Kelli leads a discussion with Swetha and Spencer about acceptance. Kelli opened with a reading that begins “It is said that pain is inevitable but suffering is optional …” She speaks of her previous belief that accepting something meant thinking that it was right. She has grown into an attitude of patience, acceptance, and tolerance for people in her life. Acceptance is very important to her when she is driving, which she does for her job. Swetha used to ignore or deny behavior that she didn't believe were how they should be, and feared that acceptance would make things real and ok. She has learned that she can accept someone's behavior as real without approving of it. Spencer also used to feel that acceptance meant approval, but now accepting reality lets him find the ways in which he can make his life easier and more serene.
Swetha speaks of her fear that accepting reality would mean that she had to deal with it somehow, and that she didn't know how to deal with it. She now understands that she can say “it IS”, and that she won't fall apart. Faith in her Higher Power helps her to know that she will get through whatever it is. Spencer talks about acceptance of family members, “allowing” them to be who they are, who they have always been, and understand that they won't change. He can do his part by not triggering the unwanted behavior, and his relationships have improved as a result. Kelli says that working as a sponsor to other women in the program has helped her to learn acceptance. Spencer recorded a conversation earlier with Anne, who had a lot to say, and spoke of how accepting her feelings helps her to move through them and past them. Anne recalled the reading from AA, “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.” She talked about how she applies it in her life.
We share how we felt when our loved ones were seemingly destroying themselves and their lives by drinking or drugging. Acceptance of our loved ones' diseases helped us to support them in their own struggles without enabling, without getting in the way, without making ourselves crazy, while keeping hope alive. It was painful, but we didn't have to suffer through it. Swetha talks about past controlling, codependent behavior when she was unable to accept her loved ones way of living their life. She now realizes that those experiences helped to prepare her for finding recovery and acceptance in the Al-Anon program, and that her life is now happy, joyous and free as a result. We agree that changing our attitude to one of acceptance has made our lives more serene, happier, and much more manageable.
Next week's topic is Denial. Please share your thoughts on denial by voice mail at (734) 707-8795 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.