Saturday, January 25, 2014

Geographic 'cure' -- usually doesn't work

Are you familiar with the term 'geographic cure'? It's when you believe that a change of residence will 'cure' your addiction to any substance, or your poor lifestyle choices, or your out-of-control gambling/spending/shopping/eating/sex/whatever habits, and instantly give you new, much better for you friends and a new life.

In all fairness, sometimes a move can certainly help the situation, especially if you move to a place where you have few, if any, ties, and you are utterly committed to changing what brought you down in the first place.

But most of the time it doesn't work very well.

Because the issues you want to escape are internal ones, perhaps manifested outwardly by your choice of friends, your habits, your living situation. Change the scenery you may, but changing the interior issues is not as easy, and it is often lonely and discouraging (at first) work.

No matter where you go, there you are.

That appears to be the case with R, alas. The geography change wasn't very far, in the first place,and within a week of her move, she has invited a friend back into her life who is herself struggling with several issues and has a following of questionable friends. Evidence appearing this week seems to indicate that R's 'fresh start' is little more than a change in residence and furnishings.

So it's a reminder that I can save only one life: my own. It's a reminder that I cannot fix anyone except myself. It's a reminder that I need to work my own program, one day at a time, focusing on 'what is' rather than 'what I would like it to be' or even 'what I am afraid it is.'

Our minds are powerful: I can imagine scenarios and create fear and generate worry with nothing more than a handful of observations. I can cause sleepless nights and churning stomach and lump-in-the-throat anxiety.

But I can also focus on the here and now, one moment at a time, and on what is in my own life: a beautiful day, an engaging book, a good yoga workout, a few good friends who listen and soothe, and remember that I am powerless over people, places, and things. I do not have to live with imagined consequences of another's choices.

My daughter has her own path, her own journey, to take care of, and I have mine. I have no responsibility for hers, and I will not sacrifice my own life and my journey. That is a choice I make daily, and that is the most loving thing I can do for both of us. God is not finished with her yet, and she is stronger than she may think she is.

1 comment:

BBC said...

I think my moving here was a mistake but I'm going to stick it out, I guess there are worse places to be.

What did you think of Obama’s speech? I think that monkey is a fine speaker, and a fine dreamer, and a fine bullshitter.