January 21

ACCEPTANCE MONTH: DAY 21:  “Detachment means letting go and nonattachment means simply letting be” ― Stephen Levine

We sometimes do not know the differences between concepts that are used interchangeably in recovery settings. Most people believe that Step 1 is about Surrender. I disagree.

Not even Step 3 is about Surrender, as I see it. I truly believe that Surrender, as I use it, is the pre-cursor of Step 1.

So, Acceptance is the state of being where I have allowed for Surrender to give me the opening where I can accept Step 1. I can see the viability of the process of becoming willing to ADMIT that I am powerless, and my life has become unmanageable. This is an important distinction, to me, because I am not going to get there unless Surrender has happened for me.

I cannot Surrender, but I get Surrendered, as we spoke about earlier this month. So, having come to the place where Acceptance is possible; I can move into the detachment and nonattachment parts of my life.

These are maintained for the sole purpose of continuing to live in Step 1. Reminding myself, sometimes daily, that I am powerless over life and all its components is the process of detachment. This is tremendously different than the way a lot of people use the term to mean the same thing as Surrender.

Detachment means I have stepped away from something and it no longer is a part of ME.

That is what we do when we recognize that we are powerless. We let go of our need to control or manipulate that person, place, thing or situation.

Then, if I am working well with this Acceptance process, I remain detached from all of it. That means I just let life be life, and you be you, and my cat be my cat, and the weather be the weather. I can do this without bitching about it, or ongoing focus on what I believe and feel around it.

These, for me, are the steps I must take to truly come to terms with my process of Acceptance. If I am accepting ME fully, I quit working to control and manipulate myself to be who I think I should be. This is the biggest one. When I can do that, I can do it for you.

Complete acceptance of Kelly is the goal. All of me, where I have been, where I have not been, what I have been, what I have not been, all of it. Then I can begin to accept you. That means I have no agenda for me or for you. Isn’t that nice? Total freedom.

I am able to detach and remain in nonattachment with all of it; me, you, life, all of that. This is the place I have always wanted to be, I like it here. It may not remain for long, but it is better and better every day. I love this step!

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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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