I’ve been living in the dark since Jacob died.  I can say things like “passed” and “transitioned” but they seem far too benign.   This darkness envelopes my soul like a suffocating blanket.  So how do I turn this darkness into gray?  How do I open the dark cracks and allow light to enter?  I don’t know.  Empirically, I know.  I know 2+2=4.  The soul, however, doesn’t live in the empirical.  I am searching to find acceptance.  My favorite quote about acceptance is one that I fight daily.  “I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and my attitudes.” This is the secret recipe to my happiness.  How do I get there?  I don’t know.  “When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation-some fact of my life- unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.”  How do I empower myself with that choice?

I just did.  I made the following “choices” today.  I got out of bed.  I showered.  I put on clean clothes.  I brushed my teeth.  I ate a healthy breakfast.  I took care of my home responsibilities before leaving the house.  I am working.  I am writing.  I am drinking water along with my coffee.  I even took time for a six-minute Headspace beginner meditation.  Meditation has always been my excuse to nap.  I feel slightly better.  I am on a deeply personal and soul-searching odyssey to find myself.  For once, it’s not about some grandiose, selfish journey.  I do because I’m looking to move my darkness to gray.  There isn’t a magic potion, and I am finally accepting of that fact.

I left my last blog asking the question of how to take the first step.  The first step is my choice.  I got sober because I decided to not drink for one day.  That’s it.  It was simply impossible.  The simplicity was in the time length.  The impossibility was that I had no idea I could take ONE DAY and turn it into 6,231.  My sobriety isn’t an accident.  It came from a series of seemingly small decisions to abstain from alcohol daily.  My biggest enemy today is me.  I accept my alcoholism, but I accept my food addiction.  Each positive decision I make today, allows me to have a chance tomorrow.  So, what’s the first steps toward a better, healthier me?  Making the next healthy decision. 

As I glance back at the Brandt Butze Roadmap to darkness, I see the crux.  It’s that need for instant gratification.  I have spent too much time concentrating on the woes of my world without looking at the real problem.  It’s always me.  I see it now.  I’m not defective.  I’m not damaged.  My health is my choice.  Jacob’s health wasn’t and that is hard for me.  My happiness is measured by a series of healthy decisions.  My mantra today is to make one healthy decision.  I cannot make a second healthy choice until I take the first!  I control my own narrative.

  Tomorrow’s blog: Great Question

6 responses to “acceptance”

  1. Consider, perhaps, that (at a minimum), your “one healthy decision” today was to share inner thoughts and concerns with your family and friends — readers of this post. Was it not a healthy move? Keep pedaling, my friend.


    1. Yes, but I also think that a binder clip is far superior to both a staple and a paper clip.


      1. Sometimes it is enough to just hang on by your fingernails. You can be pretty had on yourself and this week it will be important to remember to take care of yourself above all.
        The weight loss will happen- you’ll get there when you are ready. You have taken an emotional,spiritual, and physical body blow and you’re still healing from that.
        And we are all here for you❤️‍🩹


  2. Kathy Armstrong Lehman Avatar
    Kathy Armstrong Lehman

    Brandt, You never cease to amaze me. Your ability to share is so helpful to yourself and all who are connected to you. I can not even imagine! I have experienced the loss of grandparents, parents, a brother, and lovers but nothing is as scary as the loss of a child! It helps me when I read your thoughts to think that perhaps I could, with time, a process, the love of family, friends and God get out of bed in the morning… God Bless you and the ability to put one foot in front of the other and “fake it til you make it”. Wishing and praying for paler shades of gray.
    Peace & Love you to you Naomi and Ana,
    Kathy Lehman

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Can I just admit that I’m tired of people imploring us to accept things that are obscene and wrong, like young people dying of cancer and even older people like me suffering when the systems are toxic? Sometimes I think it’s a way for others to turn away from our bad situations and count themselves luckier so they can go on enjoying normalcy. I realize that’s different from “accepting the things I cannot change” so that we don’t carry this negativity in our bodies. Really important for the health of our bodies and souls. To find a way to be at peace somehow…to focus not on blame but on what can be done from this point forward. I guess one of my methods is to blame systems and shed light on the truth (so that we CAN effect change, so fewer people WILL suffer going forward), while forgiving individuals (including myself) for imperfect decisions made with the best information at the time which did not produce the outcomes I’d hoped for. Yeah, acceptance is a tough topic for me too, Brandt. I think if we all, always rested in acceptance, we’d still be living in the dark ages. I’ve thought many times about a blog post about acceptance. Appreciated yours. As usual, you got us thinking…


    1. That’s the beauty of the serenity prayer. Courage to change the things I can. I am making a goal of mine to fight these injustices. I grew up with a lot of “don’t rock the boat” thinking. It was indoctrinated into me by my parents. “Don’t make a scene.” I married into a family who has done just the opposite. My sister-in-law has been fighting this for years on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. I accept certain things. I accept that death is the natural ending in the life cycle. I accept that Jacob is no longer alive. I accept life on life’s terms. I cannot change people’s beliefs. What I can do is fight for systemic change. I can fight for policy or die trying. We don’t have to accept these things. I will continue to fight for you my friend.


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