Act As If

Knowing that I wanted to write about this soon, I’ve been considering it in different contexts.  The first context that jumps to my mind is that advice given to newcomers to “act as if . . .”  There’s a whole world of acting to be done then.  Act as if you believed in a higher power.  Act as if you liked meetings.  Act as if you were a responsible citizen/neighbor/parent/spouse.  Fake it till you make it.  Bring the body and the mind will follow.

It is the truth for me that I can’t only think myself into right acting.  I also, and mostly, have to act myself into right thinking.  If I waited until I wanted to and/or felt ready to get sober/lead a meeting/eat right/do my job well/be a good pet parent, I’d still be waiting.  By acting as if I am those things, it pushes me along the road to becoming them.  Just like smiling or laughing makes me happy.

I’m thinking about where I still need to improve my actions today.  There are many places.  I took Carole to the eye doctor today to have a hole in her retina lasered closed.  Really.  And while I was in the waiting room, I took this picture of the TV.  That is Pat Robertson.  That made me mad.

Politics is something I feel so strongly about.  It is very, very difficult for me to “love” someone with opposing views.  I am selfish and greedy and I want to get married, damn it!  I have only one hope for that and Pat Robertson is firmly against it.  Against letting me do it.  How does it hurt him?  How?

Beyond the selfish greedy part of my politics, I believe strongly that our best chance for protecting the environment, taking care of the poor and disabled, those types of things, lies with the Democrats.  Like I said, it is very difficult for me to feel positive about someone who disagrees, but I come closest to that positive feeling in AA, about fellow members of AA.

Closer, but no cigar.  I know this is a defect of mine, and I know that I want to have it removed before (and without) it causes me deep pain.  It actually hurts my feelings that some people don’t want to let me get married, and the fault for my hurt feelings is all mine.

I can picture the truly loving, always forgiving person I would like to be and that I should be.  She is not triggered by Pat Robertson in the waiting room.  Which brings to mind an interesting dilemma.  I was completely alone in that waiting room, and I didn’t express my dislike to a single person.  I thought, briefly, of asking someone to change the channel.  I thought they should not play this propaganda in the waiting room, it might actually influence some people who are not as hard-core about their opinions and beliefs as I am.  OK, who are not as smart about their opinions and beliefs as I am.  But when a character defect is activated in the forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?

It makes a mark on my soul, and even in complete isolation I need to keep trying to get over these things, to be more patience and loving and kind and tolerant than I am.  To see the other side more and to see the goodness in the other side, more.  Acting as if I am already that person is one tool that will move me farther in that direction (because really, I don’t expect I will ever arrive).

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6 thoughts on “Act As If

  1. Hi,
    I have been reading your blog for a while now and the act as if got me thinking. I want to be able to support myself so that I don’t have to work again. Should I act as if I don’t have to work, therefore, not work at all and pretend that I am well off? That doesn’t seem like reality to me. Now, can I act as if I am happy, some days yes. I can put on a smile and say hello. That seems more realistic to me. But then again what if I act and it never happens?

    The other thing that came to mind was:
    Ask for what you want
    Act as if you have it
    Be prepare to receive it or not

    • I think “act as if” applies more to this situation if, for example, you don’t feel like grateful for your work, you can “act as if” you like it and you’re grateful, and those feelings may well follow. I have to add that the literature does address the desire to not work, I believe in the 12 and 12, under the character defect of “sloth.” I usually don’t have everything I want, but I remind myself that, every day of my life so far, I’ve had everything I need. Thanks for your comment.

  2. sort of an not-entirely relevant comment, but my dentist has televisions in up in the corner of his exam rooms (or whatever you call the rooms with the terrible chair) and he always has stupid fox news playing. The minute I sit in the chair I make them change the channel. I always remind my very conservative republican dentist when he comes in and notices the weather channel playing, to remember that although we disagree on politics, could he be gentle with me, the liberal democrat lying so helplessly with my mouth open…

    I wish you could get married too. It’s the civil rights battle of our time–I hope fervently that someday soon thing will be better for you and all my LGBT friends.

    • Thank you so much.

      And I would not go to a dentist who plays Fox News! I can’t understand it when business people take such a public, political stance.

    • It’s not just Fox news that is annoying and inappropriate for that setting, but all news nowadays sucks because it always is spun with some bias. These news people are starting to think of themselves as rock stars and the the unfiltered news is just too mundane. I don’t like any news that is opinionated.because it’s telling me they want to think for me.

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