and miserably ineffective!). From time to time we would manage to make things worse by looking for someone else to blame…
Many of us have been told that “No one is given more than they can handle.” While some may find this mantra comforting at times, it usually stings when it is being thrown at us from others as a way of getting us to snap out of our confusion or physical exhaustion. Eventually we, like many of you, compared our situations to that of others and considered God or providence awfully unfair in the assignment of “stuff” we were being asked to cope with.
But over time we have come to believe in a deeper spiritual axiom with two parts:
The first is that we will not be given more than what we can handle because we have come to believe that our Higher Power is a loving Higher Power. A Higher Power that is caring of us and our situation.
The second part is an understanding that we as human beings enjoy free will. With free will we are at complete liberty to create havoc in our own lives. Through choosing inaction in our lives we can also generate much more “stuff” than we can handle – individually and in our relationships.
When we are lost and crumbling under the weight of the consequences of either our action or acceptance there are steps we can take and tools we can use. We can reach out to our partners for help. We can pray. We can ask ourselves how much of our situation has been placed upon us by providence and how much of it may have developed out of choices we have made.
This is not an exercise in guilting ourselves back under our covers. It is an exercise in honest self reflection. If we can identify how and where we can improve, we will be able to use our free will to navigate through areas of our lives that used to seem so insurmountable.
One prayer in particular that we have found helpful is the Serenity Prayer.
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”
This prayer seems to agree with our discovery that some things are meant to be (the things we cannot change) and we can apply our serene tool of acceptance. Other areas of are life are asking us to exert free will (change the things we can) and we can apply our courageous tool of action.
“And the wisdom to know the difference” will challenge us to use the tools of introspection, reaching out to others for support and honest feedback, and using prayer and meditation to pray for the power to carry out the proper use of our free will where appropriate.