I have wondered if a mother bear mourns as she chases her cubs up a tree on her last day as a provider for them. After loving them, fighting for their survival and teaching them survival skills, their mother has disappeared and they are left on their own. I had to acknowledge that my days of instruction had ended when the addict was a young teen, but I am not sure that I had taught him all he needs to survive in the world.

I mourned for the loss of my parenting role as the addict and I each moved in our own directions. Nar-Anon has taught me the importance of my Higher Power in the process of letting go of my parenting job. I left the addict on the streets, and when I heard from him or saw him, I congratulated him on the baby steps he took toward his survival. As he went in and out of recovery, I maintained my distance, looking to the mother bear’s brevity.

Perhaps the mother bear mourns like me. Her animal instinct protects her from suffering as she walks away from her cubs. As she continues her own survival, however, she must have no thoughts of taking care of her mature cubs any longer. To do so would put her life in jeopardy.

Thought for Today: I now take care of my own needs and myself. As I do so, the addict can learn silently as he is ready. He has been given my example and the example of others who his Higher Power has sent into his life. I hope his self-respect is coming from his accomplishments of independent daily living. I know that my serenity is coming from my own joy of living.

“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live; it is asking others to live as one wishes to live. And unselfishness is letting other people’s lives alone, not interfering with them. Selfishness always aims at uniformity of type. Unselfishness recognizes infinite variety of type as a delightful thing, accepts it, acquiesces in it, enjoys it.” ~ Oscar Wilde