Accept, Not Expect

In my recovery, I have learned a lot of my downsides. A LOT of them. This information doesn’t really bother me. It makes me aware. Gives me something to work on.

Lately, I have been working on my expectations. I once heard someone say that expectations lead to resentments. And for us alcoholics, resentments lead to drinking.

Its hard though. Harder than you think. When you do something nice for someone, you expect some gratitude. Maybe even something nice in return. Don’t. Not everybody thinks like that. Do something nice, just to be nice.

When you do a favor for someone, you expect a favor to be returned. Don’t. Do it because you are a good person, or at least trying to become a good person.

I have to remind myself of this almost daily. When I hold a door open, my impulse is to get annoyed when I’m not thanked. When I let someone cross the street or pull out in front of me, I expect a courtesy wave. Why? Because I am giving them something they don’t deserve? Because they should be grateful to me for allowing them to go in a door or cross a street? If that’s not some weird, fucked up sense of entitlement and grandiosity, I don’t know what is.

It applies on a bigger level as well. I have gotten offended when people have forgotten my birthday. Or when people don’t pay enough attention to me and my problems. That good old selfish alcoholic mindset, the world should revolve around me.

But here’s the truth. Nobody deserves anything. Rich people don’t deserve to be rich and cancer patients don’t deserve to be sick. And everything in between. The only thing we can do is accept what comes our way and continue to evolve as human beings. Count our fucking blessings, not our problems.

And when we do that, more good things come. I am so blessed. True, I am an alcoholic. I cannot drink. There are far worse problems I can have. And the things that I have and get to appreciate when my belly isn’t full of booze trump any drunk I’ve ever had. I have the ability to provide for my family. I have a warm house to come home to. I have children and a husband who love me, probably more than I deserve. I am healthy. Have good people in my life. Every time you appreciate and accept life, the more life gives you.

So count your blessings. Hold the door open. Tell people you love them. Be a good person because that’s what you are. And if they say thank you, accept that too. We’re all on this planet together. You know what they say, if you can’t find a kind person, be one.

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