Ramana Maharshi, Hindu sage and jivanmukta, once said, “There is nothing wrong with seeking happiness. It is our birthright. The problem is where we look for it: outside of us instead of inside.” Many of us wasted a lot of time and energy seeking happiness and validation externally, but never considered that the true potential for happiness already existed within ourselves. Recovery allows us to address the problems surrounding our internal condition so that our happiness no longer depends on the validation we received from other people or from material things. We relied on substances as a means of self-medicating our internal struggles. At some point, many of us extended this concept into other facets of our lives—just as we relied on the comfort provided by drugs, we relied on the comfort provided by people or things outside of ourselves. It became an addiction in itself, and we began wearing a mask around others so that they would provide the external validation that we so desperately craved. Acceptance is a major spiritual principle of recovery and, according to Dr. Karyn Hall’s 2014 Psychology Today article, Self-Validation, “Self-validation is accepting your own internal experience, your thoughts and feelings. Self-validation doesn’t mean that you believe your thoughts or think your feelings are justified. There are many times that you will have thoughts that surprise you or that don’t reflect your values or what you know is true. You will also have feelings that you know aren’t justified. If you fight the thoughts and feelings, or judge yourself for having them, then you increase your emotional upset. You’ll also miss out on important information about who you are as a person.” We cease fighting the true nature of our internal selves and no longer feel the need to seek something outside of ourselves to make us happy. The realization that our sense of well-being is not dependent on others is often a major breakthrough on our journey of recovery. The peace and serenity that we have been striving for all our lives has existed within ourselves the entire time, and we are finally able to access it. In sobriety, this means we no longer allow our emotions to be controlled by others, and we can maintain serenity in even the most difficult of situations.
Peace and serenity can become a part of your story. You can begin the journey of healing from addiction and alcoholism by making the decision to seek help now. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment center in Orange County, California, offers the opportunity to find sobriety in a beautiful beachfront environment. For more information about treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777