Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Radical Acceptance

I feel like I am on the cusp of learning a monumental life changing God concept. It's like a little bird is nipping away at the edges of the shell surrounding this truth in my heart and soon it's going to burst open. Some days I fight it...I waffle back into my ideas of what enabling is and what I "deserve" in my middle years (if I live to be 104 lol) ... Peace, calm, financial stability. I think about the boundaries that I "must" set. And we must....of course. Life is filled with boundaries and limits, but those things don't need to be harsh, punitive, alienating, a negative.....a fortress. It is often such a fine line, but quite literally in my situation, lives are at stake. So how do we, or I, keep loving, keep connected, keep positive in the midst of active disease and dysfunction?

A friend shared this blog post on Facebook and while it is not about addiction....it could be. It is about a precious little one who is different. Who at the core of who she is is not part of what her parents planned on. Like us, they grieve the loss of the idea of the girl they would have and they celebrate the girl they have been given.

This post that I linked you to above, speaks of a village named Geel, in Belgium...where the families of Geel take into their homes mentally ill patients as boarders to live with them. They share family life with them. The town got the nickname, "Paradise for the Insane." You will need to read the post for the full story...this type of acceptance always strikes me as so beautiful. It shakes me up inside.

We spoke the other night in a meeting about the blessing of being able to "come as we are." Again, acceptance of us in our most broken places. We can come as we are. Not perfect. Not cleaned up, leaves in our hair, dirt under our nails, stinking of the night before, hearts broken, and find acceptance in these rooms of recovery.

What if those in our lives who suffer from addiction, never get well? Is my acceptance pending on the "getting well" factor? "Once you are off drugs and living a responsible life, THEN and only then will you receive my approval and my acceptance of who you are. Just typing that nauseates me. Is that how God feels about each of us? I believe that we are each God's child. I know that at that moment when I felt His acceptance of me, when I felt like I least deserved it, when I was at my lowest and felt that I had failed at everything and anything that had ever been important to me...it was that exact moment  that changed the very core of who I was. Who I am. Feeling accepted, part of, loved, changed me. Acceptance didn't enable me to be perfect or whole....but it did give me the courage to venture out and try to do things differently.

I am in no way insinuating that if we accept our addicted kids enough then...Ta da...they will become healthy! What I am insinuating though is that their sobriety is their process. Can we accept them without judgement, as they walk it out? Or not? Can we set up a safe relationship with the actively addicted? If they refuse to participate, can we continue to extend a hand of love and care with no expectation for response? A text that says, "I think about you a lot. You are not forgotten." "You are in my heart today." Sometimes I tell my girl stories from her childhood...happy ones, when she was just my little sweet red haired girl, who was so kind to other children in her own quiet peaceful way. She listens quietly and smiles. I miss that child. So so much. I'm sure she does too.

I just know that acceptance is crucial to any of us finding peace. Acceptance of each other with the good and the bad and the ugly and the stinky, and acceptance of the imperfect lives we have been given.

I want to find ways to implement radical acceptance in my life and in my relationships with others. God show me how. Show me the way. Open the door in my heart so that I can love as you do.

Always praying for us all.....
Annette

3 comments:

Mary Christine said...

Once I was talking with a young friend about her pregnancy. She is a PhD, beautiful, athletic, and perfect in every way. Her husband is much the same. They were told their baby may have something (I don't remember what anymore) wrong. With tears in her eyes, she told me she didn't know what she was going to do.

Knowing me as a Catholic, she expected judgement. I told her I understood, and then I told her something that kind of rocked my world. "I would never have chosen a daughter with addiction, and frankly, had I known what this was going to look like, I might have "chosen" not to have her, but I wouldn't trade her for anyone or anything. She is cherished, just the way she is."

I believe God put us together for a reason. I NEVER turned my back on her in her active addiction. But she was wise enough to stay away when she needed to, most of the time. I am so grateful for the relationship we have. She is closest to me in so many ways.

Mark Goodson said...

This is a great post. It says in our book "acceptance is the answer" to all my problems today. I think it is a great spiritual truth. When I'm not in acceptance mode, I start thining I have the answers. I don't. But there is ONE who does!

Annette said...

One of my readers commented on this and I am sharing it with her permission. She articulated it all so well.

I relate to all you say. And you write beautifully. I have locked up any jewelry I have in a safe deposit box but a pair of earrings and wedding rings. So as not to tempt my son at all. I also felt I would always be able to live with my self if I erred on the side of too much compassion. I try and ask myself what would Jesus do. Do I fail, sure but I am human. Before my son Billy died( my other son is in early recovery) we brought him in from living on the streets. We got him an apartment. he had not completely stopped using drugs. He was very sick. He had contracted HIV from needle use. I would bring him home during the day to our house but at night he'd go back to his apartment. I had a younger child here and him being up all night wandering and using we couldn't sleep. Sounds cruel but I loved him and didn't want him suffering his disease alone. Nothing in the world of addiction is good. We try our best to survive. I think when my son died he raised his hand to God and God took it. My son was so tired . 22 years old and a soul of an old man. ❤️🙏🏻