Acceptance is the Answer

From page 417 of The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous:

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.

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.

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7 comments on “Acceptance is the Answer

  1. Gillian Colbert says:

    The thing I struggle with when it comes to acceptance is that to accept doesn’t readily lead to condoning the act. Lots of food for thought. Thank you for sharing.

  2. yasipoo says:

    Nice read – I too struggle with joyful participation in the sorrows of this world – this struggle landed me in a slippery week. I it is taking all I can muster to dig myself out of the hole I have dug for myself.

  3. yasipoo says:

    Me too – keep posting!

  4. [...] It requires that we feel the pain, that we lean into it — something completely contrary to my nature. Doing so is first and foremost an act of acceptance, and as any alcoholic with more than a few months knows, “Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.” [...]

  5. Peter Andren says:

    In order to get some serenity in my life I keep coming back to this “acceptance is the answer
    to all my problems…” I need to meditate on this and try to apply it to my daily life. Thanks for
    sharing everyone!

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