Accepting the Brick Wall

Oh, how I hate acceptance meetings! “And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.” (Just how does one express that childish, mocking tone in text?) You’ve got that one girl going, “Like, totally, like, all I have to do is just, like, accept everything for how it is and, like, my life will be totally awesome!” Then you’ve got the curmudgeonly, old dude back there either playing devil’s advocate or getting seriously pissed off saying, “I don’t accept the Holocaust!” Most everyone gets wrapped up in what acceptance is and is not, completely missing the point. And those who actually do understand the concept of acceptance wind up sitting there looking all hangdog and powerless because there’s nothing they can do about it, whatever it is for them, except accepting it for how it is.

NO!!! There is no solution there! Typical alcoholic behavior, doing something halfway and giving up rather than actually following through and effecting positive change. By this I mean, read the rest of the damned story, folks! Just like when we had to admit we were powerless over alcohol, acceptance is only the first step to solving life’s problems. When we come up to a brick wall in our path, we can’t just stand there “accepting” the wall and still move forward. We acknowledge the brick wall as an obvious sign that we must alter our course. We think, “If I keep moving in the direction I am currently going, I will run smack into that wall. I won’t be able to get to where I’m trying to go and I may even hurt myself! However, if I adjust my course a bit to the left or the right, I can avoid injury and find out what’s on the other side.”

Shortly after that all-too-often-quoted line, the story goes on to say that we can’t change external factors; rather, we must make a change within ourselves so that we can see these “problems” as the blessings they truly are. The ironic thing about these meetings is that if we would simply turn the page and read, “If I focus on a problem, the problem increases; if I focus on the answer, the answer increases,” then we wouldn’t get all hung up on simple acceptance. We spend far too long contemplating our brick walls, attempting to “accept” them into becoming paved pathways. THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN! Or we just stand there stagnant, becoming victims of our brick walls – “Oh, woe is me! I can go no further for this wall refuses to move!” THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN!!

We have to change. “Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kills us!” There should be an asterisk following that line on page 417 with a footnote saying, “Please refer back to page 62,” because this is really what the author is talking about. When it says, “acceptance is the answer to all my problems,” what it should really say is, “I need to stop being a stubborn, self-centered twit.” If we are living in God’s Will, then we will not encounter brick walls in our path. That is not to say that we won’t endure hardships, simply that we only encounter these brick walls when we have strayed from God’s Will. It’s as if we’re walking down the sidewalk and suddenly turn to smack into the building standing there. This brick wall didn’t just pop up in our path, we walked right off the path and headed toward the thing! We were focusing on the problem instead of the solution.

Our feet will always follow where our eyes lead us. Our will and our life will always follow where our thoughts lead us. We need to acknowledge the brick wall for what it is – a sign that we’ve taken our eyes off the road ahead – and then MOVE! We have to stop staring at the wall! The only thing keeping us from living harmoniously with everyone and everything around us is our selfish desire to have everything the way we want it. When we feel that we have to remind ourselves to accept someone or something the way it is, what we really need to be saying to ourselves is “Watch where you’re going!” or “Mind your own damned business!”


Okay, Laurie, enough with the preaching. Now, go back up and read what you just wrote. Get it? No? Then read it again. STOP STARING AT THE BRICK WALL!!! 

Last night, I was getting really frustrated with a certain someone who often frustrates me. I engaged in that same argument I wind up in every single time and then I bitched to my husband about it. And he did the most amazing thing! He said, “So, aside from J being J, how has your day been?” Thank you, hubby, for not saying, “Yeah, that brick wall sure is huge and obnoxious. It’s too bad we don’t have a wrecking ball to come in and knock it down.” Yes, the wall is there, and yes, I don’t like it, but it’s not going anywhere. I have to stop being a stubborn, selfish twit and get back to where God needs me to be. Third step, fourth step, all the way through ninth step – these are the steps I must take in order to get away from that wall; these are the steps that will put me back on the right path. First things first, I must fix my eyes on my goal. I must turn my thoughts and my actions over to the care of God, as I understand Him.

And, for the love of God, stop staring at that brick wall!!!

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5 responses to “Accepting the Brick Wall”

  1. Karen @ Mended Musings says :

    Exactly! Acceptance isn’t an excuse for inaction. I’m a big believer in the concept that we get more of what we ask for and acceptance is the first step in asking for something healthier or more productive. Great post. 🙂

  2. mariusgustaitis says :

    Oh, this is good stuff. I too have found myself a little irritated at acceptance meetings (oh the delicious irony) The whole range of missing the mark thing you illustrated. “So that means I just ‘accept’ that I cut my hand and bleed out on the kitchen floor?” What can you say to that? Except, “Yes, that’s exactly what it means. Acceptance means lovingly embracing everything, from the Holocaust to a biker gang dragging your family through the streets of town, and not doing anything about it, except maybe spooning with some of the club members afterwards. That’s it. Acceptance means giving a Big Thumbs Up. And then freezing into inaction. Or making it worse. Like when you have a loose tooth and you keep wiggling it, making it hurt more. Yep. Yep yep yeppers. Because that’s how people get sober. People accept the fact that they are powerless over alcohol, and then just feel really groovy and happy about the fact. It’s very clear in the book. That’s “How it works.”
    But I don’t allow myself the dubious luxury of sarcasm at meetings, so I just clam up and clock-watch. Now I can just mass text the link to this fine piece. It says it all, and better than any of my rambling and grasping attempts to explain.
    So thank you very much for being a solution.
    Look forward to reading more of your stuff in the AM over my first four cups of java.

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