One of my clients read the following paragraph to me today as a kind of follow-up to our discussion of his plans for the future and dealing with a vastly abbreviated lifespan. There is much I could say about the man and his condition, but I think the paragraph speaks for itself. Per my client, it is from page 417 of the Alcoholics Anonymous handbook.
“And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When 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, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s* world by mistake. Until I could accept alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. Unless I accept life 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 in my attitudes.”
Obviously, based on the source, this passage is intended for recovering alcoholics, but this particular client is using it to come to terms with a much weightier issue. I pinned this up over my desk, finding it impossible to remain untouched.
*The Center for Respite Care is a secular organization. This passage reflects the belief of one client we serve, but not our organization as a whole. We remain committed to openness towards all beliefs, thoughts, and ideas and welcome staff, clients, volunteers, and friends of all backgrounds.