It never ceases to amaze me how I need to hear something, and somebody else will say it. I decided today to write a blog about a topic that someone else recommends. Initially, I had decided to write on acceptance because I’ve had a few things happen in the last day or two that are challenging my “acceptance” skills. What do you know? The first person that answered my challenge said, “Acceptance.”. Damn…
My first sponsor drove me crazy having me read this passage 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.”
It never failed that whenever I called her about some really big issue in my life, she would tell me to read this page. Damn….
I left my iPad on a plane last night. I’m really embarrassed about it, and I’m really mad at myself. It’s not new thankfully, but that thing was expensive. I’ve been doing things like that in the last few years. I just can’t juggle as many things and remember everything. Something gets lost. Usually it’s my keys or my phone, but I generally find them in a short period of time. But, this time, something really got lost. I had already boarded the second leg of my flight when I discovered it was gone, so I had to wait until I got to the next stop to check on it.
I was coming out of my skin on that plane wanting to change the fact that I had left it. I kept thinking through all the scenarios that could have happened to prevent me from leaving it on the plane — as if that was going to help. Then, I just got mad at myself and how stupid I was to leave it. Why did I even bring it? I said all kinds of mean things to myself. When I realized how tense and angry I was getting, I started to tell myself to accept the fact that it happened, I may never get it back and that people lose stuff, even me. It took awhile to talk myself down off the ledge, but I got there. By the time I got to the baggage service area and talked to the woman about filing a claim, I was pretty calm. All I could do is just do the next right thing and accept the outcome. The horse was already out of the barn.
Accepting things as they are has not come easy to me. I grew up with a false sense that I could control the outcomes of situations, how people react and even how I would feel. It was a way for me to feel safe to think that I could control things. But, this is not reality. There are lots of things I can’t control. In fact, there are more things I can’t control than things I can. And, that’s not easy for me to accept. Right now, my flight is delayed to Pittsburgh. The problem is the weather, and I may not get there tonight or I may get there really late. Either way, it’s going to be a pain because I have a training there tomorrow. But, I can’t do a thing about it unless I have the power to change the weather and open the D.C. airport. And, I don’t have that power. So, I may as well use the time I’ve got to write about acceptance. Who knows, maybe somebody else made a big mistake and needs to accept the reality of their situation. This blog may be the venue for them getting what they need. That’s how recovery works, doesn’t it? Oh…and my flight just got called…I’m on my way. 🙂