When I first came to program, I did not understand the first part of the Serenity Prayer: “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.” How could I accept all the wrong things in my life and the universe? Although everyone told me that “accepting” does not mean “liking,” it took a long while to understand this concept. When a sponsee translated it as, “It is true that I cannot change this,” it made the word “acceptance” more palatable. I liked that interpretation.

Being in program helps me be angry less often. I am learning to recognize things that I cannot change and accept that I cannot change them. Letting go of control (which I do not have) and surrendering it to God is one way I stay serene.

At work, for instance, I realize that the latest assignment has to be done, no matter what I might feel about its lack of worth and impingement on my time. I do my best to work with my team to get it done. Turns out, in the series of semi identical information sessions presented by different work teams, ours was the only humorous, music-filled data presentation. That was partly due to my effort, and it made my day.

I’m also learning what actions I can take, doing what I can, and letting go of outcomes. For example, when a hurdle is erected at work or there are issues with a project, I am learning to share my opinion in a clear and respectful way and propose steps toward a solution.

Not expecting results or relying on the outcome I want in order to be happy is also a great program tool. In the past, I used to get furious when people did not see things my way or correct problems the way I said they should. These expectations led to recriminations, and I rehashed my anger by discussing it over and over with others. Being the “Purveyor of Truth and Justice,” as my sponsor called it, did nothing to change the situation or make me happy or serene. If anything, it gave me a reputation as a difficult and ornery person, someone to avoid.

Letting go of outcomes—sometimes even knowing in advance that nothing will come of my efforts except knowing I have done what I could—is bringing peace and serenity into my life. This is different from the depression of just giving up: when I do what I can, I feel a sense of integrity.

Another step on my road to serenity is the gift of reminding myself daily that I can only work with the knowledge and resources I have, and that is also true for others. I become a kinder and happier person when I practice giving myself and others the benefit of the doubt and permission to make mistakes and be human.

Thank you, program and program friends who attend meetings, write literature, call or talk, and share your experience, strength, and hope. May we all find serenity, one day at a time.

— Chia W.

  • Partners in Recovery

    There are many different ways to share experience, strength, and hope in the OA Fellowship…
  • True Freedom

    When a fellow OA member suggested I reflect on what true freedom looks like for me, I disc…
  • Daily Contact

    Looking back to my life one year ago, I would have never thought that I would be as conten…
Load More Related Articles
  • Low-Tech Outreach

    I am on my intergroup’s public information committee. We make flyers with a tear-off porti…
  • Available to Everyone

    Here are a few ways I carry the message to other compulsive overeaters. I print out OA’s C…
  • Radio-Active

    I was listening to a commentary about obesity on our local radio station. The commentator …
Load More By admin
  • Thirty Days!

    I’ve reached my twenty-ninth day of abstinence. Tomorrow will be my weighing day and my hi…
  • A Series of Miracles

    In 2011, I weighed 534 pounds (242 kg) and was unable to walk due to sepsis from an E. col…
  • Shining Miracles

    Before I’d ever heard of OA or its Principles and practices, my only desire was to lose we…
Load More In Recovery
Comments are closed.

Check Also

Low-Tech Outreach

I am on my intergroup’s public information committee. We make flyers with a tear-off porti…