Pushing against an immovable object is an exercise in frustration, and a big waste of time and energy. Yet for many of us, we do just that when we refuse to fully accept ourselves as we are, warts and all. There are just some things that have to be accepted for what they are. For example, a person may be born with a set of genes that could make them prone to certain diseases. There is nothing an individual can do about their genetic inheritance; all they can do is try to work with what they have. This is acceptance – the ability to effectively “be okay” with things beyond your control.
Self-acceptance can be defined as an unconditional affirmation or acceptance of self, in spite of weaknesses or deficiencies. True self-acceptance is attained when an individual is able to accept those realities, and does not feel the need to protest or change it. Self-acceptance is also liberating, since the individual who has truly accepted themselves has nothing to hide. At 12 Keys Rehab, we believe that In order to find happiness in recovery, it is important that an individual develops at least a certain degree of self-acceptance, because living a successful life is as much about recognizing individual limitations as it is about taking positive action. This philosophy allows individuals to focus on those areas where their efforts will be most fruitful.
Learning self-acceptance in recovery is important because there are some things in life that the individual will not be able to change. Refusing to accept this will only lead to suffering. Denying reality is what drives most people into substance abuse in the first place. Addiction is a great example of how trying to escape reality is not an effective strategy. By developing self-acceptance, a recovering addict actually reduces their risk of relapse.
Self-acceptance is also key to developing emotional sobriety, or the willingness and ability of an individual to feel their feelings. Emotional sobriety bolsters a recovering addict’s chances for a lasting recovery, because with it they feel that they can cope, no matter what is going on in their life. It keeps them living in the present moment, not regretting the past or worrying about the future. Emotional sobriety also allows a recovering addict to develop deep and meaningful relationships and strengthen and repair existing ones – friends, family, spouses and significant others.
At 12 Keys, we understand what it takes to help you or someone you love get to the point of self-acceptance during the rehabilitation process. We know firsthand how difficult it can be to regulate the strong emotions that can lead to negative behavior. We also know how to guide an individual to both self-acceptance and emotional sobriety, to help instill a positive attitude to life and a future filled with renewed hope.