How do we cope? How do we make sense of these losses and of the air of conflict and opinion that somehow surround Covid and SUD?
The BALM gives us guidelines for handling conflict, trauma and loss. Most of these we practice applying when we have a loved one in the throes of their SUD or Mental Health Disorder. Then, if and when these horrific traumas come our way, they are there for us.
A teacher of mine used to say that it is how we interact in daily life, not in times of emergency, that reveals who we really are. Others say that the most challenging times we face, such as when a love one is facing a life threatening illness such as covid or SUD or when one dies of a disease, that is most revealing.
In the BALM, we say it a bit differently. Each person is on a journey. Our loved ones, our friends, ourselves. We are all traveling from one end of our life to the other, as if on a bridge between a starting point and an endpoint.
The challenges large and small that we face give us opportunities to respond with love and connection or anger and disconnection. We learn in the BALM how to make peace our default response and how to make love the pathway that helps us connect with ourselves and others.
None of us are perfect. We may disagree in an unkind way or get angry at God for taking away someone we love. Who wouldn’t?
And yet, as we grow, we bounce back faster, returning to a loving peaceful response more and more on the journey.
One of Jerico’s gifts was the gift of loving kindness. He was able to sit in a stressful situation and calmly assess next steps without blaming or judging anyone. Sometimes, when I got upset that things weren’t going as quickly or efficiently as I wanted them to, he would say, “Remember Bev, Be A Loving Mirror.”
To be a loving mirror is to share the facts calmly through the eyes of love.
I got better at this as a result of having Jerico on my staff and in my life.
About the author
Beverly Buncher, MA, PCC, CBFRLC, CTPC, known as the "Foremost Family Recovery Life Coach in the Nation", is the Founder and CEO of Family Recovery Resources, LLC, and the BALM® (Be A Loving Mirror®) Institutes for Family Recovery Coach Training and Family Recovery Education.