When I resist change and am not accepting things as they are, this leads to dis-ease and discord within the self.
When I find myself feeling lack of peace and serenity, then no matter how right I think I am and no matter how sure I am of that fact, I need to let go and accept that things are exactly the way they should be.
Though I hate change, I need to embrace change. The pain is in the resistance to that change. "Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God's world by mistake." (Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 417)
This pattern of powerlessness and resultant resistance eventually leading to so much pain that acceptance and finding the Power I lack, can exist in any area of my life. I was powerless over the total grip alcohol ended up having over me. It happened quickly and subtly and by the time I became aware of the fact that I had lost choice where alcohol was concerned, I was also at the very same time in total denial of my alcoholism. This created total insanity. In my denial I resisted the truth. When I finally found Alcoholics Anonymous, for a while I resisted the necessary changes I was shown by those I met in AA and the pain grew and grew as the resistance built.
I finally accepted my powerlessness and took steps 1, 2, and 3 and have not had a drink since that day.
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
Then I was able to proceed through the rest of the steps and connect with that Power I lacked - that Power that I needed to relieve my alcoholism.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
This same pattern occurs when people, places, or things are not to my liking - my specifications, not doing things the way I think they should be done. It serves me well to begin with the "Serenity Prayer":
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."
Once I have changed the things that I can, then I need to accept what I cannot change if I want serenity rather than chaos in my life.
"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." (Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 417)
Prayer Girl says, "Amen!!!"
(Photo credit: Aurore Simonnet/Sonoma State University/NASA)