MANY OF YOU WILL NOT HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO VISIT THE MANY IMPORTANT HISTORICAL SITES OF THE FELLOWSHIP OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS.

I PLAN TO SHARE WITH YOU PHOTOS I HAVE TAKEN OF THEM AS WELL AS PHOTOS I HAVE TAKEN OF SPECIAL MEETING LOCATIONS THAT I HAVE VISITED.





Friday, 31 July 2020

JUL 31, 20 .. ACCEPTANCE


In both the Third (page 449) and Fourth (page 417) editions of the Big Book are writings about acceptance.

I partially quote :

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.
 
It took me a very long time before I could embrace the above philosophy.

The story of my accepting the above words began in late July of 1988 when I was in Akron, Ohio, visiting the home of Doctor Bob. At that time (it is no longer the case), on the dining room wall, were photographs of long time A.A. members. I asked one of the staff to point out the photo of the man who wrote the above words about acceptance. I was told that his photo was not posted because he was alive, and living in California. I mentally filed this information in my brain.

In March of 1990, I was attending a 'round up' in San Angelo, Texas. The key speakers at the 'round up' were from the Canyon Club in Laguna Beach, California. During the weekend, I casually said to one of the speakers, "I understand the man who wrote the story Doctor, Alcoholic, Addict (in the third edition of the Big Book) lives in California." He immediately replied,"His name is Doctor Paul. He and his wife Max (who is mentioned by name in the story Doctor, Alcoholic, Addict) live in the Laguna Beach area. Doctor Paul is a member of the Canyon Club along with several of us here this weekend. If you are ever at the Canyon Club on a Wednesday evening, you may see him as he is a regular attendee of that meeting."

Fast forward to June 1992. I was in a Friday night speaker meeting in San Francisco (where I was living at the time) and as is often the case in meetings, when attendees visiting the meeting were asked to identify themselves, one man said, "My name is Fred. I am from Laguna Beach, California."

After the meeting ended, I dashed through the crowd to find Fred and, as I introduced myself while shaking his hand I said to him, "Fred, The Canyon Club is in Laguna Beach and I have heard that the gentleman who wrote the story Doctor, Alcoholic, Addict is a member. Further I was told that if I was at a Wednesday night meeting I might have a chance to meet him."

I continued to hold his hand. He paused, and said to me as he gestured to a lady on his right, "And this is my wife Max!"

Because of his 'fame' within A.A., when he introduced himself, he used the alias Fred so as not to give-himself-away to the large crowd.

That is how I met Doctor Paul. As the fate of human-chemistry would have it, we two bonded and became friends. 

The first time I visited them in their home, I said to Doctor Paul, "I have a lot of trouble accepting what you wrote in the Big Book that acceptance is the answer to all of my problems today." 

Instantly he said to me :

"Acceptance does NOT MEAN APPROVAL ! "

"What is ... IS !  You very well may not like whatever you have an issue with but, if you are powerless to change it, until you accept it you will be unhappy and frustrated to no avail ! "

What a difference his words have made in my life as to acceptance.

Our Serenity Prayer states :

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. Courage to change the things I can. And wisdom to know the difference.

What a gift being able to actively interact with Doctor Paul for approximately ten years was in my life.

"Acceptance does NOT MEAN APPROVAL ! "

1 comment:

  1. "Acceptance does not mean approval" is quite an astute comment and I can see how it would help many. My mantra for many years is "Change is not a matter of doing without, but of doing something else."

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