“The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.” Nathaniel Brandon
“And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today” (The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.
“Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is…” Michael J. Fox
It took me a long time to get right with the word, “acceptance”. I thought it meant that I had to LIKE everything. Everything about me, about the people around me, about the world. I had to LIKE that my Dad was dead and that my husband was having an affair. I had to LIKE that I had a diagnosed mental illness. I also thought it meant that I had to bow down to the things I deemed oppressive and wrong. I resisted Acceptance like crazy.
Back then the image I’ve included in this post would have made me want to scream. WHAT DO YOU MEAN, NOTHING’S WRONG?!!! Everything is Wrong and Should be Different.
I had no idea that by resisting Acceptance, I was ensuring that true change and transformation were going to be nothing short of impossible.
I couldn’t look at what was real because I was too busy judging whatever it was as wrong, bad, stupid, ugly. And that was painful. I wasn’t just resisting Acceptance. I was resisting Reality. And resisting reality just kept me stuck in it.
Here’s what I came ‘round to: Acceptance means stepping into reality as it exists in the present moment. Whatever is happening, whatever I’m standing in JUST IS. Once I see What IS (without all the triggering shame, anger, grief, lonely, sad stories), I can decide to change. I can start the process of transforming. I can begin working toward a different reality once I agree to see THIS reality.
That’s why the 1st step in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous is to ACCEPT that there IS a problem. Those good old boys were pretty smart.
So, if you’d like: Sit down. Find your breath. Settle in. Open the windows of awareness on what’s happening in the present moment. What is Real? Right now? And then ask, what needs my attention? What needs changing? What areas of my life would light up if I shifted in a different direction?
Make a new choice based on what IS rather than what you wish wasn’t.
Transformation Step 2: Accept Reality. Right now.
The original article, published on May 24, 2018 at Medium.com has been edited by the author, Tara Moorman, for publication on this website.
Dr. Allaire received his Bachelors of Science in Biology from the University of Houston, as Valedictorian of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and his Medical Doctorate from Baylor College of Medicine, where he served as Chief Resident. He is the medical monitor for the Physician Counseling Committee of the Harris County Medical Society and the Medical Director of Serenity House Detox. Dr. Allaire specializes in medically assisted detox cases, treating patients in recovery from addiction or other mental health disorders, the medical assessment and monitoring of patients with addictive disorders, medical care related to eating disorders and the medical treatment of patients with mental health conditions.