“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.” Alcoholics Anonymous (2001). Big Book 4th Edition .
I like to know that when I give my clients an assignment that I am familiar with it first, or that I do it with them. So when my clients talked about their struggle with acceptance and I gave them Acceptance Is The Answer (Pg 407) from the AA Big Book 4th Edition (large print) to read, I read it as well. It was then I understood the power behind the stories in the Big Book.
Don’t be fooled, you do not need to be an alcoholic or addict or in recovery for that matter to be able to appreciate the stories and chapters in the Big Book, after all don’t we all have to face acceptance in our lives no matter who we are or what path we take in life? Yes we do.
Acceptance is difficult to embrace at times and it can be challenging to really surrender and give in to what acceptance is trying to teach us. After reading about acceptance in the Big Book, I asked a few clients if they believed that acceptance was an important part of their recovery. They all agreed it was, but also agreed that it is tough to be okay with letting go of some of the things they try to control and accept that they are powerless.
The Serenity Prayer is said at the end of our groups, and each time I remind the clients that when they say those words, they should truly focus on the things in their life, in their recovery program and in their current treatment episode that they have no control over. For example, the past cannot be changed, there are rules that need to be followed, not everyone will accept amends made and things cannot always go our way.
Complete surrender and practicing acceptance gives us permission to let go of the things that hold us back emotionally and mentally and it can provide a sense of inner peace. Acceptance and letting go have some benefits
* you can give yourself permission to be free of emotional burdens. Sharing your struggles with another person or your Higher Power is always something good to think about.
* letting go of the things we cannot control gives us the power to hold on to the things that we can improve in our lives
* acceptance reminds us that it is okay to make mistakes and try again to improve our lives
* acceptance can help to reduce anxiety
What are some things that you may be holding on to? Do you need to practice acceptance in your life?
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Last reviewed: 27 Mar 2013