Many recovery programs suggest that acceptance can be an effective tool for achieving serenity and maintaining one’s sobriety. However, the concept of faith and acceptance in recovery can be misconstrued as meaning that one should sit back and accept all things, good and bad, as the way that things are supposed to be. Acceptance does not mean that we cannot or should not be proactive in achieving our goals. The Serenity Prayer used to open Twelve Step recovery meetings states: “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.” Acceptance, in this sense, extends only to the unchangeable. Rather than waste our time and effort trying to change the actions of others or things beyond our control, we accept those people, places, things, and situations as they are. When faced with situations that we can change through positive action, we ask for the courage to change those things and accept the outcome. The trickiest part of the acceptance problem comes from not knowing whether the situation is in or out of our control. In those situations, we turn to our higher power for guidance. Acceptance is a powerful tool and can save us from wasting unnecessary energy on things that are out of our control. We cannot, however, allow ourselves to become so accepting that we sit back and wait for the universe to do the work for us. Sam Harris, in his book Waking Up, explains, “It would seem that very few good things in life come from our accepting the present moment as it is. To become educated, we must be motivated to learn. To master a sport requires that we continually improve our performance and overcome our resistance to physical exertion. To be a better spouse or parent, we often must make a deliberate effort to change ourselves. Merely accepting that we are lazy, distracted, petty, easily provoked to anger, and inclined to waste our time in ways that we will later regret is not a path to happiness.” Our acceptance extends to those things that are not within the realm of our control. Rather than wasting energy trying to change those things, we can accept them and turn our attention toward changing ourselves.
Your story can become one of happiness, joyousness, and freedom in sobriety. You can make the decision to seek help now and embark upon the rewarding journey of recovery. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment facility in beautiful Laguna Beach, is staffed with knowledgeable and compassionate professionals dedicated to providing clients with all the tools needed to achieve and maintain a lifetime of sobriety. For information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777