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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Evolving Consciousness

Perhaps the most frequently referenced quote from the stories section in the back of the Big Book is that dealing with 'acceptance' from the chapter "Acceptance Was The Answer" (formerly, "Doctor, Alcoholic, Addict"). It is found at page 417 in the fourth edition of Alcoholics Anonymous and reads:

"And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. Whenever I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, thing or situation - some fact of my life - unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, 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 my attitudes."

Acceptance is at the heart not only of the Serenity Prayer, but at the heart of most of our slogans. To "Live and Let Live" is acceptance. Acceptance is the 'grace' in "But for the Grace of God," the 'first thing' in "First Things First," the level of thought to aspire to in "Think, Think, Think," and the means of 'letting go' of old ideas in "Let Go and Let God".