Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff! And…Remember It Is All Small Stuff!

In our Big Book there is a page that reads:

“How Important Is It? How important is it compared to my serenity, my emotional sobriety. And when I place more value on my serenity and sobriety than on anything else, I can maintain them at a higher level–at least for the time being.”~~source: Big Book p. 452

I have learned in recovery not to get too Hungry, too Angry, too Lonely, or too Tired. I was taught the principle of HALT = Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. If I find myself feeling any of those things I am supposed to practice HALT. No, I am not perfect, but I am damn good at it after years of practice. I don’t like pain or chaos, so I make much better choices today. 

In order to keep my Serenity, I have learned to apply the Steps to any problem that I could have. Step 1 reads of our powerlessness, Step 2 of a “higher power” (mine happens to be God, but you have the freedom to choose one for yourself), and Step 3 we must make a decision, about alternative courses of action that we can take. We seek solutions to our problem. The twelve steps can be used on any problem that I will ever have. And…searching for solutions keeps me out of me…therefore provides me with more serenity.

There are some things that I am NOT powerless over, and with my recovery I have learned that I have the freedom to choose what course of action that I want to take. Inaction is also a choice. It is choosing to choose “status quo”. With my abusive, unfaithful ex-husband I chose to accept that “he was he”, and I was me”, but I did not have to put up with him. I could not make him change or seek recovery, but I had to do what was best for me and my son.

I know that it was NOT God’s will for me to accept the “unacceptable.” 

“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. 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.”

-pg. 449, Alcoholics Anonymous