I become aware, when I am willing to hear another point of view. If each time I am presented with an idea which doesn't mesh closely with my own, I shut down and refuse to listen, I will not learn.
At this stage, I don't have to do anything but listen. When I say, "Ok, I'll hear it, but that's all I'm going to do right now," I allow the other person to speak their piece, and I'm not having to try to listen, through the clamoring of my internal dialogue offering up arguments in rebuttal. I'm listening - that's the agreement at that stage - you speak, I listen, no promises either way. We'll see; I'll think about it, and get back to you. I'll hear how you feel, and take it on board for further consideration.
I become aware, when realisation dawns that my "way" isn't working for me anymore. Perhaps a coping mechanism which has served me well for many years, has become obsolete, or is now obstructive to my maturity. I become aware, and I can sit with that awareness for a time, until my ego quiets down, and I can relax into my new awareness. Awareness may be gradual or shockingly sudden. It may bring with it sorrow and grieving, or it may make me burst into laughter. Either way, I choose awareness over the alternative.
Acceptance comes through several doors. There's the door marked: "It is what it is, and nothing on earth can change it, so why waste energy protesting?"
There's a door with the label: "Isn't this wild? Can you believe you didn't see this before now?'
There's yet another door: "Things that aren't what they seem."
I've come to understand that it doesn't matter how the acceptance arrives. At one stage of my life, I'd get so hung up on which door it came through, that the thing itself, the acceptance, was pushed aside for a while - this is a procrastination technique.
When I can make room for acceptance, without fussing about how it enters my life, I have greater serenity, and my sense of humour reasserts itself. When I reach for acceptance, draw it into my arms and give it a big warm hug, I am flooded with peaceful feelings. I can breathe more deeply: see wtih clarity: have compassion for others, and myself. Acceptance is a powerful force for change in my life.
I used to leapfrog over awareness and acceptance, directly into action. I acted on impulse, without restraint, with little forethought, with that frantic sense of wanting to do something, anything, to force my will, or relieve my pain.
I don't do that anymore. I reason things out with someone else, and I get feedback from my sponsor, my program friends, my Higher Power. If I'm not sure, I'll let it go for another while, to see if perhaps that's all the action required - just to let go.
"Awareness, Acceptance, Action" is a shorthand reminder, of a great wisdom. I pray for the ability to hear, accept, and use this wisdom, in my daily life.