• 1

Twelve Step Keys to Serenity

On Acceptance: one of the most iconic extracts from the AA Big Book and a cornerstone in the Twelve Step recovery ethos:

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 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 my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; 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.

From a plaque on Dr Bob’s desk

Humility is perpetual quietness of heart. It is to have no trouble. It is never to be fretted or vexed, or irritable, to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing that is done against me.

It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised, it is to have a blessed home in myself where I can go in and shut the door and kneel to my Father in secret and be at peace, as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and about is seeming trouble.

The Promises

  1. If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through.
  2. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
  3. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
  4. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.
  5. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.
  6. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
  7. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
  8. Self-seeking will slip away.
  9. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.
  10. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
  11. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
  12. Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us — sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.