Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Acceptance, Expectations, and Serenity: Three Great Things That Go Great Together

You know, it’s been a very challenging week for me, with a series of issues that are both troubling and outside my control. Certainly, I could spend hours and hours fretting over these issues, but that is neither productive nor worthwhile. To maintain my serenity, I need a better way.

I need to strive for acceptance, acceptance that God has a purpose behind everything, and that if I accept God’s will over my own, I have a better chance for serenity. In the end of the day, practicing serenity is far better than bashing my head against the wall trying to change things outside my control.

An old-timer said to me recently that we have no control beyond our own fingertips...and he wasn't talking about the keyboard. What's more, if I can practice true acceptance, without any expectations on others or situations, I wind up less disappointed by the results. Plus, if I can avoid expectations, I won’t get disappointed.

Another person with many 24 hours in the program said that achieving acceptance on any particular issue is possible, but maintaining acceptance, and finding consistency in our life, is the most challenging task in sobriety. As such, I find it so important to work towards acceptance every day, as difficult as that might be.

When an issue gets caught in my mind, especially an issue I have no control over, I tend to rehash it time and again, going over every possibility and potential response, looking for a successful solution. And all the while, I get more and more upset, and my serenity drains from me.

And with each additional possibility comes a new set of expectations. I can play out a conversation in my mind to the utmost extreme, determining even the most trivial of comments and expecting the results I need or want. And of course, when these expectations are not met, I am consistently disappointed.

I must maintain acceptance, avoid expectations, and achieve the serenity that this way of life offers. Only through acceptance and a lack of expectations do I have any chance to maintain my sobriety. And today, there is nothing more important than my sobriety. So I try to practice acceptance whenever possible.

It doesn’t always work, and I have a long way to go before I achieve the consistency that will prevent drama and bring serenity. But at least today I have a better sense of what I need to do to attain long term sobriety, and I’m trying to do the work necessary to make that happen. To me, that’s a step in the right direction.

Posted by Scottage at 1:19 AM / | |