• Benjamin Gear

A Lesson in Acceptance

Sooooo, a lesson in acceptance. Since getting sober I’ve made a deliberate effort in righting the wrongs of my past, it’s part of the program. I’ve been far from perfect but imperfection being a part of my make up, I roll with it and just keep trying. I will be 17mnths sober in like a week or so and in that time I’ve mended many damaged relationships, shed destructive ones, and forged new ones of actual value. I’ve developed a spiritual foundation which has allowed me to (try to) look beyond myself to see the greater purpose in all aspects of things I encounter. I have a conscience now, so I make genuine efforts to wrong no one and try to see my part in situations to make efforts to improve them. Historically, I’ve had a knack for not seeing things to completion. Now, I actively seek goals to achieve and consistently chase growth. This is me now, leaps and bounds different in a bevy of ways. I’m not where I want to be, but at the core of it all is that I’m trying.

Child support is a mother fucker. I avoided that thing like the plague! I paid just enough to keep me out of jail (most of the time) while harboring this ridiculous resentment against the mother and the child as though I was the one being wronged. Laughable, I know. Since being sober, I pay it regularly, plus some towards what has been owed. I’m feeling pretty good about myself thinking all is right with the world…I thought.

My best friend’s is getting married and doing so in Mexico! I’m excited for ALL the reasons, THE Homie is getting hitched to the woman of his dreams in a totally him kinda way. At a gorgeous resort in Sayulita, Mexico and it means the world that I’m invited. When drinking I had a close homie get married and my invite was pretty tentative, and rightfully so. So, to not only be invited but to have a verbal and heartfelt expression of my presence being a necessity was tremendous. Given my battle with retail addiction I picked up a second gig for the sole purpose of Mexico money. All systems go and I am hella stoked about my first trip out of the country and the reason couldn’t be more fitting. In classic procrastinaBen fashion, I wait ‘til the last minute to apply for my passport but I pay the bazillion dollars and now I'm just waiting for the time to book my flight with the homies.

A little over a week passes and Katie brings me mail from the passport office. I feel the envelope and think ‘It’s a little thin to have a passport in it. I open it to discover that my application cannot be approved because I have unpaid child support. My heart sinks. Having to relay the news to my homie felt like what I think telling him I’d relapsed in the worst way would feel like. I call the passport office and they direct me to child support who tells me “What you’ve been doing is great, you just should’ve been doing it all along. State law put you on that list so we can do nothing to help you.” I’m embarrassed, angry, disappointed, hurt…all the feels and it fucking sucks. I quickly grab my soapbox and profess the absurdity of this situation and how wrong I am being treated given all I’ve been doing right…and then my program kicks in.

When assessing a resentment we’re instructed to 1) state who/what the resentment is towards 2) what was done 3) what it affects and 4) my part in it. I always skip to number four bc that's the only thing I can do anything about. My part in it was simply that I wasn't doing right in taking care of my responsibilities. When my mother passed I came into a little bit of money. Just to name a couple of completely ridiculous things I did was go to South Beach (on an all expense paid trip mind you) and blow $5000 in 4 days. I also spent $10,000 in 3mnths at ONE bar and child support never once crossed my mind. Opportunities to do the next right thing were at every turn and I willfully chose poorly…this is not a penance, it's a result.

When looking at acceptance it is often confused with allowance and approval. Part of it is allowance but it's the mindset behind it that makes the difference. Allowing a shitty sitch to stay shitty bc I opt against doing the work to improve it is not acceptance, its complacency and laziness. Thinking I have to approve of something to accept it is delusional and an over assumption of my being. My approval isn't necessary for what is right for me to be carried out. What I feel about missing this I certainly don't approve of but, 17 months of right(ish) living doesn't make up for 17yrs of complete neglect.

Rather than wallow in self-loath I've reached out and filled my weeks evenings with people I've needed/wanted to connect with, put in work on my website (Perfectly Imperfect coming soon-ish), and solid introspective time through meditation and spiritual growth through reading and prayer. On the surface it sucks and I'm not happy with the circumstances as they are but if I don't want to feel this way again, I have do the next right thing now. True acceptance is seeing a thing for what it really is and working from there.

Thanks for reading!

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