“We strive to isolate and recognize each feeling, to the best of our ability, and we practice acceptance of all our emotions, rather than denying or fearing them. ”
Sex Addicts Anonymous, page 35
Through a Fifth Step I discovered I had no self-acceptance. But awareness of a defect doesn’t create a light switch I can turn off at will. In addition, I beat myself up over this defect and my inability to turn it off. So what do I do? I had learned of three “a’s” that can help. In order, they are: awareness, acceptance, and only then, action. I may have awareness, but without acceptance, I am unlikely to take appropriate or effective action.
I prayed, not for self-acceptance, but to accept that I don’t accept myself. Once I could accept the situation as it is, I could start the footwork. It meant sharing openly in meetings, reaching out to others, and forming honest, open relationships. The way I figure it, if sex is on the table, what isn’t? If what I felt most ashamed of is open for discussion, what is there to hide?
Whenever I put myself out there and make a genuine connection, I plug a hole in the sieve that holds my self-image. Gradually, conversation by conversation, relationship by relationship, I am healing.
I can’t force myself to accept myself. I believe that happens through working this program, and in relationships with others and my Higher Power. But I can pray for acceptance of the situation as it is. Then, appropriate actions can become clearer.
Who I am and where I am are good places to start today’s journey.