Sunday, July 6, 2008

More on acceptance

Someone suggested I read one of the stories from the back of the big book titled "Acceptance Was the Answer". The author sharing his experience in coming to sobriety.

At one spot he writes, "When I'm 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."

When I read the words, intellectually I acknowledge the concept. I can offer proof. In my struggle with relationships, I've had little serenity in the last while, not being able to accept people as they are. Wanting people to be different, trying to make people different. Easily irritated if the behaviour they exhibit is contrary to my expectation. I think I'm defining the opposite of serenity.

The author continues with "Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; 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 what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes."

I read this yesterday morning, fully able to see how my attitudes are affecting people around me as well as myself. Yet, during the day, after asking to to God's will for the day, I still snapped when people behaved in ways that I perceive as wrong. I don't want to leave the impression that I was a grouch the whole day long, far from it, but there was moments when my thoughts and attitudes were far from serene.

As well, self-flagellation is far off from acceptance. I'm trying, I'm learning, and I'm changing, slowly, simply, subtly.

I am beginning to understand what the author said when he wrote, "AA and acceptance have taught me that there is a bit of good in the worst of us and a bit of bad in the best of us; that we are all children of God and we each have a right to be here. When I complain about me or about you, I am complaining about God's handiwork. I am saying that I know better than God."

The author goes on and gives lots of hope and experience when it comes to relationships. Well worth reading if you have a copy of the big book (both 3rd and 4th editions)

I must have come across the saying "accept life on life's terms" about half a dozen times yesterday. It's not easy, but my journey is before me, and if I follow the road signs that my Higher Power sets up for me, I'll make it through.

Thanks for letting me share.

"Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open?" Rumi


Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

I think my husband has quoted from that reading before, but I've never read it myself. Time to take a look, especially now that acceptance is on my mind.

pat said...

Progress not perfection is all you can ask for. Thanks for sharing from the book.