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  • Writer's pictureMike and Glenn

Acceptance is the Answer



“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. 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.” The “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, titled Alcoholics Anonymous—references page 417.


How many times in our lives have we used the term “unacceptable”?; Discrimination, bullying, sexual misconduct and harassment, physical and psychological abuse, violence, child and elderly exploitation, stalking, sexual harassment and abuse, intimidation, hostility, bullying, and gossip lead a long list of what most of us find unacceptable.


Deeper down the listing, we find one’s political positioning, parenting approach, career choice, skin color, religious preference, physical appearance, sexual orientation, dishonesty, age, emotional maturity, and even driving habits appalling and absolutely unacceptable to us. 


Things get sillier when we hit the bottom of the tab, where inanimate mechanisms such as a turning traffic light, a global comment, or a piece of art cause us to declare an unacceptability. 


For us alcoholics, living this precept is dangerous, jeopardizing our sanity and recovery at each turn. 


As decisive as the acceptance statement above is, the real power is found just before the account is quoted. Starting on page 416, the following declarations are made:


“At last, acceptance proved to be the key to my drinking problem... When I stopped living in the problem and began living in the answer, the problem went away. From that moment on, I have not had a single compulsion to drink.”


This answer is laid out for each of us to take up and possess.  The action is there for the taking. 


Today, we accept that discrimination, bullying, sexual misconduct and harassment, physical and psychological abuse, violence, child and elderly exploitation, stalking, sexual harassment and abuse, intimidation, hostility, bullying, and gossip take place.  That political positioning, different parenting approaches, career choices, skin colors, religious preferences, physical appearances, sexual orientations, dishonesty, broad ages, emotional maturity, bad driving habits, turning traffic lights, reflex comments, and even pieces of art exist as they are. There is little we can or should do about it.


Practically speaking, a mountain is a mountain that needs to be climbed. A comment is a comment that needs to be accepted based on the source. The weather is what it is.


As the serenity prayer reminds us, there are, in fact, things that we can change, and others we need just straight out to accept.  Discerning the difference is the discipline worth investing in.


We have made a practice of self-discipline. We have become more self-aware. We embrace the words as they are laid out.  We have come to respect the practices and principles of a program that has worked for millions of struggling Alcoholics and drug addicts. 


Our hearts today are full of gratitude instead of resentment, not by chance but by choice.


The sunrise is made magnificent by the clouds overhead.  An experienced journey is a reward in itself.  If our perception is our reality, then it is in the discernment that the work has to happen.  We appreciate the clouds for what they bring to the picture – the hill for the strength it builds. 


For us, acceptance is the answer.



 

 

Thoughts and ideas for this blog post were taken and built upon from sober.coffee podcast #38  titled " "Trudging Your Way" to Gratitude !!  ”  The session dropped on 12/22/2021….Click here to hear the podcast. 

 

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash 


BLOG DISCLAIMER:

Alcoholics Anonymous and AA are registered trademarks of Alcoholics World Service. Inc. References to AA, the 12 steps, and 12 traditions does not mean that AA has reviewed or approved the contents of this publication nor that AA agrees with the views expressed herein. This publication is intended to support personal growth and should not be considered a substitute for healthcare professionals' advice. The author’s advice and viewpoints are their own.

 

 

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