Like most everything in this article, we’re talking about learned skills—habits that become easier the more we practice them. Our “acceptance muscle,” like any other muscle, will atrophy unless we use it—and gets stronger the more it is exercised.
I measure my own serenity by looking at how long it takes for me to embrace acceptance when my first instinct is to try to change a person, place or situation. If I wallow in resentment, self-pity, anger, etc., my serenity is obviously lacking. But if I’m in a good spiritual place, I can move more quickly to acceptance and get on with the things I can change, focusing only on my side of the street. Long live the serenity prayer.
Attendees of recovery meetings often hear “A grateful heart will never drink.” But an attitude of gratitude doesn’t come naturally.
People in recovery often view the glass as half empty. Why? Because life is hard, sometimes very hard. Our patients won’t be tiptoeing through the tulips all the time, but they can focus on the things for which they are grateful. As addiction professionals, we must remind clients to invite gratitude into their daily lives, creating a more balanced set of life experiences. Admittedly, this is easier said than done.
We humans are hardwired to form communities. Our very survival is predicated upon our ability to band together against common foes, to create a tribe of like-minded individuals. In short, we need each other. A common phrase heard at recovery meetings is “We can do what I couldn’t.” It’s in our genetic makeup to rely upon friends, neighbors, etc.
Yet this presents a challenge to many in early recovery. Our patients’ addictions may have 1) delayed the development of social skills; 2) rendered individuals unable to trust others; or 3) destroyed their self-esteem. In any case, serenity will be more easily achieved and more thoroughly enjoyed if we invite others into our lives.
Content Originally Published By:Brian Duffy @Addiction Professional