Acceptance the Key to Everything


The Merriam Webster Dictionary says that the word acceptance means the act of accepting something or someone. The fact of being accepted: Approval. To be honest, I never gave this word much thought until I was on my knees to God and in the 12 step program, Over Eater's Anonymous. 

In 12 Step programs, one is first taught first Awareness ( I might have an issue with drugs, alcohol, gambling and food). Acceptance is 2nd ( I know I have a problem ). And 3rd is Action. Actually these are the first 3 steps in the 12 step program. Very powerful words alone, but together they create the foundation of recovery.

Many years later when I was coming out of a deep depression, I found myself in a Peer to Peer course at NAMI (National Alliance of Mental Illness).  Here I learned about all mental illnesses and especially about being bipolar 2. When I was going through this course, those 3 words -- awareness, acceptance and action -- came to me again. 

The word that stood out the most for me was acceptance, because I was also taught in the 12 step program that acceptance is the key to everything. I was aware that I was bipolar and that I didn't like having this illness at all. That was part of the reason for my depression. So here I was in a course to help me with my recovery. How was I going to accept my illness? The peer to peer course taught me how to distinguish what my triggers are and what tools I could use to deal with my anxiety and depression. I was then able to see that acceptance of my illness was key.  That was 10yrs ago and I haven't had a serious depression since. 

Why this word acceptance is coming up for me now is because of the pandemic. There have been so many people out in the world refusing to believe there is a pandemic at all. My own personal belief is that most of those people are operating out of fear. Let's face it, living during a pandemic is really scary. Also, many people just don't want to accept the safety protocols that scientists and doctors have given us. 

I think it even goes deeper, because let's face it, this pandemic is a huge inconvenience for all of us. We can't move around like are used to; we can't go to work; our kids are in school online, so we are helping to teach them; we have to wash our hands, wash our groceries and wear face masks when we are in public places. 

The mask!!! One of the parents at my daughter's school called it a "face diaper!" Not a sentiment that I share. I don't like this pandemic and it doesn't seem to be leaving any time soon. So, what am I accepting or not accepting? 

I have accepted what the scientists and doctors are telling us. Millions of people have lost their lives. Many others are living with residual effects of the virus. So we wear masks and wash our hands. Keep social distancing and we have own bubble of friends who do the same. I know people who have had COVID and some are okay and some have had damage to their organs.

Acceptance is the key to everything.  Maybe if we accept this virus for what it actually is, then the healing can really begin.

Love & Peace



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