Alcoholic tendencies in my life are far more insidious than the simple inability to control my drinking. The discomfort and fear I used to be able to mask with a drink or a drug are deeply rooted in my desire to control the world and the things that happen around me. When I take a step back, when I put my ego to the side and see things for how they truly are, not just how they affect me and my perception of what is right and wrong, they become a little easier to digest and accept. Acceptance of all things outside of my control provides a sense of comfort I am unable to find on my own volition. While I do not possess the ability to control other people, nor should I have that power, I am able to allow myself to give myself a break and accept people for who they are without judgement or anger towards them. A simple deep breath, a few moments to pause- that’s all I need to practice. Once I can separate my immediate sense of self, full of disorienting panic at the lack of control I have over circumstances, the more I am able to focus on what I do have control over and what is worth my time and energy. I am responsible for myself and my reactions to the things that happen around me, not for those things outside of my control, and the Serenity Prater is a simple yet powerful reminder of just that; Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Knowing the difference has come over time through trial and error and a lot of patience. Surrendering my controlling nature has provided me the opportunity to focus on what I am able to do to benefit myself and others, empowering me to be the best person I know how to be.
“When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, 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.” Alcoholics Anonymous pg.417