An Online Al-Anon Email Meeting
I was having a lot of difficulty with ccceptance, so one day I was meditating on it, trying to find a picture in my mind to match my feelings. That's when I had a "lightbulb moment" on acceptance.
I saw my efforts to change my husband to be as if I was trying to move my house with only me and my trusty rope. I tied that rope around the house and around myself in as many ways as I could think of.
Hours and hours I spent designing the knots, planning and executing the perfect pull (aka "speaking slower and louder"), pondering, prognosticating, and pulling, pulling, pulling.
I pulled until I was physically and mentally and spiritually drained, defeated, even injured. I wanted to move that house as much as I wanted to do anything in my life, as if my life and the life of everyone I ever met depended on it. I had the motivation and I had the will! Heck, I knew the house would be better off if it was moved to a healthier location, and so would I. Then things would be okay, if only I could move that house!
Of course, none of my schemes, machinations, energy efficient and ingenious engineering feats mattered, because it was flat-out not within my power to move my "house."
My Al-Anon neighbors knew I would not be able to move my house no matter how strong my will or my rope. They shook their heads and listened to my frustration, lovingly trying to point out the futility of my efforts.
But I didn't want to listen to their words because I didn't want to accept reality. I was sure that only I knew what was best for me and the house, and I darn well knew that if I tried hard enough I could do it!
But there came a day when I realized that I did not have the power to move my house. And finally I came to accept that it was where it was and - unless God decided otherwise - that's where it was going to stay. So now what?
Well, now I could make choices based on the reality of what was, rather than on the way I wanted things to be... much easier and much more effective. And I found that I had time and energy to devote to MY life. And darn it... I started landscaping. If the "house" was there to stay, I was going to make it as pleasant as I could.
Now whenever I have a hard time accepting things I remember how hard I worked at "moving my house" and how futile and exhausting that was. I am so much happier today thanks to my increased capacity to accept the things I cannot change, and I have all that extra energy now to change the things I can, me!