Sometimes we have to find the right kind of acceptance for each day. Sometimes we need to develop acceptance for what may come to pass tomorrow, and yet again we shall have to accept a condition that may never change. Then, too there frequently has to be a right and realistic acceptance of grievous flaws within ourselves and serious faults within those about us – defects that may not be fully remedied for years, if ever. All of us will encounter failures, some retrievable and some not. We shall often meet with defeat – sometimes by accident, sometimes self-inflicted, and at still other times dealt to us by the injustice and violence of other people. Most of us will meet up with some degree of worldly success, and here the problem of the right kind of acceptance will be really difficult. Then there will be illness and death. How indeed shall we be able to accept all these? It is always worthwhile to consider how grossly the good word acceptance can be misused. It can be warped to justify nearly every brand of weakness, nonsense, and folly.

For instance, we can “accept” brand of weakness, nonsense, and folly. For instance, we can “accept” failure as a chronic condition, forever without profit or remedy. We can “accept” worldly successes pridefully, as something wholly of our own making. We can also “accept” illness and death as certain evidence of a hostile and godless universe. With these twistings of acceptance, we AAs have had vast experience. Hence we constantly try to remind ourselves that these preversions of acceptance are just gimmicks for excuse-making: a losing game at which we are, or at least have been, the world’s champions. This is why we treasure our Serenity Prayer so much. It brings a new light to us that can dissipate our old-time and nearly fatal habit of fooling ourselves. In this radiance of this prayer we see that defeat, rightly accepted, need be no disaster. We now know that we do not have to run away, nor ought we again try to overcome adversity by still another bulldozing power drive that can only push up obstacles before us faster then they can be taken down. -Grapevine March 1962, Bill W.


Here is a talk by Tom Brady and his experience with acceptance: