January 21

ACCEPTANCE MONTH: DAY 21: “If there’s one thing I’ve learned from all of this … it’s that no one, none of us, is ever really who we think we are. We tell ourselves lies to feel better, but they’re just lies. The truth is a lot harder to look at. But the trick is, you can’t let it crush you. You either accept who you are, or you change it.” ― Jane Gilmartin

I agree with most of this quote. We are masters at self-deception and delusion. Just when I believe myself to be at a good place spiritually, something occurs, and I lose my shit. It happens for all of us. Ego never dies, no matter how many times we smash it to smithereens. It is the gift that we get in life…an ego that never stops working to resolve life for us.

As if life needed resolution. That is not true. But Ego never stops trying. It could be overwhelming, and we could give up, but Spirit imbues us with hope. And so we go on.

I respect truth-tellers. I work to be one. I don’t have time to be pacified and coddled. That does not serve me or anyone, really. So I surround myself with people whose roles are defined with their ability to see the truth and tell me like it is. They are great at it. One is my sponsor. Even after all these years, I speak to her without fail twice a week. Sometimes more if stuff is going on. I don’t want to wander too far from the path. I have worked too hard and don’t want to go back to anyplace I’ve been. I seldom like her blunt statements of what she sees, but I rely on her, because her truth is always what works for me. Another one is a long-term relationship I have with a therapist who knows all the nooks and crannies. I rely on both of them big-time.

There are a few elder statesmen in recovery that I will ask advice or feedback from, depending on the situation I am facing. Seldom do I seek counsel, however. I discovered many, many years ago that I have my answers. They are in my heart. I must access the information that is placed there. It has always led me to greater good.

The part of the quote I disagree with is that we accept who we are or change it. Not sure what “it” is, but I know for certain that we cannot change ourselves. We can change our attitudes, our behaviors, our hair color, our clothes, our shoes, our address, our marital status, our identity, but not who we are. We just ARE. And that is default. We can work on a lot of things, but we don’t really change. WE may shift our perspective, our perceptions, our ideas and ways of looking at life, but not who we are.

Those silly romance movies where the partner comes back after a two-week or two-month or two-year breakup and says “I have changed. I am a different person” is pure bull. They are not. They may see things differently, but they are the same person. We all are. We just do not act or behave or think the way we used to. Even when we do, we might have learned to show it differently. That is all. The same person and all the old shit is still there, and THAT is what Ego brings back, time after time. Recovery depends on us knowing this difference.

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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