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.
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