Accepting the Things that You Cannot Change

Free Yourself From Inner Conflict

Giving up control isn’t easy. As men and women suffering from addiction, we spent a lot of time and energy trying to assert control over ourselves and others; ultimately driving us deeper and deeper into our addiction. If we can give up that desire for control and accept the world as given, we will find ourselves free of the internal conflict that has been afflicting us for so much of our lives.

The ‘Serenity Prayer’ adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous implores us to accept the things we cannot change. We give up resistance and control, and no longer continue to create conflict within ourselves by constantly trying to assert our will over something that is entirely out of our control.

Eckhart Tolle, in his book Stillness Speaks, suggest, “Whenever you are able, have a ‘look’ inside yourself to see whether you are unconsciously creating conflict between the inner and the outer, between your external circumstances at that moment—where you are, who you are with, or what you are doing—and your thoughts and feelings. Can you feel how painful it is to internally stand in opposition to what is? When you recognize this, you also realize that you are now free to give up this futile conflict, this inner state of war.” We must come to a recognition that we are incapable of asserting control over things that we cannot change, and that, perhaps, those things exist as they are for a reason.

The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, in a personal story entitled Acceptance was the Answer, the author explains, “When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation—some fact of my life—unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy.”

Acceptance is The Key

Acceptance is truly the key to liberation from the internal conflict created by our refusal to accept things as they are. Through acceptance, we can find a sense of internal peace and serenity, and no longer waste our energy attempting to assert control over every aspect of our lives.

Dr. Denise Fournier explains in a 2017 Psychology Today article, The Inescapable Importance of Acceptance, “A big part of healing and recovering from the painful parts of life is accepting what’s taken place. In order to move on, we must first acknowledge what’s happening now. But, as all of us know, this is much easier said than done. Despite being one of the most important life hacks any of us can master, the practice of acceptance is enduringly difficult.” With practice, however, and giving up our selfish and self-centered desire for control, we can find a life of peace and serenity in sobriety.

Serenity and peace are possible in sobriety. You can make the decision to seek help today and begin taking the first steps on the rewarding journey of recovery. The Lakehouse Recovery Center in beautiful Southern California offers a variety of effective therapeutic techniques, including individual and group counseling, workshops, yoga, and family counseling, to give you all the tools needed to achieve and maintain lasting sobriety. For information about individualized and cost-effective treatment options, please call today: (877) 762-3707


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