Acceptance Is The Answer To All My Problems Today

Posted by John Gall on

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. 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. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake. 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 on what needs to be changed in me and my attitudes. Alcoholics Anonymous (Big Book), 4th Edition, P. 417

This passage from the Fourth Edition Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous emphasizes the significance of acceptance in one's life and recovery. It suggests that acceptance holds the key to resolving various problems. When the author feels disturbed or troubled, they recognize that it is due to their resistance towards certain aspects of their life—be it people, places, things, or situations. Serenity can only be attained when they genuinely accept these elements exactly as they are meant to be at the present moment.

The passage asserts that nothing occurs by mistake in the world as it is governed by a higher power. For the author, accepting their alcoholism was essential for maintaining sobriety, and accepting life on its own terms was crucial for finding happiness. They shift their focus from trying to change the external world to working on changing themselves and their attitudes.

Drawing from a quote by Shakespeare, the author reflects on their past role as a harsh critic, always quick to spot flaws in others and situations. However, their experience in Alcoholics Anonymous and embracing acceptance has taught them that every person, even with imperfections, possesses some good, and every person, even the best, has some flaws. Recognizing that we are all children of God, they understand that complaining about themselves or others is like criticizing the divine creation and presuming to know better than God.

The author shares their personal journey of initially fearing that alcoholism would be the worst thing to happen to them, only to discover that it became the catalyst for positive change in their life. They acknowledge their own limitations in understanding what is truly good or bad for themselves, others, or the world. Instead of imposing their expectations and opinions, they embrace acceptance, recognizing that their serenity is inversely proportional to their expectations and attachment to personal rights.

In their relationship with God, the author finds that acceptance plays a crucial role. Rather than waiting idly for guidance, they actively engage in doing what needs to be done and trust the outcomes to a higher power. By prioritizing acceptance and understanding that serenity is tied to acceptance, they realize the blessings in their life and express gratitude for their experiences in Alcoholics Anonymous.

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