Spiritually Speaking

Reprinted from July 17, 2018

 Question: My husband and I are from large families and every 4th of July we host a
huge celebration at our home, which is a large property at the edge of town.
In past years, because there have been arguments among and between
individuals who drank too much, we decided just to serve non-alcoholic drinks
this year. We had ice tea, lemonade, colas and water. A couple of families
decided to leave because they were looking forward to “cold beers.” These
individuals were from my side of the family and they are the ones who have
stirred up trouble before.

My husband came to me when they complained and asked if perhaps he
should go buy some beer, but I told him not to; that’s
not what we agreed upon. Everyone else seemed quite happy with our decision
and many thanked us because they had brought younger children.

I think I’m
okay with our decision, but my husband is not and wishes we had had some
alcoholic drinks ­– just not as much as we’ve had in other years. We’d like to
know what you think because we’re already thinking about what to do next
year. ~ Indecisive Couple


Dear Indecisive Couple,

There are two approaches to your problem. The first is practical, the second is spiritual.

While I appreciate, admire and respect your husband’s desire to be a good host by providing alcohol to
those who desire it, I would encourage him not to do it in light of the behavior problems of the past
that resulted in you both looking at keeping your party “dry.” I think you both made the best choice so
your other guests could enjoy themselves at your party and feel safe. Clearly, based on the feedback
you received, they appreciated the “dry” event.

But primarily I would encourage your husband not to feel guilty over this. Clearly he likes those
people and wanted them to enjoy themselves and felt bad when he saw how disappointed they were
that no liquor was offered. He shouldn’t. He did nothing wrong. People with alcohol and drug
addiction problems are master manipulators and prey upon the feelings of others (especially guilt) in
order to get their way. Sadly, even the smallest amount of alcohol will fuel bad behavior in those who
have a drinking problem. In other words, you cannot hope to control alcoholic behavior by controlling

The last thing you need at your party next year is someone fighting over the last beer.
I would encourage you to let it be widely known among the families that, based on the success and
good time everyone had at your “dry” event, next year will be the same. That way there will be no
unpleasant or disappointed surprises. Everyone will know the ground rules going forward. Those who
come will come for the good time and camaraderie you intended.

The other approach is spiritual. The question is what has to be healed here. Well, there are several
issues but let’s focus on the feelings and concerns of your husband. He was clearly upset by this.

Ernest Holmes, founder of Science of Mind, pointed out that what occurs outside of us is a reflection
of what is inside of us. We get what we expect. It’s that simple. To change the outer we need only to
change the inner. That is, change our expectations. We need not even trouble ourselves trying to change
anyone else. It all begins, and is changed, within us. One of the ways we change that is with affirmative
prayer. It is not a begging prayer. The Universe has a poor track record when it comes to begging
prayers. It is a commanding prayer. You state the reality desired, believe it is yours, and it is. Here is a
prayer for your husband to say whenever he feels bad about this issue. I encourage him to memorize it
and repeat it until it “feels” real. That’s when the miracles happen.
”I am the perfect child of God. I work for the good; to heal, bless and uplift all. God is always on my
side. My choices for the good of all are always respected and honored by all parities, especially by
those I care about. They recognize and appreciate my good will and caring for them. They can never
hold anything against me. My life with them is filled with and reflects a mutual harmony, affection and
healthy respect for the limits I chose to set. And so it is.”

Anthony Kelson


Dear Indecisive Couple,

It’s kind of you to host a large party so both sides of your family can
get together. What a shame some allow the celebrations to go off track with arguments. It’s perfectly fine for you to set the atmosphere of your gathering. Perhaps the problem for those who left early for the lack of beer was the surprise that the atmosphere had changed from prior years. When you begin planning next year’s party you can let everyone know well in advance what refreshments will be served. No explanation is necessary but you certainly can note that with more younger children it
will be a “family friendly” event.
Do those who didn’t want a non-alcoholic party entertain you at their home? They could pick a different holiday and host whatever type of party they like. Perhaps a few smaller “adult” gatherings during the year will satisfy their desires for that type of socializing.
Whatever you and you husband choose, I hope everyone can relax and have
a good time.

Sharon Weisman is a founding member of the CVCA. She can be reached at sharon@jetcafe.org.