Acceptance and Serenity

Acceptance and Serenity

Having walked the journey of sobriety for several decades, I have been
blessed with the gift of the serenity prayer: Grant me the serenity to
accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and
wisdom to know the difference.

It was a longing for serenity around the Great Unraveling that I had been
witnessing that nudged me towards wanting to take greater steps towards
discovering how I might apply acceptance to the predicament of collapse.
Coming together with two great friends and with the guidance of Spirit, the
R&A course was the result of that journey.

I learned early in my recovery the value of being of service. Although I
had a strong longing for some measure of acceptance of collapse, and what I
expected would also include serenity, I really didn’t know how to get
there. The journey of assembling the course would reveal a mountain of
wisdom and insight. The very act of working (it really was and is a labor
of love) to put together something that made sense to us, and hopefully
would hold value for others on this often confusing journey became a
grounding and rewarding path forward.

Now, a year and a half into the journey of the R&A course, I continue to
find that keeping the course fresh and relevant is what is mine to do.
Being of service by paying attention to my Original Instructions (2 years
ago, I had not yet become aware of this part of my Instructions) keeps me
in the act of being of service. It also allows me to be in that “hollow
bone” space, a place of being open to what comes my way, and of using
my/our good mind to discern what might be added to the course, or where it
might be tweaked to offer even more.

Michael Dowd would often say after espousing the benefits of collapse
acceptance that the next step is trust. It took me some time to wrap my
mind around what he meant by that. I understand now that it really goes
back to The Theme of Detachment: ‘Whoever is present are the right people
to be there; whenever we start, it’s always the right time; what happens is
the only thing that could have happened; when it’s over, it’s over.’

As Harrison Owen says in his book “Leadership Is”: “Underlying each of
these premises, whether we agree with them or not, is the principle of
acceptance rather than resignation. Can we accept the experience as it is
and then be creative with it, rather than be resigned or fatalistic about
it? Acceptance is an important part of detachment. The feeling of
resignation is always a sign of the presence of attachment.”

My personal journey of discovering and understanding acceptance is clearly
lifelong and will continue to be influenced by the wisdom of the Dowds and
Owens of the world. Still, it is my journey, just as yours is for you to
walk. If I am to find and hold onto some measure of serenity that might
accompany acceptance, I must put in my “dirt time”, to be willing to talk
and think, to write and read, to be open to Spirit and to walk this path of
discovery that is open to all of us.

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