Typically, whenever I utter the words, “yes, I accept,” there is a an unmistakable shit-eating grin on my face and a twinkle in my eye. The only times I have ever found these words worthy of elliciting my signature response apply to the following situations: A). I have been offered a badass job, B). Apple products require me to sign off on Terms and Conditions for my new iPhone, or C). Someone has asked me if I am willing to pay extra for guacamole or sour cream. These days, my acceptance threshold has reached new levels of discernment: I face (with equal enthusiasm) an undeniably sobering reality, in addition to an unrelenting desire to coax the joy out of myself, even if it kills me. (The “me” I reference here is Ego.)
What I have discovered in the last 48 hours–which have passed so effortlessly–is that acceptance has set me free. I have attended hundreds of meetings since March of 2014, where many of the best passages out of the appropriate alcoholic literature describe acceptance being the antidote to my life’s “recent unpleasantness” (as my grandmother Myra “Bunch” Morrisette used to say). One passage greets me with offensively bright pink highlighter each time I open my Big Book to read about how to get through the present time sober:
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…I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and my attitudes.
I find immense joy in the knowledge that resistance is futile. Sure, when my spicy Italian hot-headedness commands attention, I can spit expletives with the best of them. A friend once even referred to it as The Morrisette Charm Offensive (and offensive it was). I like being angry sometimes. However, the moment my Higher Power nudged me toward the exotic realm of sobriety, I agreed to disarm by disengaging my anger. I made a commitment to myself and to all that is good and right in the world that I would no longer answer to the dictates of my own thoughts or emotions. I am now reaching a new stratosphere of consciousness where there exists a far greater power in humility–or as I like to call it, knowing when to just shut the fuck up–thoughts, feelings and all.
I have struggled with powerful questions about what surrender and acceptance mean for my feelings, because I am addicted to feelings as much as I am addicted to my own line of thinking. The best, most non-addicting thought that has crossed my mind thus far is simply, “I don’t know”. I find that my higher power lives in me amidst uncertainty, as well as in the outside world, guiding me with an ever-pliant intuition. I see now that to accept how I feel at any given time requires a bit of consolidation rather than compounding. I get to feel angry; I don’t get to let that anger pervade all of my thoughts and actions with unconscious motivations…I am trying to stay sober, here, people.
And today, I accept that I no longer have the fight in me to resist joy. I spent the afternoon with an alarmingly irreverent friend of mine, riding the same buses that recently brought me to public tears, panic and confusion…only to find that we did not stop laughing the entire 2+ hours we spent schlepping to West Hollywood, Silver Lake and onward to Glendale. I observed my anger, resentments and situational depression slowly deflate after a meditation meeting last night clear through to this afternoon, job-hunting with a friend rather than lumbering under the duress of my false ego’s stronghold.
So, yes. Yes to less. Less pressure, less unhappiness, less trivialities. Yes, I accept these terms and conditions.
Photo courtesy of en.memory-alpha.org