Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Acceptance as an AA Principle : What can we learn from it?

Are you familiar with the serenity prayer being uttered by Alcoholics Anonymous(AA) before and after they start their meetings?Acceptance_AA_Principle
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 have prayed that myself many times, unfortunately, I could no longer recall. Nevertheless, for me it is more than a prayer. It is a promise to myself. A pledge that must be to fulfilled. An action item that needs to be executed. Something I/you have to do and must 'will' to do.

Psychologists would often say that the first step to solving your issues is by facing them head on. Accept the fact that you have issues and problems that you need to address. Furthermore, they would advise that you need to pass over the first stage, which is called denial by an honest acceptance of your current predicament. Otherwise, you will go nowhere.

Denial is rather obvious when we have recently experienced a lost of a love one or lost of something of value and important like a job, losing a limb, missing an opportunity or failing to achieved our desired goals. More often, we go on a state of shock, thus it's difficult for us to believe that those things really transpired. But bad things do happen to good people -that's another fact.

We withdraw ourselves from the world and hide behind our self-made walls. We sink in despondency and accuse the world, God and everyone else for conspiring against us. This is but plain and simple denial.

While some of us easily recover, most of us find it very difficult to cope. And worse, some of us think it is impossible to regain composure in situations like these.

The key to getting ourselves out of this quick-sand of helplessness is acceptance. That is; the willingness to accept defeat, loss, and failures without which there is no other path to your self-redemption.

At AA, they espoused and live that. There, unless you recognize that you are an alcoholic, there is no other way for you to get out of that vicious vise. Similarly, unless we recognized where we are (or who we are) now, we cannot move on. Personally, when I am in this kind of rut, I always tell myself: this too shall pass. Yeah. I have always believed that, as long as we are living, there is always hope.

But it begins with you by taking that first bold step called -acceptance.