For 28 days, I had the ‘opportunity’ to read a certain paragraph about acceptance. OK, I didn’t actually read it personally each time, some days I listened as another person read it, BUT, it was read each morning during meditation. I didn’t realize it was an ‘opportunity’ at the time, back in May of 2009 while I was at Hazelden, BUT now I know it was. If you haven’t read my Hazelden story, you can find it here.
The opportunity of having this “tool” (I consider this paragraph to be, a tool!!) to go back to has been very valuable for me AND for others in my life. Each time I talk with friends or people who are struggling with life issues I grab this “tool” and share it with them. I too find myself whipping it out frequently as a reminder……it seems to be such an eye opener.
I’ve made photo copies of the page. I’ve emailed it out. I’ve hand written it on scraps of paper. And NOW, I thought I would post it here, after several requests, for YOU. My hope is that maybe this tool might be useful to you.
You most likely have not read this unless you’ve got a copy of the AA Book, and have actually read it. The full story, Acceptance Was The Answer, where this paragraph is taken from can be found online here.
Taken from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, Fourth Edition, Page 417 and modified ever so slightly to make it applicable to everyone:
And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. 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. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake. Until I could accept my ________, I could not find peace; unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. 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 in my attitudes.
There is one more section that I would like to share that is VERY powerful as well; the last three paragraphs on Page 420, again modified ever so slightly to make it applicable to everyone:
Perhaps the best thing of all for me is to remember that my serenity is inversely proportional to my expectations. The higher my expectations of other people are, the lower is my serenity. I can watch my serenity level rise when I discard my expectations. But then my “rights” try to move in, and they too can force my serenity level down. I have to discard my “rights,” as well as my expectations, by asking myself, How important is it, really? How important is it compared to my serenity, my emotional sobriety? And when I place more value on my serenity and sobriety than on anything else, I can maintain them at a higher level—at least for the time being.
Acceptance is the key to my relationship with God today. I never just sit and do nothing while waiting for Him to tell me what to do. Rather, I do whatever is in front of me to be done, and I leave the results up to Him; however it turns out, that’s God’s will for me.
I must keep my magic magnifying mind on my acceptance and off my expectations, for my serenity is directly proportional to my level of acceptance. When I remember this, I can see I’ve never had it so good.
When I’m frustrated, have hurt feelings, angry, upset, irritated with something in my life. When other people are doing things in ways I wouldn’t – I go to this tool. I focus on acceptance. I look at my boundaries. I ask myself what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes? I ask myself, How important is it, really?