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Acceptance | The Distinction of what Can and Cannot Be Helped

Sometimes life throws you curveballs, and quite often I don’t care for them. Even after years of sobriety, I find myself struggling to wish the ball to come right across the plate so I can hit it for a homerun every time. It just seems easier in life that way, right? But, alas, as the Rolling Stones once sang, You Can’t Always Get What You Want.

I’ve had a number of struggles in my drinking days, and I’ve had many in my clean and sober days. However, there is a huge difference in how I deal with acceptance now. Before I got sober, I would try so hard by praying, coercing, forcing, twisting, manipulating, and pleading to get things done my way. Other people were always wrong. After all, I’d surely thought it out beforehand. I’d spent time thinking of every possible outcome and how to move that outcome back to my favor. I knew best. Now-a-days, this behavior is much more curbed. I walk in to a situation with “I’m not always right.” I seriously have to tell myself that in order to be more open.

However, I forget sometimes. So, when I find myself getting angry, scared, and frustrated over a situation, I have to ask. “Am I in control of what’s happening?” and “Is this out of my control?” Usually, the answer is very clear immediately, so I step back and remember two of the tools in my clean and sober tool belt.

  1. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference,” and
  2. “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.”