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Do NOT miss this Key Step in Rebuilding Trust

Sometimes if you are a family member like a parent, a grandparent, a spouse, a child of someone who has violated trust as a result of let’s say their addiction, I want you to know this. When I’m listening to the individual who’s the primary identified addict for example, in this case they will point back to times and situations in their lives that they lost trust in their environment, or their family, long before their family lost trust in them. When two parents say we’re going to be there for you forever and then all of a sudden the two parents go their separate ways, which happens oftentimes, that child at the age of eight, nine, ten or eleven learned that I don’t trust what my parents say. And then later on in life when that kid violates the parents’ trust, the parents are like, oh how dare they, how dare they violate my trust? I’ve done nothing but be there for them and support them. That might be true, but you also at one point told them you guys are always going to be together and you’re not. So there’s no blame, there’s no fault, let’s just get to where we are right now and let’s get to where we need to get to, which is creating relationships that are rooted in the foundational significant factor called trust. It’s needed so let’s see how we get there.

Seek Professional Help

Let’s start with an example. If there’s a couple and let’s say there was some infidelity or cheating or something like that in the relationship, and they break up and they go their separate ways. And one day down the line, a year later, five years later, the person who was cheated on is a wonderful human being in their life that’s honest, that’s trustworthy, that’s loving, that’s loyal, everything the other person wasn’t, but all of a sudden they start to feel and think, “what if this person’s doing something behind my back? What if this person’s being shady or doing things out of character? What if I’m gonna get hurt again?” And all of a sudden it’s not about this person, it’s about our own unresolved and unhealed past experiences that we just bring into new experiences. And guess what? We project them, we create them in our mind, we distort reality, so whatever has happened in our past continues to repeat itself in our future when we haven’t done the work. 

 

If you can understand that example now, think about it this way. Let’s say you’re a mom and a dad and you got a loved one that’s struggling with addictions, and they are continuously promising something to you and they’re not following through with their promise. They’re saying they’re going to do something, they’re not following through in their actions, and after a while you just lose trust in them and you think it’s all about this. But remove your kid from the situation, go back to when you were a child, go back to when you were an adolescent, go back to when you were a young adult, long before you even had a kid. If in your world at that time there was a mom or a dad that told you something and didn’t follow through with it, there was a sibling or a significant other that told you something and did something differently and violated your trust.

Have You Healed From Past Trauma?

When you have not done the work and sought professional help and you haven’t healed that past traumas and those past experiences, what happens is when your kid violates your trust it’s not just this that’s impacting you – this is a trigger and it pushes all of those buttons in the past, and it just brings up all of your life experiences where you had your trust violated. So sometimes we think it’s just what’s happening in the present moment but when we haven’t done the work it’s our entire life history that gets present in the current relationship. And we bring our own baggage to these new relationships. 

 

So seek professional help. Seek it. There’s nothing wrong with it. A long time ago when it came down to therapy, only people that were broken, only people that were mentally ill, only people that couldn’t function, would go to therapy. That’s not the case. I work with high performers, high achievers, people that have all of the boxes in their life checked, and guess what? They come to therapy every week. You want to know why? Because human beings need it. It helps us gain perspective, it helps us clear our past baggage, it helps us get present in the present moment, and it helps us create a canvas for building whatever we want in our future. Hopefully, one of those things in your canvas is to have loving trusting relationships with the people that mean the most in your life. So if that’s what you want you can’t let your own baggage and garbage come into this. Because it’s going to keep taming it, it’s going to keep diluting it, it’s going to keep messing it up. The choice is yours.

You Must Demonstrate Change

Words without action are meaningless. How do we demonstrate change? When we are trying to rebuild trust, in the 12 Steps whether you’re working a program that’s for drugs and alcohol, whether you’re working a program that’s for a loved one in your life that experiences addictions, whether you’re doing a 12-step program for your codependency, sex and love addiction, there’s various different programs. They all have the same steps. By the way, if you ever want to know is the first half of the first step that’s the only thing that’s different in all these 12-step programs, so when you get to the eighth step you make a list of all the people you’ve harmed, and sometimes people write when they get in they want to get right to the eighth step. I’m gonna make right with everybody, but the steps are made and created in order for a reason they help you develop the psychological, emotional muscles and the kind of platform to stand on before you go out and start becoming a super super person and try to make amends to everybody. But you make a list of all the people you’ve hurt, and then the ninth step says you go make amends to them when and where possible. Except when to do so would injure them or others. We don’t need to talk about that, but then you start making the amends process and when you make the amends process you own up to your side of the street, you take full responsibility for your part. That’s the whole point, and at the end of it you ask them, “what can I do to make this right?” Whatever they say is kind of the roadmap of what you got to do, but pretty much it comes down to making this thing called living amends.

Words, Actions and Intentions

Demonstrating through my actions on a one-day-at-a-time basis that I’ve learned the message and I understand what it means to get right with you, what it means to get right with myself, and right with the world. And what you’re wanting me to do after I violated your trust and I’ve made amends to you, is to no longer do that to you or anyone else. So the only way I can do that is show you one day at a time, through living amends. So when we say demonstrate change, living amends is a form of demonstrating that change. And what does it mean?

How do we know you’re demonstrating change? Very simple – when your words, your actions, and your intentions are all congruent with each other, and in line with each other.

So when you say something, you do what you say. When you have a specific intention and the words you speak match that intention, when your intention, and your words and your actions are congruent, you are demonstrating, you’re exhibiting your behavior has changed. When you do that over a course of time the world will recognize and most importantly, you’re going to recognize, and I promise you it feels so good. 

 

I think the quickest way someone with low self-esteem can climb the ladder and start to feel good about themselves, and who they are, and how they live their life, and increase their self-esteem, is through demonstrating change through what I just said. When your words, your actions and your intentions are all in line, one of the most cop-out things, one of my pet peeves, is when someone does something, it’s like, “well that wasn’t my intention,” like come on bro, like okay well it wasn’t your intention, but what actually just happened? You know, intentions don’t mean anything if they’re in line. You know people with really good intentions do really bad things to people. So intentions don’t mean anything – you need all of them, like a triangle – words, intentions, actions – they all have to be congruent to demonstrate change.

Call Buckeye Recovery Today!

Are you in recovery but not making progress? Recovery is not only possible but attainable, and it all begins with reaching out for assistance. By addressing both addiction and mental health issues, individuals can break free from the cycle of despair and embark on a path to a healthier, more fulfilling life. Contact Buckeye Recovery Network today and initiate your journey to recovery and improved mental health. Our dedicated team of professionals is here to guide and support you every step of the way.

The X-Factors in Rebuilding Trust with a Loved One

“Busted, disgusted and couldn’t be trusted,” is the way most of us come into recovery. We learn, we grow up, make proper decisions and become the people we are always meant to be. Isn’t that nice? I want family members to hear this – sometimes you, as the family member, might have been busted, disgusted and couldn’t be trusted too. So I don’t want this to always be the only person that has lost trust in the family system is the person using drugs and alcohol. Because life is a little deeper than that.

 

There have been times in your life that unfortunately your trust has been violated, and here we talk about 2 crucial factors that are necessary for building long-term trust.

1. Patience is the X-Factor

Why is patience the X factor? Why is it the sneaky X factor is because the world lacks patience. There’s a reason why for thousands of years humankind has been saying patience is a virtue is because it’s not too common, very rare. We always want something to happen yesterday. If someone is not trusting you we want them to regain trust yesterday, if not at least today. I don’t know about that tomorrow thing or let alone the next year thing. What do you mean, you’re not going to trust me for a year?

The formula for rebuilding trust is the following:

Committed and consistent actions over time.

Committed and consistent actions over time, and the time part is very subjective. Someone might heal and forgive in three months, someone might not heal and forgive in three years. Does that mean that I stopped taking committed and consistent actions because their timeline doesn’t match mine? You can, if you want to let your pride and ego take place. If you want your pride and ego to take over, say “you know what, I took committed and consistent actions for the past year, you still don’t trust me, so you know what, I’m no longer taking those actions.” Who does that serve? It doesn’t serve you and trust me, it doesn’t serve that relationship. So when you understand the power of patience and understand the power that the rebuilding trust process is subjective and the time component for all parties is different then you might realize that this ain’t just about this moment, this is about the way I live my life. And something frees up. So patience, patience, patience, it is a virtue and I hope that you’re able to practice it, not just in the rebuilding trust part, but in all areas of your life. If you do, your life’s going to get significantly easier over time.

2. Show Empathy

Empathy is a really beautiful human characteristic and trait and it’s pretty much something that a lot of individuals that struggle with drugs and alcohol have a hard time in the early stages of their recovery, really being able to grasp and retain and here’s the reason why. Because if you suppress your emotions, if you suppress your sadness, your fear, your anger, through the use of substances, it’s very hard to tap into somebody else’s emotions of fear, sadness and anger. Because if you’re numb here, you’re going to feel numb there. So that’s why in the early stages of recovery people say they start to feel their feelings again, they start to feel what it’s like to have emotions, because they’re not numbing them, but it’s overwhelming. 

 

It’s tough but when you’re trying to rebuild trust with someone, this is a very important key, even if you don’t identify with the feelings that they have as a result of the breach of trust. It is important and vital and necessary and crucial to have empathy for that person and the emotional experience that they’re having. If they are feeling extreme sadness or extreme fear and you’re not feeling that you must be able to say, “I can accept and understand that you’re feeling really sad as a result of what I’ve done. I can accept and understand that you’re feeling terrified as a result of what I’ve done.” See, I don’t have to have that feeling myself but I must acknowledge that feeling in someone else and that’s empathy. 

 

A lot of times people say, “well they’re just over exaggerating, they’re taking it, they’re just being dramatic, they’re full of drama, they’re really not that sad, or they’re not that scared.” How do you know? Just because you’re not, so what does that mean? The whole world’s gonna have the same emotions you got? Is the world a mirror of your emotions? No, every human being is entitled to their emotions. When something happens in life they are entitled to have their emotions regarding that situation, and your emotions in Arizona have to match, and when it doesn’t match you must practice empathy. If you ever minimize the feelings and emotions of another human being because you don’t have them in that moment you said “I don’t care about rebuilding trust. Get over it, figure it out, move on, it’s not that big of a deal.” Really, maybe for you it isn’t, but what if it is for them? We’re not mind readers, man. When someone tells you they’re feeling something all we can do is just say “I can accept and understand that’s what you’re feeling. I’m sorry for my part,” in a sincere and genuine and heartfelt way. And then we do everything that I’m teaching today to get the ball going on the actions.

Call Buckeye Recovery Today!

Are you in recovery but not making progress? Recovery is not only possible but attainable, and it all begins with reaching out for assistance. By addressing both addiction and mental health issues, individuals can break free from the cycle of despair and embark on a path to a healthier, more fulfilling life. Contact Buckeye Recovery Network today and initiate your journey to recovery and improved mental health. Our dedicated team of professionals is here to guide and support you every step of the way.

The 3 Critical Components of Rebuilding Trust

Whether you have experienced addictions firsthand, or from a loved one, or you just are a human being, and you live life, there have been times in your life that your trust has been really tested. There have been times in your life that unfortunately your trust has been violated and now you understand that trust is a necessary component of life, and you want some of it back. So however you decide to take this, whatever perspective you choose to take, all this will apply. And if you can’t find something or someone to apply this to, guess what? You can apply it to yourself. Yes, my friends, when you look in the mirror do you trust yourself, do you trust the actions and behaviors that you’ve taken over an extended period of time, when you say I’m going to do something do you trust the fact that you’re going to follow through with it?

1. Take Full Responsibility

To take full responsibility for your part there’s a wonderful saying that’s been around for a long time and it says, 

Taking responsibility is the highest form of human maturity.

So when you’ve done something that’s jeopardized and impacted the trust someone has for you you gotta take responsibility for your part. When you just say, “I did something because I did something,” it’s different than saying “I did something because you did this, this and this.” That’s weak. Full responsibility says, “I’m only looking at my actions, what I said, what I did, how I behaved in certain acts, how I engaged in certain behaviors.” When you take full responsibility in the rebuilding trust process you don’t look at anything external. Maybe you do that on your own with your own time, with your own therapist, with your own sponsor, with your own journal and notepad. But when you’re taking responsibility, when someone else is involved, just look at your part because if you don’t what’s going to happen is that you’re going to say something, they’re going to say something back, you’re going to say something, they’re going to say something back, you just spin in circles and it’s hard to do. Because sometimes we do things because other people have done things. We react but when you’re trying to make things right, you’re not looking at your reaction. You’re looking at your response. How am I going to show up in this moment and just own up to what I’ve done, to what I’ve said, and how I’ve harmed them? 

 

You’d be surprised how many people can’t take responsibility after they’ve hurt somebody. It’s a defense mechanism, yes, is it also our pride again? Yes. Is it also our ego again? Yes, but do we have to take responsibility in order to heal and rebuild trust. So whichever one it is you want to do is the one you’re going to do and if you want to rebuild trust I strongly suggest you start learning how to take full responsibility for your part – it’s the highest form of human maturity.

2. Communicate with Transparency

When trust has been breached and trust has been violated or broken, something that happens is now the two parties must communicate with each other, and sometimes the party that’s had their trust violated wants a lot of information, wants a lot of details, wants a lot of transparency, and the person who broke the trust says, “whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa, you’re asking for too much. I don’t want to give you the details of everything I’m doing, where I’m going, this and that,” but here’s the thing. What if I told you that for the person to heal they’re going to need some transparency, they’re going to need some openness, they’re going to need some proof that your actions are matching your words, especially in the initial stages of rebuilding trust. Because if you just say, “hey I’m doing everything I’m supposed to do,” what does that really mean? It’s like, “well, I don’t want to tell them everything I’m supposed to be doing.” Well, guess what? Then the person you love, that you’re trying to rebuild trust with, is staying at home, staying up at night, wondering what the heck is my loved one doing, are they still doing the same behavior, have they actually changed? The only way to bridge that is by communicating openly and honestly. And yes, I know it feels like you’re in a power disadvantage. I know it feels like the person that’s done harm has to give more to build to get back what it is they’ve lost, but that’s just where it stands. How can you expect someone to believe everything you’re saying, without telling them exactly what it is you’re doing? 

 

I know this can cross a fine line of unhealthy communication, or codependent communication, or unrealistic expectations of communication. And I’m not saying you got to do this forever. I’m just saying you got to do it until the trust that’s been broken has started to mend a little bit, the other person can breathe a little bit, knowing that the way you’re living your life based on the actions and the promises you’ve made are matching what it is that they’re experiencing. We kind of owe it to them. There’s nothing wrong with that. Some people just don’t want to do it, “it’s none of their business what I’m doing,” and again, what happens in that moment: ego, pride, selfishness, righteousness, all that kind of stuff pops up.

Listen to understand, not to respond.

Most people in life, when someone is talking to them, all they’re doing is waiting for that person to finish so they can talk back, but what if when someone’s talking to you, you sit to actually listen to what it is they’re trying to say? What emotions are filled in those words and how you can actually just receive that information, and sometimes not even have to say anything back? Just say, “thank you for sharing all that with me, sounds like it’s been a lot. I appreciate you feeling safe enough to share all those thoughts and feelings with me right now.” Rather than waiting for them to finish, “how do you feel that way, why do you feel that way, well it’s not my fault you feel that way.” You see that we’d be surprised how much improvement in communication we could have if we just listen to others without the urge or the need to say something back right away. Beautiful things happen when we just kind of practice being a body of water that’s just calm. We want to throw rocks in it, and just see the little waves and all that kind of stuff, and calmness has a beauty to it.

3. Consistency is Key

Uphold the promises you make and follow through on your commitments. That is the defining moment that the person who you are trying to rebuild trust with starts to see with tangible evidence, with undisputed results in life that you are actually following through with what you said that you will do in order to rebuild trust. And sometimes this even happens unconsciously – you’re not doing everything you’re doing, and following through with your commitments in a consistent way with the sole intention of rebuilding trust. You’re doing it because that’s what you’re doing, and as a positive consequence of that, as a byproduct of that, the other person whose trust has been violated is looking at you and saying, “Wow, they’re actually following through.” 

 

A lot of people start things in life, I don’t know why we just can’t finish what we start, and if you’re in a position that the world ain’t trusting you, and that’s the pattern you have of starting things that you don’t finish, guess what’s going to happen? The world ain’t gonna trust you. I’m sorry to say it so frankly. I know I wish they would trust you, but until you demonstrate that your word means something, that the actions you take, after you say something means something, that the consistency of those actions means something, that the follow-through of those actions until the task has been completed means something. And what does it all mean? That you are demonstrating to the world that you are a trustworthy human being, that you can be trusted and that you will follow through on your promises and your commitments. 

 

If you do this single factor right there that consistency is key, you will be able to get the trust of the world behind your back. And guess what? Most importantly when you look in the mirror you’re going to trust that reflection, you’re going to trust who you are, and what you’re all about. You’re going to trust that when you say you’re going to do something you’re going to do it irregardless of what the world thinks. And man, when you start trusting the reflection in the mirror it is very easy to gain the trust of the world, very very easy.

Call Buckeye Recovery Today!

Are you in recovery but not making progress? Recovery is not only possible but attainable, and it all begins with reaching out for assistance. By addressing both addiction and mental health issues, individuals can break free from the cycle of despair and embark on a path to a healthier, more fulfilling life. Contact Buckeye Recovery Network today and initiate your journey to recovery and improved mental health. Our dedicated team of professionals is here to guide and support you every step of the way.

2 Prelim Steps to Rebuild Trust

Today we are talking about a sensitive topic when it comes to human beings. See, we don’t have to talk about addictions, we don’t have to talk about mental illness, we don’t have to talk about anything besides the human experience to understand what it means to have trust in something or someone. And then as a series of events and life circumstances and situations at one point that trust that is the foundation of all relationships gets rocky, gets shaky, sometimes breaks, sometimes snaps, and then we’re left as human beings trying to pick up the pieces of wanting to have trust with something or someone again. But the fear, the pain, sometimes the repetitive breach of trust doesn’t allow us to fully be able to heal and experience what it’s like to rebuild and regain trust again.

 

Creating relationships that are rooted in the foundational significant factor called trust requires 2 preliminary steps.

1. Acknowledge the Issue

The first one that we have is when you’re trying to rebuild trust you must acknowledge the issue. Acknowledge the fact that there is an issue because if the individual who has done a certain action, who said a certain thing, who’s had a certain intention, if that individual doesn’t want to even acknowledge the fact that what they have done has jeopardized or impacted the ability of others to trust them, everything else ain’t going to work. So the first and most important element is to acknowledge that something has caused a problem in our trust.

 

Why do some people not even want to acknowledge it? Well, it comes down to something really simple – pride and ego. Pride and ego. Sometimes we just don’t want to say, “hey you know what, I did this and it really had some negative consequences in your life, but you know what, I’m not going to own up to it. That’s on you. That’s your stuff. It shouldn’t have impacted you that much. It’s not a big deal.” You see, until you can acknowledge the fact that what you’ve done has made a significant impact in the lives of others, that’s had consequences, that’s impacted their money, their emotions, their sleep at night, there is no healing. So can you acknowledge that what you have done has jeopardized the ability for another human being to trust you? That’s number one. Some people can and some people can’t. Those who can have started the process of rebuilding trust. Those who cannot will continue to be in a perpetual cycle of wondering why nobody trusts them. The choice is yours, my friend.

2. Apologize Sincerely

And the next one that we have is to apologize sincerely. Now I’m a therapist, I’m a person that’s both in recovery myself since June 13th of 2008, and I’m a person that’s been working in the field for over a decade, 12-13-15 years whatever it is. I’m a person that hears other people as an objective, non-party listener, and I know for a fact that apologies alone don’t mean anything, because how many times has somebody apologized for the same thing over and over and over again? At some point it becomes lip service.

After you have violated someone’s trust it is very important that you offer them, you actually owe them, a sincere heartfelt apology.

Does that sincere, heartfelt apology rebuild trust on its own? Absolutely not, but is it an important and crucial element in the rebuilding trust process. Yes, as long as it is sincere and heartfelt, as long as you actually mean the words you are saying, and they are not disingenuous, they are not inauthentic, and you’re not just saying them because that’s what they want to hear, you’re saying it because you feel you must say those words to demonstrate your understanding that you’ve harmed a person.

Key Tip when Making an Apology

We learned this in kindergarten. When you hurt somebody what do you say? I’m sorry. And you got to make sure that message is received by the other person. But please remember what I said – that those words by themselves don’t mean anything, however they’re needed. A lot of times I’ve heard people tell me, “man, I just want them to say sorry. I just want them to know that they heard me. That’s the least they could do is just say sorry.” So the tip, the key, when you’re trying to make an apology to someone after you harm them: don’t do it in the moment when all the emotions are sky high. Don’t do it when everybody’s so just mumbo-jumbo like a washing cycle of emotions. Wait for it to subside, wait for an opportunity, maybe reach out and ask them, “hey, do you have a few minutes? I need to tell you something,” and then offer your heartfelt and sincere apology. There’s no need to do it when someone doesn’t have the ability to hear it, because if someone’s really this heartbroken or angry and you apologize to them, they’re gonna probably say something back to you. So wait till it calms down a little bit. It’s a very important key when offering up an apology.

 

Words without actions are meaningless, but despite the fact that they’re meaningless there is a little meaning to them, and it’s because it’s needed in the amends process that’s needed in the healing process, that’s needed in the rebuilding trust process. So for those of us who have made thousands of apologies that were all just words and lip service, the next time you, if you’re truly in recovery and you’re standing in your transformation, the next time you impact somebody in a negative way don’t forget the power of a sincere apology. Sometimes people say, “thank you so much for that, thank you for saying that,” so there is some value to that.

Call Buckeye Recovery Today!

Are you in recovery but not making progress? Recovery is not only possible but attainable, and it all begins with reaching out for assistance. By addressing both addiction and mental health issues, individuals can break free from the cycle of despair and embark on a path to a healthier, more fulfilling life. Contact Buckeye Recovery Network today and initiate your journey to recovery and improved mental health. Our dedicated team of professionals is here to guide and support you every step of the way.

9 Steps for (Re)building Trust

What is up, everyone? Good Morning, or Good Afternoon, or Good Evening, depending on when and where it is that you’re watching this. My name is Parham, and welcome back to another family education and support group. This is a live stream right now so if you happen to be watching this on Saturday, August 26th at 9:15 Pacific Standard Time we are live and it is interactive. So if you’re hopping on right now feel free to use the Comment button to write any questions you have while we go through this thing and I’ll gladly answer any questions that you post or comments.

 

So a few things about myself and this channel. This is something we’ve been doing for over three years now and it’s weekly and it happens, let’s call it, 46 out of the 52 Saturdays of the year. And the intention of this channel and the intention of this live stream is to provide you, the audience, with some information as it relates to personal development, mental health addictions, communication, codependency, self-care. Today’s topic, which is a new one, that I’ve kind of developed has an old name but it’s new content and it’s about rebuilding trust. So some things about myself, because I am the host of this, so it’s good for you to kind of get to know me, is that I have a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy with an emphasis in Child Development. I am a licensed Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor so anything that’s in the realm of addictions and addictive processes that’s kind of where I have my expertise in. I am a high school basketball coach starting season number 15 over there in Aliso Niguel. I’m an assistant varsity basketball coach with the boys program. I am a college faculty instructor at Saddleback Community College and all that.

 

So we have some people saying what’s up and just to show you if you’re new how this is interactive, we, for example, can pop up your good morning messages. We can put up any type of shout out you have to the members of the community if you’re watching this from any type of a facility or something like that. If you are just saying hi, if you want to say where you’re from, like the great state of Washington or the city of Miami and the State of Florida, or if you just happen to be my mom and dad so you can tell that it’s interactive. I could do it in real time and we can go from there. 

 

So all that being said, today we are talking about a sensitive topic when it comes to human beings. See, we don’t have to talk about addictions, we don’t have to talk about mental illness, we don’t have to talk about anything besides the human experience to understand what it means to have trust in something or someone. And then as a series of events and life circumstances and situations at one point that trust that is the foundation of all relationships gets rocky, gets shaky, sometimes breaks, sometimes snaps, and then we’re left as human beings trying to pick up the pieces of wanting to have trust with something or someone again. But the fear, the pain, sometimes the repetitive breach of trust doesn’t allow us to fully be able to heal and experience what it’s like to rebuild and regain trust again. I know many of you watching this right now, whether you first hand have experienced addictions, or from a loved one, or you just are a human being, and you live life, that there have been times in your life that your trust has been really tested. There have been times in your life that unfortunately your trust has been violated and now you want to say you know what, I understand that trust is a necessary component of life, and I want some of it back. So however you decide to listen to this, whatever perspective you choose to take, all this will apply and if you can’t find something or someone to apply this to, guess what? You can apply it to yourself. Yes, my friends, when you look in the mirror do you trust yourself, do you trust the actions and behaviors that you’ve taken over an extended period of time, when you say I’m gonna do something do you trust the fact that you’re going to follow through with it? So there’s a lot of different angles here to look at and we’re just going to go one by one. There’s about nine of them that I’ve identified and we’re going to break down and discuss. And again, if there’s any times you want me to stop or you want to ask some questions or leave a comment or just dive a little bit deeper about one of them, feel free to. And before I get into it I want you to hear this, and this is a very important message, as it relates to trust, why trust is important. So sometimes if you are a family member like a parent, a grandparent, a spouse, a child of someone who has violated trust as a result of let’s say their addiction, I want you to know this. Sometimes when I’m listening to the individual who’s the primary identified addict for example, in this case they will point back to times and situations in their lives that they lost trust in their environment, or their family, long before their family lost trust in them. When two parents say we’re going to be there for you forever and then all of a sudden the two parents go their separate ways, which happens oftentimes, that child at the age of eight, nine, ten or eleven learned that I don’t trust what my parents say. And then later on in life when that kid violates the parents’ trust, the parents are like, oh how dare they, how dare they violate my trust? I’ve done nothing but be there for them and support them. That might be true, but you also at one point told them you guys are always going to be together and you’re not. So there’s no blame, there’s no fault, let’s just get to where we are right now and let’s get to where we need to get to, which is creating relationships that are rooted in the foundational significant factor called trust. It’s needed so let’s see how we get there.

 

  1. The first one that we have is when you’re trying to rebuild trust you must Acknowledge the issue. Acknowledge the fact that there is an issue because if the individual who’s done a certain action, who said a certain thing, who’s had a certain intention, if that individual doesn’t want to even acknowledge the fact that what they have done has jeopardized or impacted the ability of others to trust them, everything else ain’t going to work. So the first and most important element is to acknowledge that something has caused a problem in our trust, and why do some people not even want to acknowledge it? Well, it comes down to something really simple – pride and ego. Pride and ego. Sometimes we just don’t want to say, “hey you know what, I did this and it really had some negative consequences in your life, but you know what, I’m not going to own up to it. That’s on you. That’s your stuff. It shouldn’t have impacted you that much. It’s not a big deal.” You see, until you can acknowledge the fact that what you’ve done has made a significant impact in the lives of others, that’s had consequences, that’s impacted their money, their emotions, their sleep at night, there is no healing. So can you acknowledge that what you have done has jeopardized the ability for another human being to trust you? That’s number one. Some people can and some people can’t. Those who can have started the process of rebuilding trust. Those who cannot will continue to be in a perpetual cycle of wondering why nobody trusts them. The choice is yours, my friend.

 

Let’s see what Jim’s got here. Jim’s got a nice little “busted, disgusted and couldn’t be trusted,” the way most of us come into recovery. We learn, we grow up, make proper decisions and become the people we are always meant to be. Isn’t that nice? Busted, disgusted and couldn’t be trusted. I said this earlier and I want family members to hear this – sometimes you, as the family member, might have been busted, disgusted and couldn’t be trusted, right? So I don’t want this to always be the only person that has lost trust in the family system is the person using drugs and alcohol. Because life is a little deeper than that and that’s a nice comment right there, Jim.

 

  1. So the next one that we have here is Apologize sincerely. The first one says that you must acknowledge it and this one just says, you must apologize sincerely. Now I’m a therapist, I’m a person that’s both in recovery myself since June 13th of 2008, and I’m a person that’s been working in the field for over a decade, 12-13-15 years whatever it is. I’m a person that hears other people as an objective, non-party listener, and I know for a fact that apologies alone don’t mean anything, because how many times has somebody apologized for the same thing over and over and over again? At some point it becomes lip service. However, after you have violated someone’s trust it is very important that you offer them, you actually owe them, a sincere heartfelt apology. Does that sincere, heartfelt apology rebuild trust on its own? Absolutely not, but is it an important and crucial element in the rebuilding trust process. Yes, as long as it is sincere and heartfelt, as long as you actually mean the words you are saying, and they are not disingenuous, they are not inauthentic, and you’re not just saying them because that’s what they want to hear, you’re saying it because you feel you must say those words to demonstrate your understanding that you’ve harmed a person. We learned this in kindergarten. When you hurt somebody what do you say? I’m sorry. And you got to make sure that message is received by the other person. But please remember what I said – that those words by themselves don’t mean anything, however they’re needed. A lot of times I’ve heard people tell me, “man, I just want them to say sorry. I just want them to know that they heard me. That’s the least they could do is just say sorry.” So the tip, the key, when you’re trying to make an apology to someone after you harm them: don’t do it in the moment when all the emotions are sky high. Don’t do it when everybody’s so just mumbo-jumbo like a washing cycle of emotions. Wait for it to subside, wait for an opportunity, maybe reach out and ask them, “hey, do you have a few minutes? I need to tell you something,” and then offer your heartfelt and sincere apology. There’s no need to do it when someone doesn’t have the ability to hear it, because if someone’s really this heartbroken or angry and you apologize to them, they’re gonna probably say something back to you. So wait till it calms down a little bit. It’s a very important key when offering up an apology.

 

And yes, Marilyn, words without actions are meaningless, but despite the fact that they’re meaningless there is a little meaning to them, and it’s because it’s needed in the amends process that’s needed in the healing process, that’s needed in the rebuilding trust process. But by themselves are meaningless, but they’re also needed. So for those of us who have made thousands of apologies that were all just words and lip service, the next time you, if you’re truly in recovery and you’re standing in your transformation, the next time you impact somebody in a negative way don’t forget the power of a sincere apology. Sometimes people say, “thank you so much for that, thank you for saying that,” so there is some value to that.

 

  1. Also now the next one we got here Take full responsibility. To take full responsibility for your part there’s a wonderful saying that’s been around for a long time and it says, “taking responsibility is the highest form of human maturity.” What a wonderful saying. Taking responsibility is the highest form of human maturity. So when you’ve done something that’s jeopardized and impacted the trust someone has for you you gotta take responsibility for your part. When you just say, “I did something because I did something,” it’s different than saying “I did something because you did this, this and this.” That’s weak. Full responsibility says, “I’m only looking at my actions, what I said, what I did, how I behaved in certain acts, how I engaged in certain behaviors.” When you take full responsibility in the rebuilding trust process you don’t look at anything external. Maybe you do that on your own with your own time, with your own therapist, with your own sponsor, with your own journal and notepad. But when you’re taking responsibility, when someone else is involved, just look at your part because if you don’t what’s going to happen is that you’re going to say something, they’re going to say something back, you’re going to say something, they’re going to say something back, you just spin in circles and it’s hard to do. Because sometimes we do things because other people have done things. We react but when you’re trying to make things right, you’re not looking at your reaction. You’re looking at your response. How am I going to show up in this moment and just own up to what I’ve done, to what I’ve said, how I’ve harmed them. You’d be surprised how many people can’t take responsibility after they’ve hurt somebody. It’s a defense mechanism, yes, is it also our pride again? Yes. Is it also our ego again? Yes, but do we have to take responsibility in order to heal and rebuild trust. So whichever one it is you want to do is the one you’re going to do and if you want to rebuild trust I strongly suggest you start learning how to take full responsibility for your part – it’s the highest form of human maturity.

 

  1. Communicate so the next one that I have here is to communicate. So communicate with transparency. When trust has been breached and trust has been violated or broken, something that happens is now the two parties must communicate with each other, and sometimes the party that’s had their trust violated wants a lot of information, wants a lot of details, wants a lot of transparency, and the person who broke the trust says, “whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa, you’re asking for too much. I don’t want to give you the details of everything I’m doing, where I’m going, this and that,” but here’s the thing. What if I told you that for the person to heal they’re going to need some transparency, they’re going to need some openness, they’re going to need some proof that your actions are matching your words, especially in the initial stages of rebuilding trust. Because if you just say, “hey I’m doing everything I’m supposed to do,” what does that really mean? It’s like, “well, I don’t want to tell them everything I’m supposed to be doing.” Well, guess what? Then the person you love, that you’re trying to rebuild trust with, is staying at home, staying up at night, wondering what the heck is my loved one doing, are they still doing the same behavior, have they actually changed? The only way to bridge that is by communicating openly and honestly. And yes, I know it feels like you’re in a power disadvantage. I know it feels like the person that’s done harm has to give more to build to get back what it is they’ve lost, but that’s just where it stands. How can you expect someone to believe everything you’re saying, without telling them exactly what it is you’re doing? And I know this can cross a fine line of unhealthy communication, or codependent communication, or unrealistic expectations of communication. And I’m not saying you got to do this forever. I’m just saying you got to do it until the trust that’s been broken has started to mend a little bit, the other person can breathe a little bit, knowing that the way you’re living your life based on the actions and the promises you’ve made are matching what it is that they’re experiencing. We kind of owe it to them. There’s nothing wrong with that. Some people just don’t want to do it, “it’s none of their business what I’m doing,” and again, what happens in that moment: ego, pride, selfishness, righteousness, all that kind of stuff pops up.

 

What did Jim say here? “Listen to understand, not to respond.” Listen. Most people in life, when someone is talking to them, all they’re doing is waiting for that person to finish so they can talk back, but what if when someone’s talking to you, you sit to actually listen to what it is they’re trying to say? What emotions are filled in those words and how you can actually just receive that information, and sometimes not even have to say anything back? Just say, “thank you for sharing all that with me, sounds like it’s been a lot. I appreciate you feeling safe enough to share all those thoughts and feelings with me right now.” Rather than waiting for them to finish, “how do you feel that way, why do you feel that way, well it’s not my fault you feel that way.” You see that we’d be surprised how much improvement in communication we could have if we just listen to others without the the the urge or the need to say something back right away. Beautiful things happen when we just kind of practice being a body of water that’s just calm. We want to throw rocks in it, and just see the little waves and all that kind of stuff, and calmness has a beauty to it.

 

  1. So the next one that I have here Consistency is key. It’s something called consistency is key, so uphold the promises you make and follow through on your commitments. That is the defining moment that the person who you are trying to rebuild trust with starts to see with tangible evidence, with undisputed results in life that you are actually following through with what you said that you will do in order to rebuild trust. And sometimes this even happens unconsciously – you’re not doing everything you’re doing, and following through with your commitments in a consistent way with the sole intention of rebuilding trust. You’re doing it because that’s what you’re doing, and as a positive consequence of that, as a byproduct of that, the other person whose trust has been violated is looking at you and saying, “Wow, they’re actually following through.” A lot of people start things in life, I don’t know why we just can’t finish what we start, and if you’re in a position that the world ain’t trusting you, and that’s the pattern you have of starting things that you don’t finish, guess what’s going to happen? The world ain’t gonna trust you. I’m sorry to say it so frankly. I know I wish they would trust you, but until you demonstrate that your word means something, that the actions you take, after you say something means something, that the consistency of those actions means something, that the follow-through of those actions until the task has been completed means something. And what does it all mean? That you are demonstrating to the world that you are a trustworthy human being, that you can be trusted and that you will follow through on your promises and your commitments. If you do this single factor right there that consistency is key, you will be able to get the trust of the world behind your back. And guess what? Most importantly when you look in the mirror you’re going to trust that reflection, you’re going to trust who you are, and what you’re all about. You’re going to trust that when you say you’re going to do something you’re going to do it irregardless of what the world thinks. And man, when you start trusting the reflection in the mirror it is very easy to gain the trust of the world, very very easy. 

 

  1. Patience is the X Factor. The next one we have here is patience is the X factor. Why is it the X factor? Why is it the sneaky X factor is because the world lacks patience. There’s a reason why for thousands of years humankind has been saying patience is a virtue is because it’s not too common, very rare. We always want something to happen yesterday. If someone is not trusting you we want them to regain trust yesterday, if not at least today. I don’t know about that tomorrow thing or let alone the next year thing. What do you mean, you’re not going to trust me for a year? Patience – so the formula for rebuilding trust is the following. Committed and consistent actions over time. See, we just took a while talking about consistency and actions. We did in commitment but guess what? None of it means anything if the formula is not over time. Committed and consistent actions over time and the time part is very subjective. Someone might heal and forgive in three months, someone might not heal and forgive in three years. Does that mean that I stopped taking committed and consistent actions because their timeline doesn’t match mine? You can if you want to let your pride and ego take place. If you want your pride and ego to take over, say “you know what, I took committed and consistent actions for the past year, you still don’t trust me, so you know what, I’m no longer taking those actions.” Who does that serve? It don’t serve you and trust me, it doesn’t serve that relationship. So when you understand the power of patience and understand the power that the rebuilding trust process is subjective and the time component for all parties is different then you might realize that this ain’t just about this moment, this is about the way I live my life. And something frees up. So patience, patience, patience, it is a virtue and I hope that you’re able to practice it, not just in the rebuilding trust part, but in all areas of your life. If you do, your life’s going to get significantly easier over time.

 

  1. Now the next one that I have here is to Show Empathy. Show empathy. So empathy is a really beautiful human characteristic and trait and pretty much it’s something that a lot of individuals that struggle with drugs and alcohol have a hard time in the early stages of their recovery, really being able to grasp and retain and here’s the reason why. Because if you suppress your emotions, if you suppress your sadness, your fear, your anger, through the use of substances, it’s very hard to tap into somebody else’s emotions of fear, sadness and anger. Because if you’re numb here, you’re going to feel numb there. So that’s why in the early stages of recovery people say they start to feel their feelings again, they start to feel what it’s like to have emotions, because they’re not numbing them, but it’s overwhelming. It’s tough but when you’re trying to rebuild trust with someone, this is a very important key, even if you don’t identify with the feelings that they have as a result of the breach of trust. It is important and vital and necessary and crucial to have empathy for that person and the emotional experience that they’re having. If they are feeling extreme sadness or extreme fear and you’re not feeling that you must be able to say, “I can accept and understand that you’re feeling really sad as a result of what I’ve done. I can accept and understand that you’re feeling terrified as a result of what I’ve done.” See, I don’t have to have that feeling myself but I must acknowledge that feeling in someone else and that’s empathy. And a lot of times you know what happens? People say, “well they’re just over exaggerating, they’re taking it, they’re just being dramatic, they’re full of drama, they’re really not that sad, or they’re not that scared.” How do you know? Just because you’re not, so what does that mean? The whole world’s gonna have the same emotions you got? Is the world a mirror of your emotions? No, every human being is entitled to their emotions. When something happens in life they are entitled to have their emotions regarding that situation, and your emotions in Arizona have to match, and when it doesn’t match you must practice empathy. If you ever minimize the feelings and emotions of another human being because you don’t have them in that moment you said “I don’t care about rebuilding trust. Get over it, figure it out, move on, it’s not that big of a deal.” Really, maybe for you it isn’t, but what if it is for them? We’re not mind readers, man. When someone tells you they’re feeling something all we can do is just say “I can accept and understand that’s what you’re feeling. I’m sorry for my part,” in a sincere and genuine and heartfelt way. And then we do everything that I’m teaching today to get the ball going on the actions.

 

  1. Seek Professional Help. The next one that I have here, this one I’m going to get a little bit deeper into, because it is important, and it says to seek professional help. So let’s give an example. If there’s a couple and let’s say there was some infidelity or cheating or something like that in the relationship okay, and they break up and they go their separate ways. And one day down the line, a year later, five years later, the person who was cheated on is a wonderful human being in their life that’s honest, that’s trustworthy, that’s loving, that’s loyal, everything the other person wasn’t, but all of a sudden they start to feel and think, “what if this person’s doing something behind my back? What if this person’s being shady or doing things out of character? What if I’m gonna get hurt again?” And all of a sudden it’s not about this person, it’s about our own unresolved and unhealed past experiences that we just bring into new experiences. And guess what? We project them, we create them in our mind, we distort reality, so whatever has happened in our past continues to repeat itself in our future when we haven’t done the work. So if you can understand that example now think about it this way. Let’s say you’re a mom and a dad and you got a loved one that’s struggling with addictions, and they are continuously promising something to you and they’re not following through with their promise. They’re saying they’re going to do something, they’re not following through in their actions, and after a while you just lose trust in them and you think it’s all about this. But remove your kid from the situation, go back to when you were a child, go back to when you were an adolescent, go back to when you were a young adult, long before you even had a kid. If in your world at that time there was a mom or a dad that told you something and didn’t follow through with it, there was a sibling or a significant other that told you something and did something differently and violated your trust. When you have not done the work and sought professional help and you haven’t healed that past traumas and those past experiences, what happens is when your kid violates your trust it’s not just this that’s impacting you – this is a trigger and it pushes all of those buttons in the past, and it just brings up all of your life experiences where you had your trust violated. So sometimes we think it’s just what’s happening in the present moment but when we haven’t done the work it’s our entire life history that gets present in the current relationship. And we bring our own baggage to these new relationships. So seek professional help. Seek it. There’s nothing wrong with it. A long time ago when it came down to therapy, only people that were broken, only people that were mentally ill, only people that couldn’t function, would go to therapy. That’s not the case. I work with high performers, high achievers, people that have all of the boxes in their life checked, and guess what? They come to therapy every week. You want to know why? Because human beings need it. It helps us gain perspective, it helps us clear our past baggage, it helps us get present in the present moment, and it helps us create a canvas for building whatever we want in our future. Hopefully, one of those things in your canvas is to have loving trusting relationships with the people that mean the most in your life. So if that’s what you want you can’t let your own baggage and garbage come into this. Because it’s going to keep taming it, it’s going to keep diluting it, it’s going to keep messing it up. The choice is yours. Like I always say, none of my business. 

 

  1. You Must Demonstrate Change. And the very last one that I have here is, you must demonstrate change. So earlier in the session there was I think it was Marilyn, yeah Marilyn who said something here, that words without action are meaningless. And now we got to our last one here which says, you must demonstrate change. So this is what she was referring to. How do we demonstrate change? When we are trying to rebuild trust, well the amends process is something that I could use to kind of teach this, but then I’m going to get out of the 12-step model. So in the 12 Steps whether you’re working a program that’s for drugs and alcohol, whether you’re working a program that’s for a loved one in your life that experiences addictions, whether you’re doing a 12-step program for your codependency, sex and love addiction, there’s various different programs. They all have the same steps. By the way, if you ever want to know is the first half of the first step that’s the only thing that’s different in all these 12-step programs, so when you get to the eighth step you make a list of all the people you’ve harmed, and sometimes people write when they get in they want to get right to the eighth step. I’m gonna make right with everybody, but the steps are made and created in order for a reason they help you develop the psychological, emotional muscles and the kind of platform to stand on before you go out and start becoming a super super person and try to make amends to everybody. But you make a list of all the people you’ve hurt, and then the ninth step says you go make amends to them when and where possible. Except when to do so would injure them or others. We don’t need to talk about that, but then you start making the amends process and when you make the amends process you own up to your side of the street, you take full responsibility for your part. That’s the whole point, and at the end of it you ask them, “what can I do to make this right?” Whatever they say is kind of the roadmap of what you got to do, but pretty much it comes down to making this thing called living amends. So demonstrating through my actions on a one-day-at-a-time basis that I’ve learned the message and I understand what it means to get right with you, what it means to get right with myself, and right with the world. And what you’re wanting me to do after I violated your trust and I’ve made amends to you, is to no longer do that to you or anyone else. So the only way I can do that is show you one day at a time, through living amends. So when we say demonstrate change living amends is a form of demonstrating that change. And what does it mean? How do we know you’re demonstrating change? Very simple – when your words, your actions, and your intentions are all congruent with each other, and in line with each other. So when you say something, you do what you say. When you have a specific intention and the words you speak match that intention, when your intention, and your words and your actions are congruent, you are demonstrating, you’re exhibiting your behavior has changed. When you do that over a course of time the world will recognize and most importantly, you’re going to recognize, and I promise you it feels so good. I think the fastest quickest way someone with low self-esteem can climb the ladder and start to feel good about themselves, and who they are, and how they live their life, and increase their self-esteem, is through demonstrating change through what I just said. When your words, your actions and your intentions are all in line, one of the most cop-out things, one of my pet peeves, is when someone does something, it’s like, “well that wasn’t my intention,” like come on bro, like okay well it wasn’t your intention, but what actually just happened? You know, intentions don’t mean anything if they’re in line. You know people with really good intentions do really bad things to people. So intentions don’t mean anything – you need all of them, like a triangle – words, intentions, actions – they all have to be congruent to demonstrate change. 

 

Let’s see what we got here. Change can take some time but it will come if we keep moving forward. And when Jim says it will come, you know we got this thing called the nine step promises that happen after you make your amends, or some way through the process of making your amends, and the fact that I said it will come, see he’s not saying it might come it, may come, he says it will come. And how does he know that? 20 plus years of this for himself, 15 years of mental illness, countless people Jim works with, and sees that some have more time, some have less time, it comes for everyone. And it will come. And remember, I say this every week – direction is more important than speed. Eileen: “How we view the world is revealed – is the world safe, or is the world a place that cannot be trusted? The lens sometimes needs to be deeply explored.” Profound, thank you for that comment, and I think Wayne Dyer – I’ve shared this before Eileen – I know you’ve heard this – Wayne Dyer has exactly what you wrote there in a much shorter quote, but you pretty much explain what he says. Wayne Dyer says, “loving people live in a loving world. Angry people or hateful people live in a hateful world.” It’s the same world, so the lens we view through. So if you’ve had your trust violated all the time you’re gonna view the world as it’s an unsafe place, that you can’t trust nobody. It’s the lens problem. So good stuff there. And this is all that matters to me in my 33 plus year relationship with an addict. I don’t even want to hear the apologies anymore, the words are meaningless and you know there’s some truth – that’s a very real, raw, authentic statement. Words are definitely meaningless when there’s no actions to follow suit with them. And by the way, there is something called setting boundaries that we could talk about for another five hours if you guys want, but you got to find out what those boundaries are of those words people say. If you don’t want to hear nothing you set a boundary and say, “I need specific action,” and give a specific time frame and that’s when you go to, I know a lot of parents that say, “you know what, I’m done with you, I love you, I’ll do whatever I can for you, but I’m done enabling your addiction. Until you get to let’s say a year clean, sober, recover, that kind of stuff and then we’ll talk, and then I’ll have your back.” And that might be a rough message for someone to internalize but it’s a boundary and we all have the right to set our boundaries. It is our actions that define us. Damn right.

 

So all that being said, I hope today’s talk was a good one. I know it hits all types of humanity, not just people in recovery. We’ll be back next week, same time, same place. If you have any topics you want just put them in the comments here. Man, I’m telling you, I’ll do them. I’ll stay up Friday night, make a little talk for you. And I look forward to this each and every single week. I love and appreciate all of you. Have a wonderful Saturday. Until next time, bye everyone!

Call Buckeye Recovery Today!

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Have a Heart of Spiritual Courage

Spiritual Courage says, living with purpose and meaning through a heart-centered approach towards all of life and oneself. Sounds pretty good right? What does it mean? What is a heart-centered approach? 

 

So there’s different ways you can approach this thing called life. You can approach it through the lens of your eyes and you can look at life and look at people. Or you can approach it through the lens of your ears and you can hear life and hear people. Or you can approach it from the lens of your thoughts, what you think about people, what you think about life. Well, when we examine life through our eyes, through our ears, through our thoughts, oftentimes we see a lot of the differences. We see that this type of people look different than this type of people, those people have different beliefs than these people, those people sound different than these people, those people think differently than these people. So when you go through those basic senses what happens is, you can catch yourself getting caught up in a lot of the differences and then you’re disconnected.

Heart-Centered Approach to Differences

A heart-centered approach to life says, I’m going to put away all of the differences and I’m going to focus on the things of all humanity that’s similar, that’s the same that no matter what culture, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, no matter what differences we have, there are similarities in all human beings if we choose to view it from a heart-centered approach. 

 

I promise you this. I’m not exaggerating. I can be in a room with someone that has completely different ideologies as me, completely different beliefs as me, thoughts as me, but I can connect to him with a level of heart that none of those differences mean anything. Now, do I have to agree with that person? Do I have to argue with that person’s life? Hell no, because here’s the thing – if I go and have a conversation with somebody that has completely different beliefs that I do and I tell that person, “hey, you’re wrong and I’m right,” now what the heck is the difference between that person telling me that I’m wrong and he’s right? There is no difference. So I just avoid that at all costs.

Look for the Similarities

I look for the similarities in people and I promise you I can find similarities in any human being. Because we all have certain universal characteristics that exist in all humanity in the Americas, in Europe, in Africa, in Asia, the Australia, the North and South Pole – there are certain characteristics that all human beings have that are universal. You know what those are, I don’t have to teach you those things. And if you say “you know what, I have nothing in common with that group of people,” it’s because you’re looking at the differences. You’re not going from a heart centered approach. You’re going through a thought centered, or eye centered, or ear centered approach. So I really challenge you to have commitment and have courage when it comes to your spiritual lens that you view the world with. 


Some of the characteristics, regardless of what you believe in life, where you’re from, who you are, what your background is, what your bank account says you got, that’s it right there – we all want to be safe, we all want to be loved, we all want to be secure. I do believe that’s very universal.

Call Buckeye Recovery Today!

Are you in recovery but not making progress? Recovery is not only possible but attainable, and it all begins with reaching out for assistance. By addressing both addiction and mental health issues, individuals can break free from the cycle of despair and embark on a path to a healthier, more fulfilling life. Contact Buckeye Recovery Network today and initiate your journey to recovery and improved mental health. Our dedicated team of professionals is here to guide and support you every step of the way.

Learn, Unlearn and Relearn: Intellectual Courage

Intellectual Courage says, to learn, unlearn and relearn with a flexible mind. If we’re going through this journey of life with any hope or intention to be able to grow, adapt, evolve, transform, we must have intellectual courage. If all of the information that you’re running and all the thoughts, ideas, beliefs you have are things that happen in one point of your life and you stay so rigid and inflexible that today you have the same exact ideas, beliefs, thoughts, all that kind of stuff and even worse, you say that five years down the line, ten years down the line, I’m still gonna have all that kind of stuff, oh I really worry for you. You’re gonna feel really disconnected from society because we always got to evolve. 

 

And it’s important to remember this – that learned behavior is what we experience in life and what we’re exposed to in life. We learn things that get downloaded onto us but anything that can be learned in life can be unlearned. And then when it’s unlearned it creates a canvas, an opening, a space for us to be able to learn a new experience, a new way of life, a new way of being. And in that is where transformation exists, that’s where transformation is possible.

Cultivate an Open Mind

If you have learned things in life you can unlearn them, you can relearn them and you can transform, but what’s the key to all that? You got to have an open mind. Without an open mind you’ll never be able to unlearn the things that you probably desperately need to unlearn. And you’ll never be able to learn the things that you probably desperately need to learn. So the open mind is the key to that intellectual courage. 

 

Sometimes people come from dysfunctional homes, which I know a lot of our audience comes from, and the family members come from dysfunctional homes, dysfunctional societies, what does that do to somebody? It teaches you so many things that are wrong. If you come from a really chaotic house with a mom and dad that’s just explosive and abusive and then later on you’re like, well that’s where I learned what a relationship looks like, those were my models, those were my examples, that’s where I learned it. And later on that person goes on in their own life and they get in a relationship with someone that’s toxic or abusive or explosive and then you know they’re sitting back and saying, “well, I don’t know any different, that’s what was taught to me, that’s what I re-experienced,” because human beings tend to repeat things that are familiar to them, there’s a sense of comfort in it. But here’s the thing – I’m not going to give that person a pass. The first time I will, because they don’t know any different, but once you know better, that you can reprogram yourself and unlearn and relearn in a healthy way, what’s the excuse? 

 

You got to go do the work, you got to heal from those wounds of the past, you got to make a commitment of who and what you are, and who and what you want to be with, and what you want to experience in life.

When in Fear Due to Inaccurate Info

Too often, we hold on to information that is no longer accurate information. The fear of the void, of the transition, keeps us stuck. We’re talking about courage so you can’t talk about courage without fear because what is courage? The ability to take action despite fear. And our intellectual courage kicks in. I don’t know why people are so afraid of letting go of what they know, as if what they know is like the absolute truth. I’ll tell you this – everything that you know is just based on the experiences that you’ve had and what you’ve exposed yourself to. If you think that you know it all my friends, oh are you gonna be in for a rude awakening. The day I feel like I know it all is the day that I need you to come probably drug test me. 

 

It’s hard to tell that to adolescents. If I tell a 19 year old kid, “you have no idea what you’re talking about,” he’s gonna go, “yeah I do, just watch me.” He actually doesn’t have any idea what he’s talking about but that’s where he or she is in that stage of their life and we got to meet people where they’re at and understand that that kid’s got a little bit more journey of life to go. But if you’re like an adult, grown person and you have an established world and you think that you figured it all out, just wait till life gives you a spoonful of surprise and I hope you remain open-minded.

Too Smart for Recovery?

When you come into recovery as somebody that is intelligent, has some degrees, has a specific type of a work duty, job duty, knowledge base that they have and they kind of know it all in that space it’s really easy for them to come into recovery and be too smart for the recovery process, to say, “I already know all these things. What am I going to learn from these people? Don’t you know what I do? Don’t you know the schooling I’ve had? Don’t you know the journey I’ve had in life, the challenges I’ve gone through? I’ve learned so much in life. You have nothing to teach me.”

Courage to Finish a Commitment

Take Drug Court, for example. I know a lot about drug court. Most people don’t. This is something that’s offered in probably a lot of states now but California has Drug Court, DUI Court, mental health court and it’s an alternative sentencing to prison. And you might think well, they get off easy, oh my goodness there’s so many people that are in drug court that someday go up to their probation officer or their case manager and they say, “You know what, this drug court stuff’s too difficult man, I’m gonna go serve. I’m gonna go do the time.” And if you’re thinking that’s crazy, trust me, it happens all the time. Because they make it so difficult for you to start and finish drug court. But guess what, if you start it, and there might be some times you fall down or fumble, and just something against your own will, even you’re a minute late to something and they push you back to the beginning of the phase, whatever it is. If you go through the whole process which takes longer than they say, but you go through the process, at the end of it, all of a sudden it becomes a courageous act. 

 

Action despite fear, that not only allows the person to build a foundation for their recovery but it also provides you access to physical courage, social courage, moral courage, emotional courage, intellectual courage. All is a byproduct of that program. 

Call Buckeye Recovery Today!

Are you in recovery but not making progress? Recovery is not only possible but attainable, and it all begins with reaching out for assistance. By addressing both addiction and mental health issues, individuals can break free from the cycle of despair and embark on a path to a healthier, more fulfilling life. Contact Buckeye Recovery Network today and initiate your journey to recovery and improved mental health. Our dedicated team of professionals is here to guide and support you every step of the way.

Emotional Courage to Feel your Feelings and Recover

Emotional Courage refers to feeling all of your emotions without attachment or guilt. Why is this one courageous? Because through this journey of life we have been taught (unfortunately) that certain emotions are good and certain emotions are bad. It’s bad to be angry, it’s good to be happy. It’s bad to be afraid, it’s good to be feeling at peace. It’s bad to be disgusted, it’s good to be kind of accepting. All that kind of stuff, whatever the positives are we’ve been spoon-fed, that lie. But you know what the research and the data says? That we cannot selectively pick and choose what emotions we get to experience. So if you suppress your anger and your fear, and you avoid your anger and your fear, by default you will be unable to experience joy and peace and contentment. You can’t pick the good ones and avoid the bad ones. You gotta experience all of them and it says to do it without attachment. So what does that mean?

You are not your feelings, you are not your thoughts, you are not your emotions. You are a Human Being having thoughts, experiencing feelings, and having emotions.

The same way that Monday morning feels different than Friday afternoon. It’s the same way that feelings pass, emotions pass. If you attach to them then you are unable to be free. You are fully consumed – it will guide your actions, oftentimes in a negative way. 

 

So feel your feelings, feel your emotions, don’t numb them, don’t suppress them, don’t hide from them, don’t minimize them. Feel them fully, own them and observe them and let them go.

What to do When Feelings Overwhelm you

If you think it’s not that easy to feel your emotions, just sit in your emotions for a couple days and see what happens. And if you can’t do it on your own, grab a pen and paper and write, pick up the phone and call somebody, go on a little nice walk, do a little self-care, and I promise you this. The way you feel 48 hours later is going to be different than the way you felt before all that. 

 

Emotions are not as scary as they are when we’re children. When you become an adult you can actually handle things differently. If you give a kid that’s five years old a budgeting sheet and say, “Here kid, I want you to budget out an entire month’s worth of expenses and costs and all that kind of stuff on a spreadsheet,” the kid’s gonna be like, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” You give it to an adult, they might not know how to do it but they’ll figure it out. Emotions are the same way – a kid really has a hard time experiencing some heavy emotions but as an adult we might not be good at it but we can figure it out. And if you can’t figure it out on your own, reach out to people.

Call Buckeye Recovery Today!

Are you in recovery but not making progress? Recovery is not only possible but attainable, and it all begins with reaching out for assistance. By addressing both addiction and mental health issues, individuals can break free from the cycle of despair and embark on a path to a healthier, more fulfilling life. Contact Buckeye Recovery Network today and initiate your journey to recovery and improved mental health. Our dedicated team of professionals is here to guide and support you every step of the way.

Having the Moral Courage to Do the Right Thing

Moral courage is to do the right thing even when it is uncomfortable or unpopular. So in order to have moral courage you must know what your morals are, you must know what your values are, you have to stand for something or you’re going to fall for everything, anything. 

 

In today’s talk with our program participants this morning I told them, “Hey, if you see your peer or roommate maybe use some substances without the sober living or the treatment center finding out, maybe they fake the drug test, maybe they brought in some fake urine so they can pass a drug test, but you know that they’re drinking, you know that they’re smoking, you know that they’re taking pills, you know they’re taking research chemicals, you know that they’re getting high on something, and you see that and you don’t say anything, because you say I don’t want to be a rat, I don’t want to be a snitch, I don’t want to be a person that gets my my nose in other people’s business, I’ll tell you this in that moment you lost your moral courage. Because that human being that might be getting high is somebody’s son or daughter that maybe a month ago overdosed inside the mom and dad’s house, in an ambulance and paramedics have to come and revitalized a dead body in front of the family with Narcan and the kid just came to breathe. Maybe that person is someone that got his kids taken away from them because of their substance abuse. Maybe that’s something that their marriage is in jeopardy, and on the line because of their substance abuse. Maybe that person is somebody that’s experiencing significant trauma in their life that they’ve never healed from and they’re just numbing it out with substances. If you don’t have moral courage to go say something to someone about that and you’re complicit then I really don’t know what we’re doing here.”

Staying Silent is Being Complicit

When it comes to families – by the way, sometimes there is a spouse that really really protects and enables their kid and sometimes there’s another spouse who says we can’t do this anymore, our kid’s going to die. And if that spouse that has that strong belief doesn’t say something to the other spouse and wake that person up or set some boundaries or do something they’re just as complicit. I never wish this on nobody ever that you know somebody’s using substances, lethal substances, you know if someone’s using fentanyl for God’s sakes and you know it and you don’t say this is wrong, we don’t condone this, we’re not going to allow this to happen and something God forbid happens to that person, how do you think you sleep at night knowing that information and the fact that you could have done something about it? So the moral part’s really, really important.

You Already Know what the Right Thing is

In the early stages we sometimes don’t know what the right thing might be and that’s the beauty of pausing and asking a few people we trust and respect what the right thing is. By the way, people know what the right thing is. Let me just say this – there’s family members that I’ve worked with for years – it doesn’t matter what background, what ethnicity, what cultures they are from, they’ve worked for years, they know exactly what they’re supposed to do in a situation. And when the situation arises they act like they’ve never heard it before, they act like no one’s ever told them what to do, they act like it’s like a brand new situation – no, it’s not. You’re just choosing not to accept reality. I have such strong boundaries when it comes to that stuff – if I said something to somebody five or six times or ten times, or I’ve said something to someone for one or two years, I don’t say it anymore. I’ve done my part, I’ve paid my dues, I’ve shared my experience, my strength, my hope, my knowledge, my expertise, and at some point that’s all you can do. What they do with the information is none of my business. Like I always say the choice is yours – my hope is you choose the one based on the information you have.

Be a Snitch Rat!

Snitch rat or take courage. In a lot of the recovery drug communities where people are using substances they kind of throw these words around. And because of the street terminology or prison terminology that’s what I told the kids this morning on the talk. I said, “For those of you who are afraid of snitching or being a rat, like you’re living in a very nice sober living, going to a very luxurious treatment center, and if you were that type of person that lives by the code and the honor of the street, or you were a prison person, you wouldn’t be sitting on a live stream listening to me talk at 8:30 in the morning. You know what I mean – you’re not a part of the cartel, you’re not a part of the Mexican Mafia, you’re not a part of any type of syndicate that goes through and smuggles drugs. If you were, you’d be in prison and you’re in treatment with the support of your family. 

 

So let’s just get rid of those terms, let’s get rid of that stuff, and let’s start healing, start focusing on what’s important.

Call Buckeye Recovery Today!

Are you in recovery but not making progress? Recovery is not only possible but attainable, and it all begins with reaching out for assistance. By addressing both addiction and mental health issues, individuals can break free from the cycle of despair and embark on a path to a healthier, more fulfilling life. Contact Buckeye Recovery Network today and initiate your journey to recovery and improved mental health. Our dedicated team of professionals is here to guide and support you every step of the way.

Social Courage to Stay True to Yourself

Social Courage means to be unapologetically true to yourself in the face of social settings. We all know that adolescents and teenagers get caught up in something called peer pressure. What is peer pressure? In adolescence, in their environment and their friends are doing something or saying something that might not sit true to them but they lack the social courage to say something because they don’t want to be judged, they don’t want to be perceived as weak or different or an outcast, so they just swallow their authenticity, just so they can blend in with the environment. Now I get when that happens with adolescence, I really do – it’s one of the hardest periods of life. But as an adult in the face of society if you don’t stay true to who you really are, then who are you really?

Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.

If around you people are doing things, saying things in society that doesn’t sit well with you and you just swallow your authenticity and swallow who and what you are, because you don’t want to ruffle the feathers, or you don’t want to be a person that’s swimming against the grain, and that moment you lost yourself. And the important part here is to know this – that social courage is something that is learned, is developed, and the more you are yourself in various settings the more power you’re going to be, to be able to actually accomplish stuff.

Human Beings Wear Different Hats

I have this analogy that I really love and it’s this – that all of us human beings wear different hats. You might wear a different hat around your friends, or a different hat around your family, or different hat around your spouse, or a different hat at work. We do different roles, we talk a little different, we act a little different, we engage a little differently, but it’s important to remember this. All of those hats have to go on the same head. All of those hats, no matter who you are with or where you are at, you must stay true to yourself. If you lose your character and you lose your essence and your being because of the environment it’s not the environment’s fault. It’s yours social courage. It’s something we all got to practice.

Social Courage to Stand Up Against Stigmatized People

When it comes down to society and all the stigmas they have on mental health and mental illness, if you’re around people that are saying things that are derogatory to addicts or what I call a person experiencing addictions, if you’re hearing things that are derogatory to people that are crazy, which I call a human being experiencing challenges with their mental health, if you’re around people that society calls weak and soft, what I call is someone that’s endured and experience a lot of pain and trauma in their life, and you don’t say something or you don’t do something when you’re around people talking negative things about the homeless population for God’s sakes, people that have lost it all, that everyone in their life has given up to them, and people talk to them as if they’re trash or dogs, and you don’t say nothing, it ain’t their fault. 

 

You gotta look at yourself in the mirror and say, how come I didn’t stand up for these human beings? How come, in the face of social pressure, I just folded? So social courage is something that’s so important I hope all of you tap into it there.

Call Buckeye Recovery Today!

Are you in recovery but not making progress? Recovery is not only possible but attainable, and it all begins with reaching out for assistance. By addressing both addiction and mental health issues, individuals can break free from the cycle of despair and embark on a path to a healthier, more fulfilling life. Contact Buckeye Recovery Network today and initiate your journey to recovery and improved mental health. Our dedicated team of professionals is here to guide and support you every step of the way.

Kelsey Gearhart

Director of Business Development

Kelsey carries multiple years of experience working in the substance abuse and mental health treatment field. Her passion for this field comes from her personally knowing recovery from addiction.

Prior to Buckeye she held titles of Recovery Coach, Operations Director, and Admissions Director. Kelsey was brought on at Buckeye Recovery as the Director of Business Development. She has a passion for ensuring every individual gets the help that they need, and does so by developing relationships with other providers.

Kelsey also oversees our women’s sober living environments – The Chadwick House for Women. She is committed to creating a safe, nurturing, and conducive environment for all women that walk through the doors of Chadwick.