At the beginning of this summer I was in a miserable mode of resistance to the reality of my marriage. By that I mean I didn't want the life I had, not because that life was horrible (it wasn't), but because it required so much damn work and because a lifetime of sexual addiction recovery was not my Plan A. I can hear the whining in my voice even as I type this.
I wanted something that didn't exist: a clean and easy life, without a past of lies and sexual addiction in my family. Had there been a time machine handy, I would've altered the past in an instant, erasing all the garbage in my marriage.
In the spirit of allowing myself to feel my feelings, I stayed in this state of non-acceptance for months, until I became fed up with feeling like I had eaten a bowl of lemons for breakfast every day.
I felt stuck in negativity and fear, so I sought some more counseling for myself. My counselor helped me see how black and white my vision was and how I might have less pain if I allowed myself to see more grays in my life.
She encouraged me to think things like:
"For the most part, my kids are more emotionally stable than they used to be."
"For the most part, I am feeling less anxiety when I wake up in the morning."
"For the most part, my husband is a drastically different person from his active addict self of the past."
"What would acceptance look like for you?" she asked.
She helped me see that acceptance is not the pinnacle of the mountain I am climbing. Acceptance is the peace that I gather along the way, like little pebbles. Acceptance is increasing peace about my life: my actual life, the messy life in front of me, not the life I imagine/wish I had.
It seems like the more I credit God to know the best (not the most comfortable) path for my life, the more peace I feel.
Melody Beattie says,
"So much of our anguish is created when we are in resistance. So much relief, release, and change are possible when we accept, simply accept........Acceptance does not mean we're giving our approval. It does not mean surrendering to the will and plans of another. It does not mean commitment. It is not forever. It is for the present moment. Acceptance does not make things harder; it makes things easier. Acceptance does not mean we accept abuse or mistreatment; it does not mean we forego ourselves, our boundaries, hopes, dreams, desires or wants. It means we accept what is, so we know what to do to take care of ourselves and what boundaries we need to set. It means we accept what is and who we are at the moment, so we are free to change and grow. Acceptance and surrender move us forward on this journey."
Here's to a little more acceptance and peace today.