Living in Acceptance

A few months ago I purchased a small travel trailer. A program friend gave me a brass plaque engraved with the Acceptance Prayer. I mounted the plaque in my trailer and  named her "Acceptance." I take her out each month into the So Cal mountains for a week of camping and hiking. I love these get-a-ways when I can say I'm literally living in Acceptance. It may just be coincidence, but recently I've noticed a major breakthrough in my ability to maintain my serenity through some very challenging experiences.

Being brand new to towing a camper, I have had many troublesome issues small and large. On my last trip the trailer actually became disconnected from my car while I was moving! Had it happened on a freeway it might have been tragic, but luckily no one was hurt. I amazed myself at how calm I was when the accident happened and through the whole process of negotiating the major repairs to the trailer and my car. Somehow I quite easily accepted what happened and began looking for a solution instead of wasting time blaming myself or others. I seem to have a new-found ability to ask calmly for what I want instead of demanding it. This may not sound like much, but for me it is huge. It is living proof that the program works. It really does!

One of the keys to acceptance for me is becoming allergic to the word "should." (As in, "The dealer should have given me better training; the trailer manufacturer should have included a warning in the manual; I should have done a better job securing the trailer to the tow hitch.) When I catch myself saying or thinking the word "should" I know I'm not accepting life as it is. I remind myself that life is unfolding exactly as it is supposed to. If life were supposed to be different at any given moment, it would be. Whenever I think things should be different than they are, I am arguing with reality.  I've learned the hard way that judging what others should or shouldn't do leads to blame and resentment. Better I learn to accept what's happening and see if there is any lesson for me rather than to think I know better than God how life is supposed to work. Living in acceptance is definitely the easier, softer way to go.