Acceptance and Loving What Is

It’s been over a year since my last post, and I’m still an addict. But I’m doing things I’ve never done before. Recently I spent over a month in hotel rooms, away from family, and did not act out. Only God could make this possible. I definitely couldn’t do it, I’ve proven that enough times. SA works if you work it, it’s simple. That’s what attracted me to it 5 years ago; it is proven – as evidenced through other addicts – and everything else I had tried (including ARP) was a failure, so why not try something with proven success. I still attend ARP, I should mention, it just never got me sober. SA did.

Sometime over the past year my wife introduced me to Byron Katie, “the work“, and “Loving What Is” – one of her publications. I recommend it to anyone who wants to hurt less and find more joy in life. Katie’s concepts of acceptance came up last night in a conversation I was having with one of my program buddies. He’s relatively new to the program, and to his credit he is sticking with it. Last night he was expressing how difficult addiction is. I had to agree, it’s impossibly difficult. Impossible for me. But when I come to my own enlightened self-interest, there is a way to freedom, and at that point of enlightenment, I’m willing to do whatever it takes. But why does it have to take SO MUCH? That was the topic of our conversation last night.

After some discussion, we agreed that recovery takes EXACTLY what it needs to take. When I do “the work,” I realize that the requirements of recovery are exactly as they should be. Certainly if God meant for it to be any different, then it would be. So there must be something essential to be gained from things being the way they are.

It’s like my kids. They are frequently looking for the path of least resistance (just as they should, they’re kids!) But my wife and I know that for their development they need to learn how to work, so we constantly push them to do things out of their comfort zone.

I think God is the same way in recovery. Recovery will come exactly the way it is meant to for my maximum benefit. God has not deprived me of the benefits of a slow and steady working of the program with bumps and slips along the way. Things are happening exactly the way they should happen, thank you Jesus! I love God and I accept His Way, because my ways are more painful. Like we say at the end of our SA meetings, “Thy will, not mine, be done.”

Finally, “Loving What Is” aligns perfectly with the concept from one of my favorite passages in the Big Book:

Acceptance

“And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.
When I am disturbed,
It is because I find some person, place, thing, situation —
Some fact of my life — unacceptable to me,
And I can find no serenity until I accept
That person, place, thing, or situation
As being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.
Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God’s world by mistake.
Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober;
Unless I accept life completely on life’s terms,
I cannot be happy.
I need to concentrate not so much
On what needs to be changed in the world
As on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition p. 417

Thanks for reading my post, I’d love to hear your thoughts on recovery and/or acceptance. Please take some time to comment if you are so inclined.

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