What are the facts?
When is the last time in the midst of an emotional crisis you stopped to ponder the question, “What are the facts?” I can tell you in all honesty that it has taken years of practice to be able to pause with enough clarity and force myself to answer. Why is that? Perhaps because it is so much more satisfying to concoct the story in accordance with how I feel at any given moment rather than consider how my emotions may be potentially driving the drama.
Feelings are often what we cling to first because they are fueled by our fantasies, by our grandiosities, they are colorful and powerful swirling through our minds. They are propelled by fear and create havoc when left unchecked. Facts are precise and steadfast, not near as fun to entertain nor make decisions based upon. It has become so important to be able to decipher between the two and know what place they each both hold.
I recall telling a story to a woman close to me and being knee deep in the details when she suddenly stopped me short. She asked the show stopping question, “Audrey, what are the facts?” It took me by surprise and I floundered to find the answer. The story was unfolding perfectly with me as the ultimate martyr and the rest of the players as the typical adversaries. This is not an uncommon theme for those of us who have been ruled by emotion most our lives.
Addiction creates a breeding ground of miscommunication and hurt feelings. As family members, we begin to grasp for the coping mechanisms and tools that make us feel better and soothe the anger and hurt pride. What is sometimes hard to remember is that experience has taught us that these tools no longer serve us. They are merely the only ones we have in the bag. When we move into a program of recovery and set our intentions to utilize new tools we then begin to experience new results.
This woman went on to teach me about allowing the facts to be the central players in all my affairs. The first exercise she taught me was to pause before reacting or saying anything that I may later regret. In that pause I learned to bring God into the situation which is the ultimate source of Power that I cannot muster within myself. I noticed that the issues in my life began to lessen and more importantly my perspective began to shift. I could see scenarios for what they truly were without the heavy weight of emotion clouding my vision. My level of serenity is always tied to my current experience and my current experience is directly correlated to my relationship with God. He is the ultimate teacher of learning to operate within the facts rather than the feelings today.