Acceptance, again?

Acceptance is the most difficult challenge I face – it always has been.  I ran a search on the word “acceptance” on my blog and it came up with almost 2 pages worth of posts that I have used or written about the topic of acceptance. Two things stand out quite readily when I read through the posts – alcoholism and sexuality.  But there are more issues surrounding acceptance that I won’t be tackling all in one post; so, don’t be surprised if it’s mentioned in other posts – as evidenced by the numerous posts already discussed. But I ponder the fight I have with acceptance.

This past weekend made me contemplate a few things in life and I spent some time focused on this idea of acceptance. – What is it about acceptance that I struggle with?  I think it boils down to the fact that I BELIEVED everyone who ever told me I can do whatever I want and accomplish whatever I Want, if I just put my mind to it.  The idea that your mind can cause you to accomplish anything.  And it is something I embraced, fully, wholeheartedly, and completely. I don’t do well when people tell me I can’t do something – it instantly makes me WANT to do something.  Sometimes to my own detriment.

This weekend had me feeling old. I am getting to a point in my life, where I feel like I’m not going to accomplish all the things I set out to do in life. I’ve felt like this for a long time and I have struggled against it. I feel like I have been in a battle against time and time is winning.  There is an idea of understanding priorities and how to organize what is important, but sometimes these things can become convoluted.  Even as I think about the goals I may not accomplish in life, I start to consider the fact that something major has been sacrificed along the way: MY happiness, my well-being, my balanced center of being.

I think this is part of what led me into alcoholism, for example (there are a lot of things that I Feel added to me drinking, but I feel. I feel like I began to drink, to calm my nerves and to attempt to “check-out” of the pain of failing in life. My optimism and negativity began to erode over time and I began to feel empty for not achieving everything I wanted to in life. I took the idea that “I can do anything, if I put my mind to it” and turned it into “I can do everything, if I put my mind to it.” And that is false, because we have limits.

Limits are something that absolutely needs to be accepted. Sure, limits can be pushed, broken or even ignored; but they have a very distinct quality of existing, regardless of how you or I appreciate them.  Limits, such as time, other people, places, things, ideas, etc.  I always love the adage that the only limits we have are the ones we put on ourselves – but the reality is there are limits that exist outside of ourselves. They are real, they are inevitable. I’m not suggesting we shouldn’t break the limits we put on ourselves, but we must be able to recognize what those limits are versus the limits that exist outside of ourselves. We must understand what we can control and what we cannot control.  Sometimes, I think I failed to understand that.

I’m beginning to face the reality that I’m not going to be a millionaire. Okay, before you laugh thinking it’s a joke, I am serious.  I had every intention of being well-off. I attended a great engineering college, got into the oil & gas industry and was cleaning up some major financial messes I had got myself into and then was laid off (as many of you are aware).  The last couple of years, I have spent time fighting tooth and nail to stay afloat.  I am even on the prospect of going back to the oil & gas industry and taking a position that is lower than what I had before. I am approaching it with the intention of re-branding myself and promoting myself in ways that I hadn’t before, because I was in the depths of my depression before I even got laid off. I have an opportunity again, but I know there are things I have to recognize and there are limits I need to pay attention to.

Another aspect of acceptance that I have been struggling with again is my alcoholism.  I don’t like it. I simply do not. I can’t seem to wrap my head around the idea of never having another beer for as long as I live. I pay attention to other people and what they have to say, because I have always been the kind of person to follow the path others have laid down in front of me. I do well, when I follow directions. So, I hear when people say this is the cunning and baffling nature of alcohol – it continues to call out to you.  I’m refraining, but I’m refraining because I want to lose weight and get back into shape.  I want to be as healthy as I once was. But there is a limit I am struggling with here, as well – the idea that I have so many other obligations and there feels like there is no time left in life to be where I once was. I’m using the idea of wanting to be healthy as my driving force to refrain from alcohol. I’m steering clear of the God concept when it comes to sobriety, because I fear that by following a God of my understanding, I will have to steer clear of something else I have finally accepted – my sexuality. But as I contemplate that, I begin to have doubts about it all and what it means to me in the totality of my life.

Last week, I discussed my sexuality and impacts of gender in quite a bit of detail, but I am contemplating what more it means to me. This weekend, I went walking through a local shopping mall and went into a few stores that sold women’s clothing and shoes. As I looked and shopped, I felt oddly uncomfortable – I wasn’t sure if it were people staring at me, or if I had a sudden feeling of it not being right for me to be in there.  I began to wonder if there is some reason I should be dressing in women’s clothing and I just had a thought of “You’re too fucking masculine. You’re trying to force something, because you think this is what you MUST be to be taken seriously.” Suddenly, it kind of hit me that I can never pull off a feminine look, unless I were to make many drastic changes to myself – ultimately, this would mean I was not accepting myself the way I am. I felt like the past few years have been monumental in me accepting myself the way I am – bisexual. And now, to look at changing myself, felt like I was trying to hide myself. Is that what I really wanted? I hid myself by drinking, so was I looking for another way to hide myself?

I find that I continue to hide myself in a lot of ways, and sometimes I think that is completely okay.  Sometimes, I feel like there are individual things that we all hide about ourselves to function in the world at large. But is that an inability to accept oneself?  I’m not sure, but there are times when I feel like there are people who do not need to know some things about me. Sometimes I think it is a privilege to know some things about myself, and that’s okay, right?

And as I begin to question myself, I think “Acceptance means you are going to see things the way you see them and it’s always okay.”  I don’t need to question myself. I can be bisexual. I can be masculine (or feminine, if the mood strikes me). I can get a divorce if I wanted. I can go back to lifting weights. or I can body-sculpt however I want. I can find a hot woman to date. I can find a sexy man to sleep with. I can do whatever the fuck I want.  The trick is this: Accepting the outcome of my decisions. Acceptance is being comfortable with what is.

Acceptance is beyond the decision making, because the decision making is part of the process of accepting consequences.

And just like that, I’m fucking brilliant!

 

(In all seriousness, if you stayed with my rambling this long, I truly appreciate you and I’m being facetiously prideful.)

Advertisements

47 thoughts on “Acceptance, again?”

  1. I particularly liked the line “acceptance is being comfortable with what is” – I think we can spend a life time trying to reach a particular place in our lives or goal… when, really, we just have to accept what’s happening in the here and now… who knows how we may feel tomorrow, or the next?! Just accept what feels right for you. If people want to judge, then that’s their problem.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I think you’re right to be prideful. Accepting ones self, flaws and all, is more than difficult. And most never ever come close to accepting themselves as they are. And acceptance doesn’t mean giving up or settling. It’s just being comfortable in ones own skin, which is never s bad thing. So, accept your victory, and, by all means, strut a bit today! 😃

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I enjoyed reading this. It is not easy to find the person you might become. I laughed a bit when you were talking about ..I cannot scroll back up without losing my comment, but anyone can look lovely as a girl. I know several very masculine men who cross dress into rather stunning women. I also know not so handsome men who look very good as girls. Do NOT watch ‘Some Like it Hot’ for a reference. Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon made horrible girls, but that was a point in the movie!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can relate to you on so many levels. I struggled with my sexuality and still do, as I also struggle with accepting my alcoholism. I also view my sobriety from a non-God standpoint, although there’s an internal conflict there. I loved this post

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I struggle a lot with my alcoholism and thinking about never drinking again. I also struggle a lot with the fact that I’m not losing weight and looking great since I quit drinking (and smoking). I am also steering clear of the god concept in sobriety. Great post tarnished ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m an engineer in the oil and gas industry. Sorry you have had a tough time.
    Acceptance helps me get on with things. Without it I am forever fighting against what is.

    The god of my understanding is the universe. Not. A Specific religious figure. Just the vast awe of what is.

    Because I am not in control of it all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awesome! Are you up-, mid-, or downstream? Yeah, it was a tough deal. Worked with this company for 13 years, made a move to boost my career and due to oil prices at the beginning of 2015 crushed that. I spent the last couple of years floundering, unfortunately, and now I got the chance to go back. I’m excited and nervous all the same.

      As an engineer, you can see where my thought process lies when it comes to religion. 🙂

      Like

          1. My engineer Brian often struggles with the idea of addiction. I want the procedure to follow to make things right.

            Embracing my woo woo side as a yogi has been very powerful. I had to let go of my logic. It was actually very soothing.

            Liked by 1 person

  7. Acceptance is complicated, isn’t it? Because we also don’t want to be complacent or to make excuses for ourselves when in fact we could be striving for betterment. But I think like you said, we have to recognize limitations. I read an article once about the fallacy of ‘self help’ propaganda. Think it and it will become reality does not work and then when it doesn’t, it increases the feelings of failure. Why can’t I make this happen? There’s something wrong with me. Nope. Not true. Unexpected events befall us all. That is not to say we give up and throw in the proverbial towel. But practicality and reasonableness have to rule the day. And we cannot compare ourselves to others – comparison is the thief of joy. I think you are on a healthy path, T and I for one am cheering you on! 💜

    Liked by 2 people

  8. *laughs* that pride you felt… don’t apologize for it, even in a roundabout way! You just had a major realization. That’s what people call a ‘breakthrough’, it’s progress, and it’s something to be damn proud of!

    The answers you seek- about god, your sexuality, the reasons you do the things you do- can only be found in one place. Within yourself.

    Once you get past the fear of what you’ll find, and whether it’s ‘okay’ for whatever you find in there to be in there or not (acceptance, woot!) you will be amazed.

    Be well, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh! I got distracted by my cheerleading… I wanted to mention this thought…

    Is it possible that you dislike your sobriety so much because all the reasons you listed for maintaining it are actually NOT the reasons you drank, and if the wound behind the addiction is still untended, the desire to escape cannot wane.

    This is just a thought that popped into my head while reading your post… take it with a grain of salt 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I know 🙂 I can hear (see?) it in your words… I guess what I was trying to say was, don’t get too lost in why you feel the way you feel about your sobriety… it’s SO much more than you think right now… but if you keep seeking, you WILL find, and if you let yourself, you’re going to LOVE it! I just know it. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I love the line “acceptance is being comfortable with what is”. I struggle with acceptance. It’s often blurred by expectation or opinion be it my own or others. Also the struggle to accept my imperfections because my imperfections have always seemed like things I was judged on or that others told me were unacceptable. I also realise that the more I don’t accept myself, the less accepting I am of others. But as always your blog has really made me think. :). Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s