If you want to inspire or guide someone to an incredible outcome to simply get them to embrace a change for their life, the place to begin is meeting them where they are. It is impossible to inspire change or instill a level of trust or confidence in what you are selling, if you don’t understand what they feel they must overcome to get there.
Throughout my experiences coaching parents of children with addictions, this is spot many of us get hung up in. We know where they are, we know what they have experienced, and we know what they need to do to turn their life around. Unfortunately, our experiences are often from a perspective of what we have seen, felt and heard, without understanding exactly what they’ve experienced or felt.
When was the last time your addicted child told you the unfiltered, raw story of what it was like to live on the street, to discover another friend had overdosed, to be arrested, or spend time in jail? When they share those stories, they often leave out the intense emotional details because they know we would really freak out or start lecturing them about changing their life. Or, we would remind them how they could have avoided it all if…!
Acceptance is the behavior of meeting our addicted children exactly where they are. It means giving them the safety and the space to talk with us honestly and without judgement or criticism what they have, or are experiencing.
Parents often believe they know; but, we really don’t know what these children are going through – their emotional journey or unbelievable experiences. We often project how we think they should feel based on our own experiences with their addiction; frankly, we have no clue of their world through their eyes until we hear it from them. And, we can only learn from them when they feel safe to enough share.
This is a difficult behavioral switch, creating a place of acceptance and safety where an addicted child can freely share their experiences, fears, and struggles without a parent injecting their opinions, wisdom or criticism.
I would love to hear from you. What issues are confronting you today? Where are you currently experiencing fear and shame relating to the struggles in your life? I have some pretty cool tools to guide you and would love to help. Please let me know: dave@100Pedals.com.