Thursday, August 30, 2007

Practicing What I Preach: Acceptance

On of the key goals of my sobriety has been to be more accepting. I am learning, often the hard way, that it is none of my business what others think of me, that I am powerless over the events happening around me, and that the more I accept, the happier I am. There has been some times recently where my acceptance has been put to the test.

Last night, I was having an amazing evening. I had a long conversation with my mother, a sign of a new level of communication between us, which included an amazing and unexpected complement. I worked with a couple of newcomers in my fellowship and really felt like I made a difference; one asked me to sponsor him. I cooked a great dinner for a great friend, Indian food, and it came out perfectly. Life was great!

And then the call came!

The number on the cell phone was withheld, and when I first picked it up I couldn’t understand the person on the other end of the phone. A couple times I asked for the person to speak clearer, and finally indicated that I was going to hang up. Then the voice came through loud and clear: stupid kike! It said. I was called a money grubbing Jew, a Christ killer, and that I deserved to die.

It was like I was paralyzed, stuck in my tracks. As the person hung up, I couldn’t move. I was overwhelmed; I didn’t know how to process the call. I have experienced anti-Semitism before, it’s certainly nothing new to me at all, but so many times I’ve pushed my feelings down with alcohol and drugs. Now I was feeling it. Now I was going through the pain instead of going around it. And believe me, it hurt.

Consciously I knew that this was out of my control, and I just have to accept it. Some are sicker than others, and it is none of my business what others think of me. But that wasn’t what I was feeling at all. What I was feeling was fear, and hatred, and self-loathing at my weakness. I was jumping to conclusions as to who made the call, and immediately taking their inventory. It was like I had done no work on myself at all over this year.

By myself, I think that I could have slipped back to my old ways, maybe not to using, but certainly to old attitudes and old behaviors, and that can’t be healthy. But instead, the people in my fellowship rallied around me, and helped support me. I can’t tell you why I felt so weak, or why I needed to be supported, but they were there for me, and helped me move back towards the new Scott, the person I want to be.

Every day I feel like I am growing, learning, becoming a better person, and so much of that has to do with the people around me. I have great friends and wonderful people in the fellowship. I care for and love so many people around me today, not only because of who they are but because of who they help me to be. With their help, I am getting better each day at practicing what I preach.

Image from Danny Sheffield

Posted by Scottage at 2:09 AM / | |