I’m going to attempt a Month of Acceptance: According to page 449 in the old text, “acceptance is the answer to all my problems today… Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy.”
That’s what I’ve got to keep in my pocket, and that’s what I got to keep in my head. I need to remain loose in my attitude when it comes to change. Good, bad, or indifferent, change is going to come. And as always, it’s up to me to decide how I’m going to react. The one thing I do know for sure is that if I react with my old, knee-jerk mentality, the chance of things going sideways increases tenfold.
Even if I hesitate for only a couple of seconds, it’s better than doing the first thing that pops into my mind. That’s me running everything through my “how does this impact me?” filter, which almost always conjures up fear and paranoia. It’s my alcoholism doing what it wants, and having me believe it’s what I want, regardless of the reality and regardless of the outcome.
So here’s what I’m trying to do: think things through first. Pause for a beat or two. Treat face-to-face conversations like emails: craft my sentence before I have it spill out of my mouth. Literally proofread my response. This doesn’t guarantee that what I say will be right; what I’m hoping for is that I’ve been able to edit out the inappropriate emotions, wants, and wrong-sized thinking. Assume that whatever is coming my way is being presented to me with the best intentions: everyone is not out to get me, and everything that enters my ears doesn’t need to be sifted through for ulterior motives. That’s me assuming everyone is as sick as I am, and when I honestly think about it, how often do I speak to other people with ill intentions and ulterior motives, looking for the soft spot to stick in the knife?
Well, not very often at all. In fact almost never, when I’m approaching each interaction with a clean slate and a clear heart. Accept that others are doing the same.