Do you feel like you have to fix whatever you think is broken in you or the shiz in your life is really going to fly?
As in, any. minute. now.
Do you feel like all that crap needed to be fixed, like, yesterday?
Yeah, me too.
But let me ask you something: how’s that attitude of crisis and urgency around your shortcomings working for you?
I know for damn sure it hasn’t worked for me.
In fact, it just kept me feeling stuck, small and broken.
Even worse, it seriously challenged my faith in my Higher Power.
And I get it. It can totally feel like that sense of urgency is the only thing that’s keeping those defects of character from getting worse and then REALLY messing up your life.
But let this be an invitation to create a little space around that feeling.
To help you out with that, I’ll let you in on a not so little secret about me.
I am a God-awful housekeeper.
Seriously, I SUCK at keeping my place clean.
Interestingly enough, I can actually create amazing organizational systems. But maintain them? I mean, like, keep up with them?
Uhhh, yeah, not so much.
So things can get pretty messy around here.
For as long as I can remember, I have looked at that aspect of myself and just been disgusted. There would be times when the dishes would pile so high, things would start growing on them.
And I would beat myself up about that horribly, continually telling myself there was absolutely NO. EXCUSE. for allowing that to happen. And then I would feel like I was just a pathetic, hopeless human being, like nothing was ever going to work in my life because, look, I couldn’t even get my dishes done.
I couldn’t believe there could possibly be any excuse for letting my place get to the state it’s been in a number of times, and I would just mentally berate myself, asking myself time and again what the hell my flipping problem was.
Until this one day.
I had just completed another Fifth Step and had been working Steps 6 & 7 for while.
And once again, the dishes were piled high and were starting to get disgusting.
But I looked at the dishes in my kitchen, and this completely new, and totally unheard of, thought came into my head.
“Really, it’s OK.”
“If the dishes become a science experiment, it’s OK.”
I can’t even describe the feeling of relief and peace that came over me when that thought came to me!
I had finally gotten to a place of acceptance.
I know my Higher Power sent that thought to me, because I had so much fear over the consequences this defect was creating, it never would have occurred to me to just accept it.
But when I did -with some Divine intervention, of course – it felt like I was free at last from the relentless self-abuse I had been inflicting on myself for years.
It’s one of the most powerful spiritual awakenings I’ve ever had.
And guess what?
I’m a much better house keeper today.
I’m not perfect, and every once in a great while, my dishes do still pile up and get gross. But not very often at all.
You see, when I put down the whip, and just told myself ‘it’s OK,’ I created a space where different realizations, insights from my Higher Power, could come in.
One of those realizations was that I actually feel better when my space is cleaner.
So today, when I clean, it’s an act of self-care, not a reaction to my own self-abuse.
And I don’t resent having to clean anywhere near as much as I did when I was beating myself up about it.
This is why I understand today that acceptance of my defects works so much better than criticizing myself over them.
Before, I thought that if I accepted my shortcomings, if I didn’t criticize myself, and keep berating myself over my defects, they would get even more out of hand.
But what I know today is that accepting my defects is actually an act of acknowledging two very important truths:
- That my Higher Power loves me exactly as I am
- That my Higher Power knows waaaaayyy better than I do sometimes the exact nature of my defects, and therefore knows way better than I do how to remove said defects
The exact nature of my wrong in this situation was not my poor housekeeping at all. It was, in fact, the self abuse – the very thing that I thought was keeping my poor housekeeping from totally ruining my life.
As in so many cases, I once again had the problem filed under solution.
As the Big Book says, “Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.”
When I first read this quote, I thought it only referred to acceptance of other people.
Nope, it applies to me, too. And the freedom I feel when I apply it to myself is no less great than it is when I apply the principle to others.
With my other defects, sometimes I still need them cause me a little more pain before I’m willing to just accept them, and turn them over to my Higher Power. But today, I know that I am the one who is choosing to carry that insanity on. Which means I don’t stay there as long as I used to.
So, are you willing to believe acceptance of your shortcomings might work for you, too?
What defect are willing to try and accept in yourself?
Share in the comments (I read every one) and let us know. We can be our own little meeting that will help us commit ourselves to this practice!
P.S. I’m launching two new online workshops this summer (yeah, I’m ambitious like that!) One is, in fact, a Steps 6 & 7 workshop, and the other is a workshop I’m calling 4D HP, about building a relationship with a Higher Power that will take your life to a fourth dimension of existence. If you’d like to be notified when either of those workshops launch (which is in less than a couple months, my dears!), click the links for each workshop to get on a notification list. You’ll get both first dibs at registering, and be eligible for a reduced, pre-registration price!