January 28

ACCEPTANCE MONTH: DAY 28: “I can’t explain that, except to say there’s release in knowing the truth no matter how anguishing it is. You come finally to the irreducible thing, and there’s nothing left to do but pick it up and hold it. Then, at least, you can enter the severe mercy of acceptance.” ― Sue Monk Kidd

I love the phrase “severe mercy of acceptance.” I think that is what we speak of as surrender. It is a very severe mercy. We have to go to some extreme lengths to get there.

Most of the time, my surrenders feel like severe mercy. And I am grateful. The battle with my ego/self-will is intense sometimes. The need to be right is hell. The ability to let go of that is another severe mercy.

All in all, the phrasing of this quote really speaks to me.  “You come finally to the irreducible thing, and there’s nothing left to do but pick it up and hold it.” Wow! This is exactly what I felt like when I became convinced, to my innermost self that I was an alcoholic. Right?

And, for many of us, this is anguishing truth. I did not feel like that about being an addict at all. I was, quite frankly, grateful and relieved. Because I thought I was inherently broken and crazy. It was so much easier to see my addiction as the problem. I understand that.

The truth is often anguishing. I remember my husband’s diagnosis and death. That was anguishing. But, we needed that truth to do what was in front of us. It set us free in a whole different way. He was so accepting; it took me a bit longer. But we never fought that truth.

I have watched people fight their death sentence. There are varying levels of surrender and acceptance involved in that process. Some attack their illness, others attack their bodies. It can be quite brutal. It is always a personal decision. I cannot speak of this, because I have not made that decision.

My husband did, and it was my only job to support him in that decision. I was not immediately on board, but I jumped into his acceptance; because I always knew it wasn’t up to me. That was then, and is now, one of the few selfless acts of my life. I am always so surprised by that. I had deeply selfish feelings about it all, but I never brought those to him.

Perhaps our truth is anguishing for us, and sometimes for others as well. I don’t know. I just know that I have to accept a lot of things that others do not agree with. I am okay with that. This is my journey. I do hope, however, that I continue to allow others the dignity and freedom of their own choices. This is the path…I want to stay on this path. There is no other for me today; I am grateful.

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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