Crazy as a Loom

Monday, February 11, 2013

Let's hear it again.

"It seems almost too simple to be true, but acceptance -- accepting things exactly as they are -- can be the key that unlocks the door to happiness. After John 3:16, it may be one of the most quoted passages in literature. It's from Page 449 (first 3 editions, pg. 417 in the 4th edition) of Alcoholics Anonymous or The Big Book as it is widely known:

    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. Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God's world by mistake. 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.
For me, serenity began when I learned to distinguish between those things that I could change and those I could not. When I admitted that there were people, places, things, and situations over which I was totally powerless, those things began to lose their power over me. I learned that everyone has the right to make their own mistakes, and learn from them, without my interference, judgement, or assistance! The key to my serenity is acceptance. But "acceptance" does not mean that I have to like it, condone it, or even ignore it. What it does mean is I am powerless to do anything about it... and I have to accept that fact.
Nor does it mean that I have to accept "unacceptable behavior." Today I have choices. I no longer have to accept abuse in any form. I can choose to walk away, even if it means stepping out into the unknown. I no longer have to fear "change" or the unknown. I can merely accept it as part of the journey.
I spent years trying to change things in my life over which I was powerless, but did not know it. I threatened, scolded, manipulated, coerced, pleaded, begged, pouted, bribed and generally tried everything I could to make the situation better -- only watch as things always got progressively worse.
I spent so much time trying to change the things I could not change, it never once occurred to me to simply accept them as they were.
Now when things in my life are not going the way I planned them, or downright bad things happen, I can remind myself that whatever is going on is not happening by accident. There's a reason for it and it is not always meant for me to know what that reason is.
That change in attitude has been the key to happiness for me. I know I am not the only who has found that serenity."

Every now and then, I need to read this again. Slowly.  And then again.

 I need to accept the reality of my life, THIS LIFE that I have been blessed with, and not waste so much time imagining  the life I could have.
It's so easy to peruse all the real estate listings of all the places I would like to live; country farms, camps on pristine lakes, cottages in  little coastal villages.
And I suppose they aren't impossible.
But that's not the point.
This is where I live, and this is my reality.   Life is too short to waste too much of it on what might be.

It's easy, too, to think that we don't need to change anything about ourselves.  I think though, as long as we're alive, we are works in progress, and we can make conscious decisions to be better, smarter, kinder, bigger.

"What I want is what I've not got, what I need is all around me"........Dave Matthews. 



Susan said...

Ah, to be 'in the present'..not trying to change the past or grab the future

"You may not always get what you want, but you'll always have what you need."

The part that always chokes me up is the acceptance part... but you are quite right. People are on their own journeys and sometimes the message isn't for you and its not your job to 'spare them' AND vise versa!

We tend to think you are coming along quite nicely...

Hugs, Susan and Bruce

Susan said...

I certainly try to follow that mantra, but being human, admittedly, I do get frustrated at times. Right now, I have a very bad stiff neck from more work. I'm using heat and SalonPas with little relief and hope after this work eases up, so will my stiff neck and headache. I honestly don't know how you do it, but I'm listening, XOXO

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Country Gal said...

You are a very strong person, to deal with this every day and to try to look on the brighter side of things is amazing . I suffer from chronic muscle pain and there are days it hurts to just breath or move but I think to myself life is to short so do your best to live it the best that you can . We all need a pick me up whether it be words or something else ! I do hope you feel better and get some relief !

Denise at Autumn Sky said...

It's a good reminder for all of us.

moosecraft said...

True... true... it's always happiest to be thankful for what we already have... but, we do need dreams to help us continue into tomorrow. That pink you are weaving is dreamy! Looking forward to seeing what it evolves into!

Daryl said...

keep on keeping on, you have the best attitude and are the most stubborn fabulous woman evah ...

Hilary said...

I need to have more of this in common with you.

Gayle said...

Oh wise one, thank you again for your great wisdom. I am on your same path in many ways. I begin each day with acceptance. I need plenty of reminding throughout the day. Your words speak volumes.
TY, H.

Anonymous said...

I lost my job about 16 months ago, and as I was going through the process, I read allot about Budhism. They are all about acceptance---I have saved your post and will be re-reading it in the days to come.

thotlady said...

Very nice.

Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts