I have been gratefully busy this week not only with my clinical practice but also with radio interviews promoting Disentangle. Thanks to the excellent work of my marketing crew I have done 5 interviews since Monday, including Hartford, CN, Buffalo, NY, NYC/NJ/PA, Memphis, TN, and my local station here in Lexington, VA. I have enjoyed each interview. Thanks for all those opportunities.

In preparing for these interviews, my publicist wrote ten rich questions about the material in Disentangle that interviewers might ask me. Being the good student that I can be, last Sunday I sat down and wrote out answers to each of those questions. I know I can speak off the top-of-my-head about the book, and yet under the pressure of live radio, I didn’t want to trust that my thoughts and words would necessarily come. So in a conversational tone, I wrote out my answers to have as my cheat-sheet close at hand.

On Monday I thought it would be wise of me to send this five-page document of questions and answers to my marketing team in case they could think of other uses for this work. One of the uses already found is that this document has now been posted here on my Central Recovery Press website under FAQ.

So I invite you to consider these ten questions and ten answers as ten blogs from me to you. Each question involves an answer that helps the reader to understand more fully who might benefit from Disentangle and what new learnings can be found within.

All of these ten “blogs” are only a click away right here now on my website: http://www.nancyljohnston.com/faq-disentangle.

To be short and to the point, I disentangle to gain serenity.

            As I say in Disentangle:

There’s nothing more important to me than my serenity. That's what motivates me the most to disentangle. I've learned that the serenity I lose in trying to make my point or have things my way is not worth it. I have come to know what serenity feels like, and that's what I want for me.

Yes, over and over as I get tangled in a conversation or relationship, I remind myself that I hate to feel the way I feel when I am entangled and that more peace and serenity can be mine if I simply listen to my self, assert my self, and then let go of what I am not able to control.

To be clear, this disentangling is not referring to situations in which abuse or danger is present. Those situations require clear and direct actions on our part. None of the material in Disentangle is about how to live in abusive or harmful situations.

The material in Disentangle is for helping us to find serenity as we live in and deal with a multitude of interactions with family, friends, co-workers, bosses, and business relationships in which we are caught by trying to get others to say, do, or be different that what they are, by waiting for someone else to do something, by trying to fix them, or by wishing they would see our point and agree with us.

As I emotionally step back from such interactions, I can see and think and express and set my boundaries and let go.  Serenity then becomes possible and even likely.
All sorts of preparations are going on as we anticipate the release of Disentangle. I am finding that as I am getting ready for talks and interviews, I am re-visiting some of the core concepts and issues in Disentangle. Simply defining a tangled relationship is a good place to start.

A tangled relationship is one in which I feel very caught in my interactions with the other person. Various parts of me may be caught: my thoughts, my feelings, my behaviors. The other person may be doing things that encourage this tangle with them, but my work here is to look at the me that is prone to this loss of self in the other person, the me that does this to my self.

Tangled relationships push and pull on each other. Rather than each individual speaking for their self and listening so as to understand the other person, at least one individual in a tangled relationship is trying to get the other person to say or do or be something they want them to say, do, or be.

I push on the other person to be different than who they are. I pull on them trying to get them to like me, to love, me, to be pleased with me. I get caught up in these unproductive processes and forget about my self.

And then I start feeling bad. I may be upset or agitated. My focus narrows on to what I am trying to get out of the other person. I start neglecting things important to me. My feelings and thoughts may even be consumed by these unproductive interactions which can come from trying to control what I can’t control – in this case, the other person.

In the same way that a knot does not become undone by thoughtless pushing and pulling on it, so it is true with my interactions with this person with whom I am entangled. Finding and retrieving my very self is the key to my release from this knot, this entanglement. When I connect with how I am feeling, what I am wanting, and what I can control here, the tangle starts to loosen for me, and I feel freer, stronger, and better able to breathe and think and figure out what is best for me.

Love it!