"Lord, grant me the power to change the things I can and the wisdom to accept the
things I can't." It is not known who the author of the above prayer is but it has been
popularized, mostly, by the organization, Alcoholics Anonymous.
It seems that those who have recognized they cannot control their drinking have also
realized that much of the stress leading to their uncontrolled drinking revolves around control and acceptance. They have realized that trying to control everything around them is impossible and that they must practice "acceptance."
"Control" might include attempting to set the mood in the household when we awaken, by our moods, deciding and demanding what others will wear, eat for breakfast, how they will groom themselves, where they will go, how to get there, how traffic will flow,
how they will work, what they will work on, who they will associate with, what to have for
lunch, who to go with, when to return, etc, etc, etc, until, finally, it's time to turn in for the night.
If we get through the day without a nervous breakdown we can count ourselves as lucky.
Fortunately, many recovering alcoholics and co-alcoholics (their partners) find that they
have spent a good part of their lives practicing control and must learn to break it. They
describe learning to "let go and let God." In other words, they are learning to accept the
things they can't or don't really need to change.
Some things none of us really need to control are others' thoughts, feelings,
attitudes and beliefs.
"Acceptance" might include learning that each minute of each day is ours alone to do
with what we wish. It might also include the understanding that each one of us is here to lead our own life and attain our highest good.
We might be struck with the realization that if we encourage others as we would want them to encourage us, we might all attain our highest
good that much quicker.
The prayer cited above is dynamic. It implies movement. Acceptance does not
mean accepting less than what we are capable of attaining. It means challenging our
perceived limitations. How do we know what our limitations are if we don't challenge
Often, we find that our perceived limitations don't really exist, or that they aren't
as limiting as we thought, or that they were related to an earlier time in our life and don't
apply to the present, except in our minds. We find that, over time, and through
experience, we have learned and grown, almost without knowing it.
We've learned that life is dynamic and progressive. We're problem-solving entities. Through each experience we gain knowledge and wisdom, apply it to the present and expand.