Step I, II, V on the Road to Recovery : Accepting various aspects of the problem
Acceptance has been inditified as a key to happiness from ancient time itself. Notions of acceptance are prominent in many faiths and meditation practices. For example, Buddhism’s first noble truth, “All life is suffering”, invites people to accept that suffering is a natural part of life. The term “Kabbalah” means literally acceptance.
A simple example would be someone who has suffered a loss of a loved one, such a person may be inclined to emotionally hold on to that loved one, denying the loss, and thus driving them into depression instead of accepting the loss, which would then allow them to move on and continue living.
From the time of the creation of the first Twelve Step program for the treatment of alcoholism and the first “Alcoholics Anonymous” book was written in 1939, Acceptance has been a key aspect of all Twelve step programs. Doctor Paul Ohliger wrote a passage in the book on how acceptance leads to being happier and sober.
Acceptance simply put is a person’s recognition and agreement of the reality of a situation, recognizing a process or condition (often a negative or uncomfortable situation) without attempting to change it or protest. This explanation can however be misleading, leading people to believe that acceptance means passivity or even giving up, nothing could be farther from the truth. Rather accepting reality is the first step in moving forward building a constructive life around the reality.
Many new therapeutic models have been developed recently with acceptance as their central concept. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy or Training is one such therapy. ACT assists in developing mindfulness: a non-judgemental awareness of both the external and internal he reality of present moment. A person pracitising mindfulness is in this way better able to tolerate negative thoughts and feelings. Many studies have been conducted on this, showing that it is effective is helping people with depression, certain anxiety disorders including Obsessive Compulsive Disorders, in coping with psychotic disorders induced delusions and hallucinations among people suffering from such conditions, and even with those looking to handle daily work stress more effectively (SAMHSA).
Acceptance is similarly key to V-Listen’s model of recovery, Step 1, 2 and 5 in particular
Step 1. We accept that we have lost control of our emotions and our lives have become unmanageable as a result.
Step 2. We recognise that many other people are going through the same problems and that we stand a better chance of making it through together than alone.
Step 5. We accept and ready ourselves to let go of our weaknesses.
Without accepting we have a problem, we cannot seek a solution for it. Without accepting that there who are suffering from the same issues, we cannot form bonds with them, learn from eachother and recover and lastly without accepting our weaknesses we cannot let go them. Acceptance is key and only through acceptance can there be recovery.
For Part II of the Series: How to take a Self Inventory? – Critical steps on the path Recovery Part II
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