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The Virtue of Acceptance

The desire for control is a strong feature of addiction and alcoholism. We want to control every facet of our lives and the lives of others, resulting in a sense of deep frustration that causes us to turn to a drink or a drug. When we begin learning to let go of our need for control and turn our attention to acceptance of people, places, things, and situations, we find that our sense of peace and serenity in life improves dramatically.

Eckhart Tolle, in Stillness Speaks, explains, “Surrender, one could say, is the inner transition from resistance to acceptance, from ‘no’ to ‘yes.’ When you surrender, your sense of self shifts from being identified with reaction or mental judgment to being the space around the reaction or judgment. It is a shift from identification with form—the thought or the emotion—to being and recognizing yourself as that which has no form—spacious awareness.” Rather than saying “no” to situations that may cause us to react with further negativity, we can choose to accept the moment and effectively remove ourselves from and negative emotions that would arise from attempting to assert control.

When we look back at our lives in active addiction, we can clearly see how our lack of acceptance only made our problems worse. In a personal story in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous entitled “Acceptance Was the Answer,” the author states, “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.” We see that our acceptance must extend to every aspect of our lives if we are to maintain the sense of peace and serenity that are important to our sobriety.

The first way we can practice acceptance is by giving up the fight with our addiction and seeking help. When we concede to our innermost selves that we are suffering from a problem beyond our control, we open ourselves up to receiving the help that we so desperately need. From there, we can begin to practice acceptance of other situations in our life that are beyond our control. We will surely find that our journey of recovery becomes more peaceful and harmonious than we had ever expected.

Your life doesn’t have to be held back by the chains of addiction. You can make the decision to seek help today and begin building a brighter future. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, brings together the highest quality behavioral health and addictions specialists, holistic experts, and spiritual guides to help clients develop all the tools necessary to achieve and maintain sobriety. For information about treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431