Acceptance. Here’s a tough one. Almost as tough as Faith.
AA and other 12-step programs teach that we have to accept where we are at, accept our current circumstances before we can start getting better.
Accept, in this usage, means “to acknowledge something as true or real”.
Until we are able to admit and accept that we are an alcoholic, or an addict or co-dependent or whatever, and that we got ourselves into that situation, we will not be able to change.
I think that with Acceptance comes Responsibility and the Ability to move forward toward change.
Look, if we are still running around thinking, “Oh poor me! Look what Joe or Joanna or Everybody did to me”, we are in sad, sad shape! The moment we accept our circumstances and take responsibility for those circumstances, then suddenly we are no longer the Effect of our life but can move over to Cause. “I am in this situation because of what I did; some decision I made along the way, or whatever. But since I am now responsible for my own condition then I am in a position of Power – a position of power to change that condition.”
But that all boils down to acceptance.
Acceptance and Responsibility.
One also has to accept one’s condition and take responsibility with regard to illness or physical conditions. I had Hepatitis C many years back. The medical treatment for this condition is pretty severe – horrendous actually. One of the side effects of the treatment is anger. One gets angry and can blow up at the slightest thing. I remember also dealing with dreams that concerned earlier parts of my life that I was angry about. I tried to objectively look at these dreams and see what was in those (and in my past) that were making me so angry. I mentioned to my sister that maybe it was good that I had contracted this disease so that I could do the treatment and try to deal with some of my anger issues. She said that maybe I had decided to contract the disease so that I could deal with these issues.
Oops! Suddenly I was responsible for contracting the disease and able to more objectively look at what was happening with the treatment and how this was enabling me to deal with some of my anger issues.
It was a different perspective. Maybe I brought this whole thing on myself.
We are all right where we need to be at any given moment for our spiritual growth and development – even if we are ill or out of work, or whatever.
When we really accept where we are at, when we really accept our current condition and situation as something caused by us – not by some external person or thing – then we can take responsibility and start causatively changing that condition for the better. But not before we take responsibility.
For an addict or alcoholic, and many others, it is much easier to blame someone else – anyone else! This has been a tough lesson for me, but has enabled me to take better control of my life and live more at peace because I am the one in charge – not someone else.
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