Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
― Lao Tzu

It’s all in the approach. 

I have traveled through most of my life expecting things to go a certain way. My way. And there was nothing more infuriating than when someone, or something, didn’t do what I wanted them to! I set myself up for a great deal of disappointment and misery, in my holier than thou, self-righteous indignation! 

As I continue to work through the Steps, I realize that I am learning a new way of being in this world. In fact, I just awoke from a dream where a bloke walked into my home, and was purposely goading me into an argument. Sadly, in my dream, I reacted! I stood up to him, and made sure he knew how wrong he was… As you can imagine the dream did not end well. I was very unsettled when I awoke. 

As I lay there, trying to unwind my tangled feelings, and my disappointment in myself for not applying the principles of this program, it suddenly dawned on me… What a wonderful opportunity this was to PRACTICE my program! In my dream, I harm none, except myself! I realized that even in my dream, when the people arrived in my home, I had ‘expected’ them to behave in a certain way. When things started to go sideways, I allowed myself to become indignant and retaliatory! I even sprayed him with a watering hose? {Go figure, it was a dream!}

Suddenly I realized that this man in my dreams was acting out his own pain and his own fears! It made me stop, and think… And suddenly I found myself praying for this fictional man with all my heart, offering him the same tolerance, pity and patience I would cheerfully grant a sick friend. Then my thoughts took me a step further, and I considered that maybe this belligerent bloke was a reflection of some part of myself that wants to continue to cause harm and feed this dis-ease. I found that this was an opportunity to pray for that part of myself that is still wounded and fear-full, belligerent and angry.

Whoever he was, my heart was instantly full of love and gratitude for him, for the gift of this situation, and the learning I had received from it. I realized, maybe for the first time, in a very real and tangible way that ‘it truly IS all in the approach!’… In any situation, in life, or even in my dreams… If I enter into the experience with my own expectations, operating from a self-centered point of view, it will not serve my newly found recovery and the work that has transpired through working the Steps. These are qualities of my own defects of character that no longer serve me and are in the process of being lifted from me, even while I sleep! 

Today, acceptance is the answer to all my problems. What a great approach to everything that I might encounter today! It is so nice to be able to write those words and begin to truly understand what that means, and how it applies directly to my life! 

  • Anonymous