Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Friday, October 1, 2010

Awareness, Acceptance, Action

I spent nine years attending 12-step meetings of Al-Anon and Adult Children of Alcoholics meetings back in the 1980s. My parents weren't alcoholics, but they were so dysfunctional that I had many of the same characteristics children whose parents do drink have. Much of my healing journey comes from what occurred in those rooms where I heard others describe feeling the same way I did, teaching me that I was not alone. The healing happened from sharing my pain with others, listening to and empathizing with others, and learning tools for daily living. Slogans were one of those tools and one of my favorites is: Awareness, Acceptance, Action.

What this slogan taught me is that before I can do anything about a particular problem or issue, I must first become aware of it. That means doing some soul-searching. For example, with my 89-year-old friend for whom I am now doing some caregiving, I needed to really discern whose responsible for what regarding her caregiving. As her confused state disappeared and her mental functions appeared normal, I became aware that I was trying to control and fix her and that just isn't my job.

The second part of the slogan is acceptance, which is not resisting or trying to change the situation as it is. My friend did not want me involved in her finances beyond a certain level, and even though I feel she isn't doing enough to ensure the care of her handicapped, dependent adult daughter, I had to accept my friend's wishes. That doesn't mean I have to like it, but I have to accept it.

Lastly, comes action. Moving towards action before becoming fully aware and accepting a situation often means disastrous consequences. Once I accepted what is, I became clear about my own role and was able to step back and see that I was operating in old behavior mode, trying to control a situation that isn't mine to control and isn't possible to control anyway. Then I could utilize another favorite slogan, Let Go and Let God.

Awareness. Acceptance. Action.
What might you not be aware of or not accepting?


L. Diane Wolfe said...

That I can't do it all.

Joanne said...

Great questions today. I find too that sometimes the tables are turned, and it's necessary to stop, or disregard, others from trying to control my life.

Jules said...

That control of anything at this point in time is out of my hands. I need to "Let go and Let God.
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Mason Canyon said...

I'm always trying to do everything at once and when I do, I don't do the best I could. So I need to let go of somethings and concentrate on the more important things in life.

Thoughts in Progress

KK Brees said...

Control is an illusion. Or maybe it's a delusion. I need to learn to let stuff go.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm aware that I'm not perfect and sometimes I totally suck.

Grammy said...

I have discovered that I am not in control of anything really, sometimes not even my temper. Good post. Ruby