Acceptance in Advance

Problems defined my life before I stumbled through the doors of Alcoholics Anonymous. I had relationship problems, financial problems, career problems, health problems and all other kinds of problems large and small. As my drinking increased, my problems multiplied. I had only one problem-solving tool, a rusty old hammer of self-will. I pounded on my problems with that hammer day and night. My life was like Whack-a-Mole. I’d beat down one problem and another one would pop up. It was exhausting work and it made me very thirsty. Alcohol gave me temporary relief, but real peace of mind was impossible.

In AA I learned that until I was able to accept my alcoholism, I couldn’t get sober. In the same way, until I can accept the problems in my life as gifts from God, I can’t hope to live with peace and joy. Today I know that problems are in my life not to punish me, but to help me grow. There is a lesson especially designed for me in the center of every problem I encounter. The problem keeps reappearing in my life until I learn the lesson. Usually that lesson is about letting go of someone or something.

Recently, I’ve been practicing acceptance in advance. Whenever I sense I have an expectation of a specific outcome, I remind myself up front that God may have another plan. I accept in advance whatever the outcome is without even knowing what it is. I have the faith that if it doesn’t go my way, there’s something better in store for me. This has worked beautifully during my recent travels in my RV camper, Acceptance. During every trip some mechanical challenge pops up that I can’t handle. In the beginning I was frustrated when something did not work properly. Today when I experience a problem, I have a Plan B. Instead of gnashing my teeth and pointing my finger, I accept I have a problem and rely on intuition for a solution. Usually the solution is to ask for help. I’m totally amazed how easy life is when I live in the solution instead of the problem.