It’s roughly been thirty days, so I’m dialing back the focus. And not to get too puffy-chested, but I think we can all agree that acceptance is a very important part of this program.
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.”
Here is what I have learned: Practice acceptance exactly when you’re in the middle of something, preferably something fun. Accept it for what it is: a gift. Sure, we’re treading into gratitude waters, and that’s the point. Accept that I’m worthy of these gifts, this family, this board game at the kitchen table. It’s about accepting the good moments. It’s about understanding that once the moment has passed, good or bad, it’s over. And while I will spend days or months or years dwelling on the bad ones; categorizing them and stacking them away, the good moments are far too often discarded out of hand, out of fear, out of self-loathing, out of pride.
So when it comes time to do my fourth step, guess what’s waiting for me in the garage? Overstuffed filing cabinets of resentments. And it’s good to throw out all of that stuff and grow and move on. But afterwards, down the road, when daily maintenance is simple sidewalk sweeping, why not start a new collection of just the good stuff? Build a bank of positive outcomes, personal growth, reassurances and lazy Sunday mornings that I can call upon as if they were yesterday?
Maybe that’s the secret I’m supposed to be learning: by constantly accepting myself in the present moment, there’s much less urge to escape.