“God grant me the serenity to accept…”

“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.