Monday, September 29, 2008

Tuesday, September 30, 2008-ACCEPTANCE


"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."
From "Doctor, Alcoholic, Addict" p. 449 in the 3rd edition of the BB and titled "Acceptance was the Answer" p. 417 in the 4th edition of the BB.

Beautiful words, beautiful thoughts. There is such truth and therefore power in these words. Until I accepted, not just in my head, but in my heart, that I was an alcoholic, I was unable to surrender and find any sobriety. Until I accepted the people in my life just as they were, I could not find any real peace or serenity. My life and my relationships remained in turmoil.

For me, it was a relief when I finally got my focus off how I was going to change you and got the focus on how I could change me. Why? Because no matter how I tried, I was totally unable to force or even gently encourage anyone or anything to change. No one wanted any part of it. I wanted to change my husband. I wanted to change my children. I DID NOT want to change myself.

It seems strange that I so desperately wanted to change you, but not me. Well, I now know that the reason was that I did not want to look at myself; at my fears, inadequacies, and character defects. I wanted to stay in my self-created world of denial - clinging to the belief that I was a sweet, wonderful girl and not an unfit drunk. So, it was easier to look at you. I knew exactly what your defects were. However, it did me no good to look at you. Nothing changed and life and relationships continued to go "down hill" until I became willing to focus on the only person I could change - ME!

Today - I accept myself as I am - the good, the bad, the wonderful, and the ugly. I now try to go about the business of capitalizing on my assets, identifying my defects, and humbly asking God to grow the positive qualities and remove the negative ones.



Anonymous said...

Yes indeedy it does. Every single time. Good stuff.

Akannie said...

Wow...I am sorely tempted to copy the body of this post and give to my newest sponsling, who is having a terrible time with just this stuff!
Good job on this post, PG. BTW, how'd it go today???

Lou said...

This reminds me of the saying "I wish I knew back then what I know now."

We are just late bloomers, PG.


Thanks for asking Akannie,

Yesterday -
It went extremely well. I was instructed by the Chaplain for a couple of hours. I learned much, some of it surprising.

I go back Friday to shadow a mentor who has been volunteering for years.

I'm sure I'll be posting about my experiences as a pastoral visitor in the future.

indistinct said...

Wonderful post. Thank you.

AlkySeltzer said...

From many years ago, this has been my favorite quote from the STORIES.

I've heard often people say the doctor wished he had never written that page. Well, I heard the doctor one time, and he sakd he was quite haapy about his "acceptance" word, and admitted that God has helped many a soul who read page 449 or 417, depending on the edition...

Thank you for posting, and "Prayers for Prayer Girl".

Kathy Lynne said...

needed this today!

J-Online said...

just the message I needed to hear (read) today.