January 4

ACCEPTANCE MONTH: DAY 4: “Having a religion doesn’t make a person love or not love others. It doesn’t make a person accept or not accept others. It doesn’t make a person befriend or not befriend others.

Being without a religion doesn’t make somebody do or be any of that either.

No, what makes somebody love, accept, and befriend their fellow man is letting go of a need to be better than others.

Nothing else.” ― Dan Pearce

Religion gives a lot of people what they feel is missing in their lives. It can be a centering force for many folks. Some find spiritual connection there. This is not my story.

I love this quote. I found a lot of new ones this year. It keeps me focused on the spirit of the principle. This one is so important. Being in Acceptance is the key for me. I have been a huge fan of Dr. Paul O. for most of my recovery. (I started going to his home group, which became mine at about 9 months into this thing.)

His writing on Acceptance covers it all for me. And I love exploring the various aspects of Acceptance, since it is the foundation piece, as I see it, in this thing. All Steps are built on Step 1. If I do not accept that I have this thing, then there is no possibility that I will embrace the rest of it.

And, if there is any attribute that I can relate to, across the board, with other addicts, it is that need we seem to have to compare our lives, our beings, our possessions, our careers, our behaviors and that of our families, to others. This fear-based thinking is such a huge component of how we think.

When I can stop this BS judgment of myself and others, acceptance becomes a possibility. That is the first step in life, period. With or without recovery, I must have the shit kicked out of me, so I can see that I am no better or worse than others, nor they, me.

What I hear a great deal of is that comparison. I think we all do it. When I do it less, I am more comfortable with ME, period. When I stop doing it, I am more comfortable with YOU. I have nothing to prove, no one to impress, and no comparisons can be made. This is just the way it is. You are you, doing what you do. As am I.

I have been very uncomfortable with those who are judgmental as of late. I know it is not something I have let go of completely, but I do recognize when I am in judgment. Now, this is tricky, because not everyone appeals to me in all ways. That means I get to choose to be around those who don’t practice judgment so frequently. This is a good mirror for me, as well.

If YOU are doing something that makes me uncomfortable, I must look to see what that is. Why? Because I am probably doing it too. And more than that, I don’t want to be a judge of anything. I am not qualified. I did not get here because I was a shining example of spiritual strength.

This is a tremendous process, and so vital to that thing that most baffled me in life; human relationships. Ugh! They are tricky and can be confusing, to say the least. Acceptance is the only thing that gives me a starting point for how they unfold. Practice, practice, practice.

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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