The Power of Acceptance: Embracing Change for a Brighter Future
Recovery from substance abuse can be a healing and transformative experience. But resentment is equally as poisonous. Holding on to past resentments - and all of the negative feelings associated with them - can derail and even de-motivate a person’s recovery and lead to relapse. It’s tempting to hold grudges, especially when you feel you’re “in the right”. But it only serves to pull you down. By forgiving others (and yourself), you’re able to truly heal from the past, embrace recovery and grow into the person you’re meant to be.But some resentments are harder to let go of than others. How can you let go of past wrongs that you have been carrying around for years - or maybe even your entire life?Here are a few strategies to help you let go of even the deepest resentments and continue to grow in your recovery:
Often times, resentments aren’t as one-sided as they seem. You might feel that there has been a wrong against you and that there is justice in your anger. If you want freedom, it’s important that you take personal responsibility for your part in things.Accepting responsibility for the part you play in your resentments doesn’t excuse other people’s behavior. In fact, it empowers you to move on by embracing the only thing you can control: yourself.If you’re in a 12-step program, you can examine your part in your resentments when doing your 4th step with your sponsor. If you’re not in a 12-step program, write out your resentments in your journal. Then, identify the areas where you are making contributions to creating or holding onto the resentment and resulting negative feelings.
The fastest way to let go of resentment is to focus on everything you have to be grateful for. And if you can find something to be grateful for WITHIN your resentment, even better.So, for example, let’s say you’re carrying a resentment that you were let go from a job. Write all the things that you’re grateful for in that situation. Maybe it’s having more time to spend with your family. Or maybe it is having the ability to pursue opportunities that are a better fit for you.Shifting your perception from why you’re upset to why you’re grateful is a powerful way to rid yourself of resentments.
Some resentments run deeper than others. Letting go of resentments that you’ve been carrying around for a long time - or even your entire life - is not a process that happens overnight. If you’re struggling to let go of a resentment, it’s important that you’re compassionate with yourself. Do your best to let things go. If you find feelings of resentment lingering, you need to do more work. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous has specific directions for difficult resentments.As long as you’re putting your best foot forward to let your resentments go, be compassionate with yourself about the results.If you apply these principles, you’ll be well on your way to letting go of resentments and enjoying a recovery full of peace and serenity. But you won’t be able to move on from resentments while still in active addiction. If you’re struggling with drugs and alcohol, be sure to reach out to Serenity Vista to see if our world class treatment center is the right fit for you.
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