The behavior we call “acting as if” can be a powerful recovery tool. Acting as if is a way to practice the positive. It’s a positive form of pretending. It’s a tool we use to get ourselves unstuck. It’s a tool we make a conscious decision to use.
Acting as if can be helpful when a feeling begins to control us. We make a conscious decision to act as if we feel fine and are going to be fine.
When a problem plagues us, acting as if can help us get unstuck. We act as if the problem will be or already is solved, so we can go on with our life.
Often, acting as if we are detached will set the stage for detachment to come in and take over.
There are many areas where acting as if—combined with our other recovery principles—will set the stage for the reality we desire. We can act as if we love ourselves, until we actually do begin to care for ourselves. We can act as if we have a right to say no, until we believe we do.
We don’t pretend we have enough money to cover a check. We don’t pretend an alcoholic is not drinking. We use acting as if as part of our recovery, to set the stage for our new behaviors. We force ourselves through positive recovery behaviors, disregarding our doubts and fears, until our feelings have time to catch up with reality.
Acting as if is a positive way to overcome fears, doubts, and low self-esteem. We do not have to lie; we do not have to be dishonest with ourselves. We open up to the positive possibilities of the future, instead of limiting the future by today’s feelings and circumstances.
Acting as if helps us get past shaky ground and into solid territory.
God, show me the areas where acting as if could help set the stage for the reality I desire. Guide me as I use this powerful recovery tool to help create a better life and healthier relationships.
From the desk of Melody Beattie
Originally posted January 17, 2015
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