Title: “I Believe in Acceptance”
I believe in the following paragraph from page 417 of the book, Alcoholics Anonynous, which states, “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 in my attitudes. “
I am not an alcoholic, but a grateful member of Al-Anon, having loved an alcoholic for 30 years; and having buried that alcoholic less than two years ago. I heard the above quote stated at an Al-Anon meeting that I despised, yet attended each week because my children attended Alateen at the same location. In 12 Step recovery, the encouraging statement, “take what you need, and leave the rest,” is repeated at each meeting, everywhere throughout the world. I took that quote, copied it, and placed it in a variety of places that my eyes would see each day. Gradually, even I came to accept it as the truth, and along with the supportive fellowship of Al-Anon and direction of the 12 Steps, I was able to find serenity amid the anguish of life with an active alcoholic.
My recovery from the family disease of alcoholism will be life long. I greet each new day with a prayer of gratitude, both for the blessings known and unknown, and the stuggles of my life. It is through these struggles that I found the gift of acceptance, which allows me to live my life in service, one day at a time.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.