January 4

ACCEPTANCE MONTH: DAY 4: “We are all going, I thought, and it applies to turtles and turtlenecks, Alaska the girl and Alaska the place, because nothing can last, not even the earth itself. The Buddha said that suffering was caused by desire, we’d learned, and that the cessation of desire meant the cessation of suffering. When you stopped wishing things wouldn’t fall apart, you’d stop suffering when they did.” ― John Green

This premise has been so important in my life. When I do not understand, when I get upset and angry, when people I love are sick and dying, when some thing I love is broken or gone, all of these facts of life that I find so challenging to navigate, I read something like this in Buddhist literature; and I feel better.

I can move into acceptance that life is life. In 12-step literature, I learn that I have to stop fighting life, and to learn to live life on life’s terms.

For some reason, I think that I get to yell at the Universe and try to impose my desires onto life and get my way. We all do this, at least that is my observation of things. What I THEN get to do is to deepen my spiritual practice by reminding myself, over and over; until it is pounded into my very thick, very stubborn, and very self-centered brain that I am NOT going to get life to run by my agenda. Oh! And Oh! again…dammit!

So, this process of acceptance is a big one. The most important one. The one from which the rest of it all flows.

So, Step 1 applies to EVERYTHING in my life. Or, to put it the way I say it to myself and those I work with,
“I am Powerless, PERIOD!” All the time, in every situation, every day, from birth to death. I have NO SAY over what outcomes will be.

Everyone will die, everyone will be sick, everything will break down, all of that. For ever and ever, amen.

Okay. If I don’t get high or drunk behind it, there is a possible spiritual outcome that may occur. If I do, then it is the  same mess I got here with.

Me drinking or drugging does not prevent life from being life. Somehow, we think there is some benefit package we get around here for good behavior. From where I sit, it only means we get to experience the REAL feelings that come up and then we get to shift our shitty attitudes. That is all.

The feelings come from what we believe about life. If you feel like shit emotionally, it is because you have a shitty attitude and need to examine YOUR beliefs. All Step 4 stuff.

Life will never accommodate you. Get over it and move into a new paradigm with what you believe about that. It is a good thing, really. You are just stuck in your shit. Lets all move on and be happy. You can do this, job or no job, money or no money, spouse or no spouse, kids or no kids, home or no home, car or no car, etc.

Happiness lives in the heart of those who have let go of their expectations that life owes them something. Not true, never was. Where these crazy ideas come from is the SOLE PURPOSE of the 12 steps. Oh! Did you really believe it was as simple as just not drinking? Well, it IS…but the thinking you are having so much trouble with is the REASON you drank to begin with. Not what happened in your life, but what you THINK AND BELIEVE about it. Causes and conditions. See?????

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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