I’ve been working really hard on acceptance. I’m not in a good space with my life. I’ve been trying to be peaceful about it and not fight it, but, internally and with my closest friends, I’ve been railing about it all. Everytime I talk about the things that frustrate me, I get even more frustrated. I walk away from every one of those conversations thinking that I need to shut up and quit talking about it. The truth is I feel like I’m going to blow up if I don’t let off some pressure. But I know from experience that the answer is not to let off steam. The answer is to turn the heat down.
One of my friends suggested I try getting on Match again to distract myself, but I have decided that’s not working. It’s just making it more evident than ever that I’m a weirdo here in southern Louisiana. I shut down my profile this morning and decided to put all my energy and attention into the things that I need to do to make my life better. I’m not exactly sure what all of that is, but I have some ideas. One of them is that I have to practice acceptance.
In the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, there is an oft-repeated section on page 449 or page 417 – depending on the edition you have – that says:
And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or 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.
Grrrrrr.… I hate that passage. But I know it brings immeasurable peace, and it is the answer to everything. Even if it isn’t the answer to everything, it’s the only answer that I can come up with all on my own. The rest of the answers need assistance from another person, place, thing or situation, and I can’t control any of them. So, I’m stuck with this.
I pulled a card from my Medicine Card deck this morning, and I got Deer reversed. Deer energy tells us to approach all situations with loving-kindness and gentleness. The reading tells a great story about the fawn who is trying to approach the Great Spirit at Sacred Mountain, but a demon has blocked access in an attempt to make followers believe they are disconnected. Instead of reacting in fear or anger, fawn reacts with gentleness and love and wins over the demon. Reversed – as I pulled it – reminds me that I’m dealing with a lot of negative thinking and ideas. The answer is to love myself enough to feel my own fear and let it go. I love the gentleness of that message. At the root of all of my irritation and frustration is a belief that I don’t deserve a good work environment or true love or lots of friends, and so I won’t ever get it. The fear that my life will always be like this makes me so irritable and discontent. My life is manageable, and I’m okay today. It’s that whole looming future with no hope that makes me incredibly frightened. And, when I’m frightened, I want to fight because being afraid is way too vulnerable.
This morning, I’m working on accepting several truths. The first is that I need to make some changes in both my attitude and my life. The second is that I’m not in control of the outcome, but I am in control of doing the things I need to do to enable change. The third is that I need to be gentle with myself enough to feel my fear instead of fighting the imaginary demons that are standing in my way. Nothing is really standing in my way. I’m just projecting all of that negative stuff onto the people and situations around me. When I am not afraid, I can walk through fire and not get burned. I have to accept and respect fire for what it is and stop feeding it gasoline. A raging inferno makes me more and more uncomfortable because you know how much I hate the heat.
There’s a cool front coming. Thank you, God. Keep those sweet gifts coming. I truly do see them and know you are right here with me. I don’t know why you put up with me, but I suppose you have your reasons. I’ll just have to accept that, too.