The Serenity Prayer— “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.” — is used to open up most 12-Step fellowship meetings. In recovery, we strive for a state of serenity in our sobriety so that we do not fall victim to the same internal conflicts that drove us in addiction. We accept the world as given and do not waste energy trying to control every aspect of our lives. This does not mean we sit back and accept everything as an inevitability, however. Simply, when presented with a dilemma that is out of our control, we do not waste energy trying to change it. Rather, we accept the situation as is and navigate through it in the best possible way. William James once said, “Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.” Our acceptance begins when we fully understand that we suffer from the disease of addiction and our lives have become unmanageable as a result. From the initial acceptance of the reality of our situation and the nature of our disease, we commence upon the journey of recovery. Along the way, we will face adversity—it is an inevitability in life. We can either choose to accept the situation or attempt to assert control. From experience, we know that when we try to control everything in our lives, we tend to cause more harm to ourselves and others. Attempting to assert control over situations that are out of our hands is dangerous. We waste time and energy on the impossible, rather than accepting the situation and responding with the right thought or action. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous suggests that, throughout the day, we remind ourselves that we are not in control, “humbly saying to ourselves many times each day ‘Thy will be done.’ We are then in much less danger of excitement, fear, anger worry, self-pity, or foolish decisions. We become much more efficient. We do not tire so easily, for we are not burning up energy foolishly as we did when we were trying to arrange life to suit ourselves.” When we give up control and “relax and take it easy” throughout the day, we don’t fall victim to the frustration and resentment that can be caused by not getting our way. Our recovery is strengthened when we are free of the internal conflict that result from our futile attempts to assert control over an unchangeable situation.
You can make recovery the next great chapter in your story. Sobriety is possible, and you can begin building a better life by making the decision to seek help now. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment center in beautiful Laguna Beach, is dedicated to guiding and supporting you through the process of recovery, from Detox to Aftercare, so that you can find happiness, joy, and freedom in sobriety. For more information about treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777