During that first conversation with a counselor about your loved one’s addiction the conversation quickly turned to willingness. How willing is he? to go to treatment? to stop using drugs? to give up old friends? to give up his girlfriend? What you didn’t hear very much was “How willing are you?” How willing are you to examine your own thinking? 

One of the easiest places to start examining our thinking is to look at our use of the words “should” “shouldn’t” “must” and “can’t”. These words represent beliefs, beliefs that are often based on ideas that are simply not true. And most of the time these words cause us stress and frustration. Instead of “I should” or I have to”, are you willing to consider “I could” or “I choose to”? “I could bail him out of jail” is much less stressful than “I have to bail him out of jail”. At the very least you begin to realize that you have choices, you are not a helpless victim of your son’s choices. “He has to _______________” can be replaced with “He has a choice to ________________.” Honestly examining our thoughts and our beliefs will unlock the door to peace, freedom and happiness. How willing are you?

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