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The Blessings of Acceptance

Should You Tell Your Loved One About Your Past Addiction?


bonds-of-love-2011-9-8-8-48-55-2Guest Post by Anne Southern

Over 20 million Americans struggle with some form of substance addiction, whether to drugs or alcohol (this does not include the many million more who are also addicted to tobacco) Despite this huge body of people with direct experience of addiction, it remains a huge taboo in our society and, once clean, many people choose to hide their past as an addict from the significant people in their lives.

This level of deception and control can be hugely damaging to relationships, particularly to romantic relationships, and can make it difficult to let go and truly accept happiness. You will never truly know whether the person you are choosing to build a life with loves you for who you are until you have shown them every aspect of who you are, including the parts of your past that you are less than proud of.

Let Go of Your Shame Continue reading

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Intentions for Accepting Others as They Are in 2017

43cc79f320f515865323f9f5edcf6f80As we begin a year of great uncertainty, and for many, great fear and anxiety, it is important to consider what we can do to bring greater peace and serenity into our lives and those we love.   For me, that begins with striving to accept people as they are and life as it is—and importantly, to do so without anger or resentment. As I’ve done in the past, formulating acceptance intentions helps me considerably in practicing acceptance.

I am presently writing a new book titled The Blessings of Acceptance.   Next month you will be able to download the first two chapters at no cost from this blog and from my main web site.   Below are a some acceptance intentions from the book related to accepting our loved ones, children, and parents.

In 2017, I intend to:

         “Be grateful for all the nice things my loved one does for me”

         “Accept my loved one’s personal choices” Continue reading

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Do Your Loved One’s Political Views Anger You?

24e9132c2d703879f1d44d2e1503e10eThe current divisive political climate becomes even more divisive when the political choices of our loved ones are contrary to our own.   For example, what if you are for Clinton, and they are for Trump?  If you are for gun control, and they support the NRA?  If they want to build a gigantic wall along border to keep people out, and you feel it’s a foolish idea.

How do you deal with such political disharmony between your loved one and yourself?  Do you try to persuade them to change their views? (and how does that work?) Are you able to have respectful, cordial discussions with each other?  Or do damaging arguments ensue? Or, is it “My way or the highway!? Continue reading

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  Should You Accept the “Unacceptable?”

couple-resentful-white                PART ONE 

In speaking with people about their acceptance stories for the new book I’m writing, The Blessings of Acceptance, I am often asked “why should I accept the unacceptable?”   My short response is, “You’ve already answered that by your question. If something is unacceptable to you, you can’t accept it.”

The long answer, however, is more complex. Acceptance is a personal choice each of us needs to make. We can accept a person or situation, or not. And what may be unacceptable for one person may not be for another.   The determination is typically based on one’s beliefs and values, but also on their anger, resentments, perceptions—and misperceptions.

Whatever your predisposition, I would offer that before you decide that something or somebody is totally unacceptable, you should first consider what it will accomplish and Continue reading

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The Blessings of Acceptance

Contribute Your Acceptance Story to my New Book and Receive $50 plus a Free Signed Copy!

Do you have a personal story about how you accepted someone as they are–annoying traits and all? A love one, boss, parents, or estranged sibling—even a nemesis? Or a story about how your accepting an adversity (a business failure, career setback, health issue, child’s wrongdoing, or other setback) allowed you to move forward with your life in a less stressful, more positive way?

I am currently writing another book, titled The Blessings of Acceptance, about the profound and often unexpected benefits that are bestowed upon us when we accept people and things as they are, or the “what is” in our lives.  Included in the book will be true stories from individuals who have embraced the far-reaching acceptance dynamic.

Please share your acceptance story with the book’s readers, using the questions below as a guideline.  If your story is selected for the book, you will receive $50 plus a signed copy of the book one month after its formal publication. Continue reading

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Accepting Your Foes Helps!*

f004f8804d312cb13df9b0cc7c8d0fadReading the above title, you may be thinking, “Why should I accept people who are trying to harm or cause me trouble?   They are the last people I would want to accept!” I know I used to feel that way.

It’s clearly unnerving to think about accepting those that we feel are toxic, and even more challenging to do so. However, when I look back, I now realize that I suffered unnecessarily from my refusal to accept such people, both in terms of greater personal anguish and poorer results.

This became even more clear to me–of all things—while competing in some seniors’ tennis tournaments.  Continue reading

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Intentions for Letting Go of Control in 2016

4fceda14ca9e010733e927492a929af9Still feel the need to control too much in your life?   Setting intentions for letting go of control is one of the best ways in which to reduce the need or compulsion to control people and things and enjoy the serenity that is sure to follow.  Below are my updated decontrol intentions for 2016 together with links to prior posts on the particular subjects.

I intend to:

Identify the fears and anger behind my need to control—and timely process them! 

Trust that my love ones and children will make decisions that are best for them 

Let go of the things that I cannot meaningfully change 

Practice Acceptance in all my affairs  Continue reading

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The Link Between Addiction and Control

hard timesThe lives of addicts often reel out of control.   Many feel ashamed and powerless over their addiction and many things in their lives. To counter their anxiety and attempt to gain some semblance of control in their lives, they try to exert “external” control over others and important aspects of their lives.

Some believe addicts are control freaks. Licensed clinical social worker Rita Milios explains why in her informative article appearing in titled  Control Freak: How to Stop Trying to Change Your World and Change Yourself Instead.

“If a person feels that they have lost control of themselves and their substance use, they often shift their sphere of control to other areas of their life. Feeling out of control increases the anxiety, and becoming a “control freak” is one way an addict may attempt to reduce this anxiety. Exerting outward control may also be an attempt to manage other uncomfortable emotions, such as depression, low self-esteem or feelings of powerlessness.” Continue reading

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Are You a Love Controller?

21449638_sLove control obstructs the romantic flow.   It forces the action, rather than allowing the love currents to unfold naturally so that people can relax and just be themselves—and offer their love and kindness without pressure or expectations.  Simply put, most people don’t like being told what to do, how to be, or how to act in matters of the heart. Do you?

And yet, if you were to ask a friend or your love one if they considered themselves a love controller, my guess is that they would likely say no.  Are you a love controller?  Let’s find out.

The Love Control Test (from Losing Control, Finding Serenity: How the Need to Control Hurts Us and How to Let It Go.)

Ask yourself the following:

*Do I usually feel I know what’s best for my partner?

*Do I charm or pout or withdraw to get my way?  Continue reading

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Letting Go of Control Truths

let_go_balloon-300x225“Let go of control. You never had it in the first place!”

Not sure you agree?   Then, consider this:

“If you always do what you always did, you always get what you always got. So let go of control to get something new.”

Is micro-managing your children’s lives working for you? Not too well? Here’s a suggestion:

“Listen attentively to them without “counseling” them.   It is a healing gift that allows them to process their concerns by themselves.”  Continue reading

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