Exactly Correct

at-peace“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. Unless I accept life completely 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.”
~AA Handbook

I’ve never been to AA (or any other 12-step program), but I came across this a while back and it really resonated with me.  I’ve believed for a long time that everything in the world is exactly as it should be and that my main job is to accept it.  However, I can see how some people aren’t okay with that.

For instance, if people were always able to accept things as they are, we wouldn’t have electricity, airplanes, environmentally friendly vehicles, etc.  I can’t think of one technological advancement that has come about by people just accepting the status quo.

What I think the phrase above is trying to suggest is more that we look to ourselves whenever something or someone starts to bother or anger us.  My mom used to always say that the world is full of mirrors, and every time you see something in someone that bothers you, you’re actually seeing the mirror image of something you don’t like inside yourself.

Most of us don’t want to see or accept that, because it’s always easier and less painful to see flaws in other people than ourselves.  But I’ve studied this phenomenon in myself too often to not see the truth of it.  If I get offended or upset by an attitude or action that I’ve witnessed in another person, a little bit of soul-searching will showcase it as an aspect of my own personality.  And the more upset I get about it from another, the bigger an internal issue it is.  I’ve actually gotten to the point where, many times, I will actually stop and reflect on that attitude in myself before I get too bent out of shape with someone else.

The good news is that, once I fully accept that behavior in myself, it no longer bothers me in others, or at least not as much.  This can take months or years to do–depending on the ferocity of emotion elicited–but when I do, I find I’m much more accepting or humble when I can see that I, too, act in the same way they have.

Which brings us back to everything being exactly as it’s supposed to be in this moment.  When you get upset by something someone’s done, it’s best to sit back and accept that their behavior or action is “exactly correct,” as my mother is wont to say.  It’s not always easy, mind you–especially if it’s something that truly upsets you–but it does make life MUCH easier.  If you’re someone who wants to know why something happens in order to be able to accept it, it might help to think that maybe you needed to witness said offensive action so that you can reflect on it in yourself.  Not for the sake of getting upset with yourself or your behaviors, but so you can accept that YOU are also exactly where you’re meant to be in this exact moment:

The Universe isn’t broken
And neither are you
So don’t attempt to fix others
Until you realize that you yourself are perfect

The lame man’s crutches
Are as much a part of him
As the wind
The birds
The sea
~The Tao Te Ching

But what about growing and changing for the better, you ask?  Well, I have found that sometimes I grow and change through no obvious effort on my part.  I’ve been molded and shaped by simply living in the world, interacting with others, and having new experiences.  And each person and experience was in the right place, at the right time to have an impact on me.

And that’s just as it should be.

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Craig
    Dec 27, 2013 @ 09:08:36

    As far as growing and changing… Don’t forget that thinking and reflecting are actions. That’s why they are verbs. Thinking and reflecting, even if you don’t think they result in anything are actions that are the process of growing and changing.

    Reply

  2. Craig
    Dec 27, 2013 @ 09:09:21

    So, just by thinking, you are changing.

    Reply

    • Alyx Morgan
      Dec 27, 2013 @ 09:58:40

      Very good point, hon. Yes, by reflecting on your actions & experiences, you’re deciding (consciously or not) to either stay as you are in that particular arena, or to change something.

      Thanks for stopping by today.

      Reply

  3. Dolly Chamberlin
    Dec 27, 2013 @ 19:06:42

    It isn’t always easy, but it is reassuring to me to know that everything is exactly correct as it occurs. & every action creates a ripple which begins a chain reaction, etc, etc, etc.

    Reply

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