A Personal Story
When I think of the spiritual principle of acceptance, I immediately think of the Serenity Prayer. It is a common prayer in the circles of recovery. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” This is my boilerplate for acceptance. It applies to all things in life.
Before getting sober, I knew nothing of this principle. My life and choices were driven by knee-jerk reactions to anyone and anything in front of me. If there was a conflict a work, my initial reaction was just that–a reaction. The same was true for personal relationships, romantic relationships, and the “Sunday driver” who was stopping me from getting to where I needed to be on time. I would even get mad at the credit card company that charged me a late fee because I did not pay my bill on time.
Acceptance has come in stages of sobriety.
Initially, I had to accept the fact that I am an alcoholic. What a freedom that was, to realize that I was not a bad person, that I had a disease. When I realized it was a disease, I had to accept the path to recovery. That meant changing just about everything I had ever known and learning a new way to view life and myself.
This was just the beginning. Through learning more about my behaviors and reactions to life, I realized that I had didn’t have to like something to accept it. I have learned to calm my reactions, knowing that no matter what the circumstance, God is in control and has my best interest at heart.
I recently had the opportunity to go back to school though a Pell grant. It was a 2 ½ month process. I was excited at the prospect of going back to school and what that could mean for my life. I had planned accordingly and adjusted life to meet these plans.
Well, after this process, the funding did not come through as I thought. When I got the news, I accepted it. I knew that if it were truly meant to be, nothing would stand in the way. Was I disappointed? Of course I was. More than two months of planning, and life was taking a different course now. I did not like the results, but I know that if it were meant to be it would have been. That is the spiritual principle of acceptance in life today.
When I trust that God is guiding my life and I desire His will for me, I can be at peace and rest as things come along. Today, I do not need to turn toward harm and destruction. I can trust that God always has my best interest at heart.