Saturday, September 20, 2014

Living in Solutions - Acceptance

For so much of my adult life I lived with what I thought were unsolvable problems.  That's a hellish way to live.  After I came into recovery, I learned that there are a possibly innumerable solutions to every problem a human being can have. 

Of course, the first step in problem-solving is to use the Serenity Prayer to determine whether the problem is something I can change: 

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

I need the perspective of another person to determine this - usually.  Sometimes it's pretty obvious and I can see it myself, but it's always a good idea to check it out with a wise person.  If it's really true that there's nothing I can do to change the situation, there's still a solution - ACCEPTANCE.

I had to learn the acceptance part of problem-solving before I could learn the rest.  Acceptance is the hardest.  But here's my personal "how to" for acceptance:

1) Stop telling myself that this shouldn't be happening.  All that kind of thinking does is make me angry and upset.  Instead I remember what my dad said after the tornado took his house: he first thought, "why me?"  Then he thought, "why not me?  Is there something special about me that should make me immune to disaster?"  So, I'm not immune to events I don't like.  I can let go of my feeling of being treated badly and remember that the whole of humanity experiences this and remember that compassion for myself and for everyone is comforting. 

2)Then, since there's nothing I can do to make it better, I turn my attention to something else and pray for a peaceful mind and heart.

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