AA Page 417: Acceptance
Everyone has a unique path to addiction. Likewise, everyone’s journey to sobriety is personal and cannot be replicated. However, addiction’s problems and solutions have features that are common to many people. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) identified what they believe is at the root of every problem and its solution. Read on to learn about AA page 417 of the Big Book, which covers acceptance.
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AA Page 417 Acceptance: The Big Book of Alcoholics
The Big Book presents the well-known and effective program for recovering from alcohol addiction known as Alcoholics Anonymous. Since its first publication in 1939, the Big Book has been translated into more than seventy languages. It got its name from Edward Blackwell, the printer who worked for Cornwell Press. He was told to print the Big Book on his thickest paper. Hence, the name that has stuck for more than seventy-five years.
On page 417 a bold claim is made, the solution to ALL problems. The core of all problems, it states, is finding a person, place, thing, or situation unacceptable. The answer is realizing that nothing in the world happens by mistake. Therefore, the solution is found in acceptance.
Acceptance and Honesty
Since most addicts practice dishonesty with others and themselves, they have difficulty acknowledging the truth. Yet sobriety demands that the addict accept the truth of where they are in life, including accepting their alcoholism. Although it may seem impossible, one must accept their life before moving forward. This honest assessment rids the addict of the common habit of trying to change everyone and everything else in the world to the neglect of themselves. Acceptance fosters an honesty that enables one to concentrate on changing the only thing they can change, themselves.
Acceptance and Expectations
Page 417 mentions our keen ability to see flaws in other people and every life circumstance. Typically, we not only see flaws, but we also like to point them out. Unfortunately, engaging in this keeps us unhappy, complaining, and frustrated with the lack of perfection we crave. AA teaches people that are in recovery that they need to accept themselves and others. We then can stop expecting perfection and accept the truth that every person has some good and some not-so-good qualities and actions in their lives.
Acceptance and Action
It would be a mistake to understand that AA is teaching an addict to accept everything because there is nothing they can do about their addiction and life. While the addict should realize that some people and circumstances cannot be changed, there are things that they can change. The balance between the two is emphasized in the Serenity Prayer, recited at many AA meetings.
The Serenity Prayer begins with a request for the calmness and peacefulness to accept those things you cannot change. It then asks for courage to change things that can be changed. Those in recovery must have the courage to take action to make significant life changes. When you have the wisdom to know what things you can change, you will replace frustration with peace, joy, and success.
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