One of my favorite prayers comes from the AA Big Book. It goes like this “Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. If 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 or thing as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing absolutely nothing happens in God’s world by mistake; 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 my attitudes.”
This prayer has helped me in many ways to not create a crisis and to accept the situation as it is for that moment. Even if you do not believe in God you can take it out and it will still make sense and give you a sense of calm. You may have to say it a few times if you are really upset and confused but it will help you gain a new perspective on your life and your current situation.
It always amazes me how we can become disappointed by others because of the expectations we have of them. What I have discovered is that when we expect others to behave or act in a way” that we would” that we are usually saddened by the fact that they do whatever they want regardless of how we may feel. So, this is where acceptance comes in to play. We learn to accept the fact that just because we may have high expectations of ourselves that we cannot expect others to have those same standards.
So, it is helpful for us to adjust our thinking and what it is that we know about that particular person, so that we can grasp the reality that “they do not think or act the way that we do”. You will find that you will become less frustrated when you are able to put it in perspective and separate the two issues and the persons involved. This is what will create balance in your life when it comes to your expectations of yourself and others.
Sometimes when life seems chaotic and unforgiving, acceptance can quickly get your life back in perspective. Acceptance takes faith and a belief that we can only change what is in our ability to change. Knowing what to accept and what not to accept can be defined in simple terms by asking ourselves, “Is what is happening to me within my control? Can I change what is going on?” Once you answer these questions, the concept of acceptance makes sense.
When we know ourselves meaning who we are, our strengths and weaknesses, dislikes and likes, we are able to accept what life hands our way because we accept that what is happening in our life may be for a reason or for a higher purpose, for us to learn something, to grow as a person, etc. Acceptance is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself when life seems overwhelming and unfair.