October 3, 2021

How BALM Conversations Can Help Beyond Addiction

Cassie called one day last week. Her mom was bugging her again about her hair and her weight, and she had had enough. On top of that, her husband made fun of her in response to her mom’s comments, rather than supporting her, his wife.

I asked her how she felt about her hair and her weight to which she responded, “Irrelevant. My hair and my weight are my business, not theirs. I like myself and so if I feel I want to change my hair or lose some weight, I will do something about it. Hearing about it again and again in the form of put downs from my mom and my husband just doesn’t work for me.”

She then took a deep breath and sighed. “Boring!” she said in a singsong way, while rolling her eyes.

“So, what is your plan?”

“Not you too!” she said with exasperation in her voice. “I didn’t think you would get on me about my weight or hair.”

“Of course I wouldn’t,” I responded. “I meant, “what is your plan for dealing with your mom and husband’s comments.”

Cassie laughed. “ Well a BALM conversation of course. For mom, it’s the nagging. For my hubby, it’s the criticism and lack of support. They may or may not choose to change, but I still get to share what I am seeing and hearing.” Just saying that seemed to relax Cassie and remind her of how to handle the situation.

A BALM (Be A Loving Mirror) conversation is one of sharing love, facts, and concerns with a person, followed by a boundary if necessary.

Cassie already had her answers within her. She’d been practicing BALM for 2 years now and had learned about what is her business and what isn’t, along with what works for her and what doesn’t in herself and in her relationships, what to do when something seemed “off” in a conversation or relationship, and how to have frank conversations without alienating the people she loves.

Originally, she came into the BALM to help herself gain peace around her husband’s SUD and to help him consider choosing recovery. With that challenge seemingly behind them (or at least in remission), she had begun using the BALM Principles and Steps on all aspects of her relationships with her family, friends, and coworkers.

In the Principles she had learned the nuts and bolts of how to rebuild her relationships with Spirit, self, and others. With the 7 Steps, she’d learn how to make mindfulness a regular part of her life, and on that basis, how to have loving, peaceful conversations on any topics that she previously wouldn’t broach.

That weekend, she had the conversation. Stop by next week to hear how it went. And, by the way, if you feel you could benefit from learning how to Be A Loving Mirror, consider the upcoming online 7 Steps to BALM retreat.

To learn more and enroll, give Karen a call at 1-888-998- BALM(2256) ext 5.

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.