“My life sucks. And I hate my job… boy, do I feel stuck!”
I’d said this to my wife many times before, usually out of frustration. I really did feel frustrated, and trapped.
“Yeah, I hear you; but unless you learn to accept your present circumstances,” she responded, “you will never be able to move on.”
“So, you think I should just lie down and die? Gawd, I could never settle for where I’m at right now!” I snapped. “How is that going to help me move on?”
Same conversation, over and over.
I thought ‘acceptance’ meant I had to settle. I’d done that for years – settled for second best. After all, I didn’t deserve any better; I wasn’t worth it. Hadn’t my self-loathing led me straight into addiction?
It infuriated me to think that the ‘answer’ to my situation was to settle. I just didn’t get it.
My attitude started to change when I got involved with a 12 step program. Doing the ‘steps’ helped me to see what it really means to accept.
Settling for second best was the reason I fell into addiction in the first place. My sexual addiction was a poor substitute for the real thing: Emotional connection; intimacy.
And my entire life eventually became a representation of my willingness to settle for second best. It’s not that I consciously decided one day that I was going to avoid emotional connection with another. Back then, I didn’t even know what that was…
“Intimacy? Didn’t that have something to do with sex?”
It took some time, but eventually I began to realize that ‘acceptance’ involved accepting my responsibility in it all – acknowledging the part I played in getting me to where I found myself.