The shame, guilt and loss experienced by those who suffer from addiction can be healed when learning to accept yourself during the recovery process.
When your life has been impacted by addiction, it’s easy to beat yourself up and feel excessive shame and guilt. That kind of behavior will never drive you to commit to the life-long process of beating your addiction. You need to master the art of personal acceptance. Acceptance is an opening of your heart to the realities of life and to the ways you have been impacted by your life choices. You don’t fight against the realities of your own life, but accept them for what they are and use them to grow as a person and move forward.
Acceptance is a major part of becoming a better person emotionally and spiritually and it can serve as a huge boost in recovery. Personal acceptance is a way to forgive yourself for the problems caused by your addiction. You’ll no longer agonize over the mistakes you have made, the people you hurt and the “failures” you feel were caused by your addiction.
Acceptance breaks control by giving you an honest assessment of the nature of addiction and the emotional and spiritual wounds you have suffered. Your pain is very real as are the problems of your addiction. Acceptance doesn’t minimize the severity of these problems, but does help you understand that they can be conquered.
How Accepting Yourself Can Help You Heal
- Honestly appraise your life
- Move past guilt, anger and depression
- Learn lessons from your mistakes
- Apply those lessons to future decisions
- Teach you stronger feelings of empathy
- Open your heart to personal forgiveness
Everyone has personal strengths that they can use to improve their lives and accepting them can give you the self-esteem and courage you need to stay in recovery.
Skills to Help Accept Yourself
- Mindfulness meditation – designed to make you more present in your daily life and to feel a more peaceful and relaxed state of mind.
- Create a beginner’s mind. This is the state of mind you feel when you begin a new task without understanding anything about it. Your mind is free of biases and opinions about that task.
- Practice humility, the understanding that you have limitations and may require help. Accepting this can give you a stronger sense of your strengths and open you up to getting the help you need to recovery.
- Understand your fallibility – we all make mistakes and that is part of life. Your addiction is a mistake that has a solution. Gaining acceptance with your own path is a crucial part of your recovery journey.
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