Acceptance Was The Answer’ pages 417,418,420 4th Edition
Page 417/418 – 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 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.
Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” He forgot to mention that I was the chief critic. I was always able to see the flaw in every person, every situation. And I was always glad to point it out, because I knew you wanted perfection, just as I did. A.A. 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.
For years I was sure the worst thing that could happen to a nice guy like me would be that I would turn out to be an alcoholic. Today I find it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me. This proves I don’t know what’s good for me. And if I don’t know what’s good for me, then I don’t know what’s good or bad for you or for anyone. So I’m better off if I don’t give advice, don’t figure I know what’s best, and just accept life on life’s terms, as it is today – especially my own life, as it actually is. Before A.A. I judged myself by my intentions, while the world was judging me by my actions.
Page 420 – 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 Max and 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 lever – 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. Thank God for A.A.!
Hula Hoop Larry And The Serenity Prayer – Grapevine Article by Becky P.
The riddle of the Serenity Prayer explained
It’s amusing and endearing to me that we do not get hung up about knowing someone’s last name in our program, but we do often use descriptors to tell the Bobs, Bills and Daves apart.
The Serenity Prayer has haunted me for almost 60 years. It hung in my aunt’s house and was cause for silent frustration to me as a 10 year old. I read it and thought to myself: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference. This is a riddle—who’s gonna explain how to tell the difference between these two ideas anyway? Of course, I never had the courage to ask anyone about it.
Anyway, I was at a roundup recently where I met my third Larry. Over the weekend, he shared about a hula hoop and it provided some much-needed clarity for me. I asked him if he was okay with me calling him “Hula Hoop Larry” since I don’t know his last name. He assured me this was okay.
Our topic during the meeting was serenity and the Serenity Prayer. Many shared that this was more elusive than accessible, to which I could relate. Some discussed prayer, meditation, daily readings and so on. Larry talked about how his serenity was directly proportional to taking care of himself. He described his boundary as being about as big as a hula hoop if he were standing in the middle of its circle. He said: “All the territory inside the hula hoop is my concern, my business and within my power to change; everything outside of it is none of my business, and out of my control.”
That makes it so easy for me to visualize how to understand the difference between:
– the things I cannot change [outside hula hoop]
– the things I can change [my thoughts, feelings, beliefs and actions inside the hula hoop] and
– the wisdom to know the difference [the hula hoop and the connection to a Higher Power]
My sponsor says that taking care of ourselves is a full time job, one we are maybe doing for the first time in our lives. Today I know that I am responsible for keeping that connection to my Higher Power real, consistent and possible. I’m the one that walks away when the connection gets broken. Because of this connection I can learn to choose to love myself, do the next right thing, to see the best in people, and to accept life on life’s terms. All within a little circle of red hula hoop plastic (mine would be red, of course).
This proves to me beyond the shadow of a doubt that I am a visual learner. I recently heard that Hula Hoop Larry has passed on, to be with his wife Joan. Thank goodness for hula hoops and for the gifts that come from people like Larry, sharing their wisdom in meetings. Thank you all for my sobriety.