It is awesome to wake up and realize that I don’t need to change or control the world. Because things are going to unfold according to the will of a Higher Power of my (or your) understanding. Whomever or whatever She, He, or It may be.

It took me 43 years of unconscious belief that I was the center of the universe and that I was “in control” to be bludgeoned by life into realizing I am powerless over many things. Between my Bipolar Disorder, my Alcoholism, and my Porn Addiction that fueled severe self-centeredness and my fear-based illusion of control, I ran on self-will and determination to “make things happen my way.” The results were extremely self-destructive, financially and emotionally injurious to others, and, quite simply, disasterous.

But today, thanks to AA, the Higher Power of my understanding, and my efforts, I have learned to make a daily surrender of that self-will and those things over which I am powerless. Which is pretty much everything except my attitude, my efforts, my choices, and the SECOND thought in my mind (the first thought is spontaneous – I can choose to replace it with a second thought of my choice).

And with this daily surrender (because I do keep taking my will to control the uncontrollable back and have to re-surrender) comes a complementary spiritual practice called acceptance, which was wonderfully described by Dr Paul O, a now deceased physician whose personal story is included in the Big Book of AA.

From page 417 of The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous:

“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 is such a relief to surrender and accept. Efforts to control other people, places, and things are exhausting. They are also futile and sometimes end in disaster.

I am grateful for a new and better way of life. Thanks be to my Higher Power. One day at a time.

Image Credit: MyKa McKinney

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