January 22

ACCEPTANCE MONTH: DAY 22: “My hands tend to be full enough dealing with people who like me for who I am. Concentrate too hard on the millions of people who hate you for what you are and you’re likely to turn into one of those unkempt, sloppy dressers who sag beneath the weight of the two hundred political buttons they wear pinned to their coats and knapsacks.” ― David Sedaris

When the world defines us by our belonging to this or that group, it begins to have opinions and ideas about who you are that may not fit.

I am not the party I vote for, nor am I only an addict, nor am I only a female, nor am I my age or experiences. I was once affiliated with a very radical and mostly violent group of loud motorcycle-riding men. But that is not all I am, nor was it then.

I was once a member of a particular military group, and they are very attached to that distinction. I am not, nor was I then, that.

I have an Irish background, but am not a member of that culture, since I know very little about it and it was not part of my heritage to be given that culture, other than a few small pieces of it.

I was raised in a very bizarre way, in a family that considered itself as a particular religious denomination. I am not that, for sure.

I have brown eyes, but do not consider that my being, either.

I grew up in a particular place, but that does not define anything about me either.

I am not my weight or height or a member of any class in a social construct. But there are those who would define me by all of these criteria.

Most of these pieces of my history and personality are at great odds with each other. The fact that I once was affiliated with a motorcycle club is quite directly conflictual with my spiritual practices of both yoga and meditation. Hardly ever did those with the boys.

My military history has a great bearing on many facets of my life, especially today. It has nothing, however, to do with my life today, except in very disconnected ways.

My addiction is the same. I seldom ever talk about it with those who are not in a 12-step program. I have so many other interests and such a strong lifestyle that does not bring these things to the topics of my conversations. There was a time in my early recovery when I told everyone I met. Today that is not always the case. It takes a while before I disclose that. It is not germane to the conversation most often.

There are so many aspects to my life. It would be hard to fit me into any category. The same holds true for most of us.

I have to accept most of my friends and loved ones as a package. We may not have all things in common. I base my choices on those who do not have to work at changing me. I am who I am, you are who you are. It is a lovely thing and we are blessed to have each other, is how I see it. So, I accept you and you accept me…it is all good and the way it all should be. Anything else is just too damned much work to go through. Love it!

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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