January 24

ACCEPTANCE MONTH: DAY 24: “Let go of certainty. The opposite isn’t uncertainty. It’s openness, curiosity and a willingness to embrace paradox, rather than choose up sides. The ultimate challenge is to accept ourselves exactly as we are, but never stop trying to learn and grow.” ― Tony Schwartz

One of my favorite quotes, apart from this one, is a line from Richard Bach; “Argue enough for your limitations, and sure enough, they’re yours.”

Culturally, we are so programmed to see what is happening right now and become attached to it. There is another reality, just along with this one, that we are not able to see. Because we do not see it, our vision becomes focused on what we see. We grow deeply attached to it and lose our ability to allow life to flow around it and shift it into the next phase of development.

If all I focused my attention on is the fact that I am addicted to processes and lots of stuff, I would never be able to recover. Recovery is not about moving past those. It is about learning to see where my life and beliefs have created the need for me to hang on to ideas about myself that are not always true, even if they were for a bit.

I have been a daughter, a sister, a cousin, a girlfriend, a wife, a mother, a grandmother. I am all of those, but that is not all. I have been healthy and sick and all phases in-between. I have been an artist, a decorator, a gardener, a secretary, an office manager, a business manager, a supervisor, a bartender, a waitress, a customer service clerk, a social worker, a therapist, a counselor, a consultant, a seamstress, a baby sitter, a retail clerk, a probation officer, a loan officer, a bank teller, an airline attendant, a helicopter mechanic, a driver, a concert promoter, a DJ (radio, not private), a sous chef, a retail clerk, a housekeeper, a typist, and a sheriff’s deputy. So many things, but none of them say who I am.

There are so many roles we can get stuck in. My ego fights for them to be the coolest or most-attention grabbing thing I can be.

The part about limitations is that I get attached to identifying myself as any of these and I cannot let go of that identification. It is demeaning for me to identify myself with any of it, because it WILL shift and change in an instant. Then I am stuck and unhappy because I want it to remain my identity. This happened a lot for me when I was no longer working as I had for so many years of my life. I was not ready, in my mind, to be not working any longer. I had to shift my thinking to a new paradigm. Okay. Then I got to see that there were other “realities” going on for me inside this story. Okay.

I remember being about 5 or 6 years into this recovery gig and talking to my sponsor about the “reality” of my current financial situation. She laughed and told me that it was only one of my realities. ???? I was totally unclear about her meaning. Today I understand.

I love the idea of “let’s wait and see…” The open-ness and spaciousness of not clinging to a situation is the thing I must learn to live with. Or I will be broken by the paradox Mr. Schwartz speaks of. Life is always a paradox. A give and take, an ebb and flow. Staying stuck in what we believe about what is going on is going to kick our asses. It always does. I am grateful for openness and spaciousness today. And I am really, really grateful to Mr. Bach for giving me a framework for NOT having limitations. I want to soar with all the possibilities of what life has to offer.

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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