This is a phrase that many use in Recovery; one that confused me for quite some time. I always felt that I would be lying if I pretended to feel or be something that I wasn’t, but that’s not what it means at all. Our literature explains it as, “Acting ourselves’ into a right way of thinking.”
To give you some examples of what I am talking about, I will share my experience with the “act as if” phrase. When I first came into Recovery, I had Hope that all they had told me in treatment would work, but when I started going to meetings and working the steps, I came to a place that was frightening; I began thinking that the Steps and taking all the suggestions wouldn’t work for me; however I chose to do them anyway, just to prove my point. So I went to meetings , even though I didn’t really want to, I worked the Steps, even though I didn’t believe they could help me, and I chose to pray , even though I didn’t believe God was listening to me. So I did all these things, however I didn’t really believe that it would help; I “acted as if” until my change did come along.
There are many times in life that we have to act like we are okay, when we truly aren’t. Our job responsibilities don’t stop just because we are having issues in life; so we have to go to work anyway and act as though we are okay, at least till the end of our shift; We have to take care of our children or loved ones, even when we don’t really want to, because we know we are supposed to, etc.
“Acting as if” doesn’t mean you are living a lie; it simply means that you are doing the next right thing, for the right reasons, even when no one is looking, just because you know it’s the right thing to do.
Affirmations are also a great example; I can remember when I first was given some affirmations to post all over my mirrors, car, and office. Oh how silly I thought it was and didn’t believe a word of what I was saying when I did repeat them out loud. Especially sense I had no self-esteem whatsoever, at the time; however I continued to do it and just “acted as if” and eventually I began saying the words out loud all throughout my day and slowly I began believing them.
Changing our thought process takes time; We are human and therefore make many mistakes along our Journey in this Universe. Those mistakes can cause us to think in some very negative manners; Many of us were raised in very negative environments; where we were told we would never amount to anything, or that we were a mistake. It takes time to rethink a lifetime of thoughts and beliefs, but the cool thing about it , is that any time, we choose, we can change our old ideas and ways of thinking; we just have to choose when that is going to be.
(((Hugs & love))))