Acceptance and How It Works in Your Life
The program offers us another way to approach life without a drink. We can learn to accept the things we cannot change and change the things we can.
The answers to our questions are all found in the Big Book and in the Step Book, the Twelve & Twelve helps us change the things we can, with practice. We can learn to trust, once again, when we apply the Steps of this program to our daily lives. I didn’t get here a drink short, or a day late. (SD 9/22/87)
When I got to A.A. I felt hopeless. If you are new here, I understand how you are feeling. Difficulties, opposition, criticism are meant to be overcome. When I admitted I was powerless over alcohol and my life was unmanageable by me, acceptance followed and my daily recovery began. I started by working Step One. My sponsor and I shared our stories. For the first time in years, I didn’t feel alone. I spent my first year as a shut-in. My detox was hard and painful. The only thing I knew was if I drank again, I would die!
Having a sponsor assures us we’re never alone. Trust is not a given. Trust is earned. As times went by, I began to trust. I got a sense of security which accompanies my belief that the miracle of recovery is one alcoholic helping another. That is my experience. It flows between us. When I became willing to get honest, I opened my heart. The key I found is being there for another person and accepting them just the way they are with no judgment of any kind. They accept my help.
The solution to all my problems are found in the Steps. No human power can relieve my alcoholism. For me, it was to change my stinking thinking. To find a Higher Power. Acceptance of this fact had many drawbacks. I didn’t believe. Acceptance of a Higher Power was a terribly hard risk to take. As I stayed sober, I let down my defenses.
At two years sober, I went to my first f2f (face-to-face) women’s meeting. There the miracle happened. There I heard their stories. That day, I became willing to work Step Two. This Step taught me that we all get to choose a Higher Power of our own understanding. “Step Two (page 25 in the Twelve & Twelve): “CAME TO BELIEVE that a POWER greater than OURSELVES could restore us to sanity.” For our newcomers, all of the Steps are but suggestions. But when I got honest with my sponsor, things began to get better. Life took on new meaning. (Page 31, 12&12): Whatever price in humility we must pay, we would pay.” It gets better. God restored my sanity. Today, when I accept and practice humility and responsibility, I grow. I take care not to hurt myself or others. Words have the power to hurt. The Steps and many inventories have taught me that to love others here is to give our es&h (experience, strength and hope). Thank you for giving me yours. No drink on earth could ever compare to the unconditional love and acceptance you give me everyday. Accepting God was the best decision I’ve made.
I accepted a God of my own understanding. God was restoring the sanity I lost in my disease. The best acceptance was eventually of myself and all my defects and accepting others of theirs.
My recovery has been a whole series of storms, storms that helped me garner a closer relationship with God, my sponsor, and all of you dear alkies that help sprout new growth. Acceptance is a process. Today, I focus not on the problems I face; I focus on the solution. Accepting we are not perfect. We are human beings who help each other stay sober.
Acceptance to me truly means letting others see who I really am. It has alleviated my suffering. It took a lot of courage to allow myself to risk being vulnerable. God makes all things possible.
There is only one way acceptance has worked in my life. It is only one appropriate choice to every hardship, storm, or angry feeling. It is the one that is honest and wholly reflective of who I am at this moment. After 28+ years sober, acceptance is still a process. My solution is still working the Steps and helping others stay sober ODAAT (one day at a time).
I don’t always understand the way my God works. But I believe He works through people. Today, I accept with faith that each day is a new beginning for all of us. The Steps have given me the peace that I use to seek in a bottle. We can’t talk to a bottle. Each day of abstinence offers us the chance to look ahead with hope. Helping others is the bright spot of my days.
Thanks for letting me lead our meeting.