Acceptance and Serenity

Almost every 12 step meeting regardless of fellowship will begin or end with the serenity prayer, which says, “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.”

At a topic meeting recently, the chairperson of the group had chosen to qualify on acceptance and serenity. After he finished sharing, he opened up the meeting for others to share.  Towards the end of the meeting, one fellow rhetorically asked, “Do you want to know the difference between acceptance and serenity?”

“Acceptance is when you are standing on the 10 item express line at the supermarket where the person in front of you has 13 items and you don’t say anything to them.

And serenity…….Serenity is when you are on the same line and you don’t even count how many items he has in his basket.”

Many of us have mastered moments of acceptance,where instead of blurting out a criticism or a disagreement we exercise self-control over our speech muscles. Yet one often still senses a degree of agitation which percolates along with our self-control.

To come to a place where we no longer even “count” is a much more rarefied spiritual state. 

You can determine if you are in acceptance or in serenity by examining if there is any “counting” chatter in your head the next time you are presented with a challenging situation.

Personal Reflection: Have I gone beyond acceptance and moved towards serenity in my life?

 

Don’t Go To The Hardware Store For Bread

We all have challenges and problems. Many of us seek out various solutions to these issues. Often we stumble around a bit until we arrive at the appropriate answer to our particular problem. When we do, we almost automatically realize that we have found the solution we have been looking for. The other pathways we experimented with pale in comparison with our current solution. It’s almost like we finally find the correct key we have been fumbling around looking for to open up a lock.
This concept is particularly true in the 12 step world. Many of us had floundered around for a long time looking for the solution to our drinking, drugging or binging over food. We had tried controlled usage, hypnosis, special diets, periodic abstinence, therapy and a myriad number of other strategies. For the vast majority of us, these were only a stop gap measure at best. Most of the time we returned to our drug of choice. It was only when we entered into the rooms of AA, NA and OA that we finally found a lasting solution. As we got up at the end of our first meeting we knew we were in the right place.

Personal Reflection: How do I live in the solution using my program?