Tolerating the Unacceptable
"We will see how our low self-esteem has us judging ourselves mercilessly, giving others the benefit of the doubt, and tolerating inappropriate behavior." BRB p. xxi
Many of us were taught that it was virtuous to "put up with" whatever was doled out, shut up about whatever was going on, and deny our feelings in the process. This led us to doubt our own perceptions, which led us to doubt our own self-worth. Because we actually survived, some of us interpreted our ability to deal with unacceptable situations as resilience.
Unfortunately, we didn't learn that it was acceptable to set boundaries and limits, and that it was okay to say "no" to unacceptable behavior. This is what we learn in ACA. We don't have to be stoic, or pretend that things don't bother us when they do. We don't have to apologize for stuff that's not ours or feel ashamed when we feel triggered. We have the right to our reality, our experiences, and our feelings.
With the help of our recovery support system, we are now learning to trust, to feel, and to talk; this is a wonderful way to live. We can surround ourselves with people who listen to us and acknowledge our feelings. We can be more human, vulnerable, and safe.
On this day I remind myself that being resilient (tolerating abuse) is not the way I want to live my life. I can relax and trust safe people.
Copyright © 2013 by
Adult Children of Alcoholics®
& Dysfunctional Families
World Service Organization, Inc.
Page Number 180
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