God, Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.
This prayers’ widespread popularity can in part be attributed to its simplicity. Like taking a deep, calming breath, it is an uncomplicated request for direction and guidance. When a person finds themselves confused or challenged by life on life’s terms, this request for spiritual insight can align thinking toward taking the next right step forward.
Courage is often mistaken as not having fear or misgivings about taking action, but rather the truth is courage is more about the ability to step forward with those emotions and follow through despite them. It’s important to remember that we’ve turned to a higher power because there is something we’re facing we cannot see or know the direct result of. Addicts and alcoholics are typically familiar with this type of prayer, to some degree, having asked for strength through hardships wrought by substance abuse.
In sobriety it’s possible to begin to distinguish what we can and cannot change. The recognition of how little a person is able to control other people, places and things begins to become clear. Growing in spiritual maturity of the educational variety can be described as realizing that the only control we can exercise is over ourselves, our own thoughts, decisions and actions.
This wisdom and courage is what gives an individual the chance to take positive action even when the next indicated step may not be entirely clear, the outcome even less so, and the situation in general stressful. Many of the issues we encounter in life which become prayers for serenity, courage and wisdom, seem like problems on the surface. By practicing a strong program of recovery, the challenges we face become opportunities to find a new freedom and lightness of spirit.
Tell me, does this describe someone you know?
Some people who feel inferior use an addiction to try to overcome weaknesses, especially in times of increased stress or deep inner conflict. A personís inner inferiority complex reveals itself in his or her actions such as addiction, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, child abuse, compulsive eating, blame and aggression among others.
No successful person desires a destructive addiction. What people who choose addiction or abuse really want is the power and ability to create better lives.
Fearing they do not have this power to improve their lives, you will hear these people use excuses and blame to justify their addiction and abuse and protect what little dignity they feel they have left.
If you find yourself or others dealing with addiction or abuse, instead of justifying or blaming, ask the following questions:
Do I really want healing and resolution for this addiction or abuse?
Am I willing to improve myself to achieve healing?
Do I realize I can’t control others? The only one I can control is me.
Am I willing to take the first step for myself and get rid of my addiction, abuse excuses, blame and other destructive habits to achieve peace and happiness?
Recover from Alcohol and Drug Abuse
I have met many people who feel tongue-tied or awkward at social events. They find a few cocktails or beers give them a lift turning them from introvert to extrovert. There are many people who drink to feel better about themselves, even to the point of abuse or addiction.
For an article entitled Lori Prokop Interviews the Experts, one doctor said to me, it is sad but true. A seemingly innocent use of alcohol can quickly and easily become an addiction, especially if people perceive they are some way improved when they drink.
Alcohol abuse, drug abuse and any other addiction are serious forms of personal loss. The people, who depend on any exterior addiction or abuse rather than improving their perceived weaknesses and healing their pains, are beaten from the start.
Such a person can find healing. They must get rid of the addiction and abuse, find a healing system which works and resolve their fears and pains. Many claim that alcoholism is our favorite spiritual disease, meaning drinking or using drugs such as opiates are the result of wanting to not feel anything. However, if we cannot resolve our feelings and gain emotional integrity, we cannot heal from the disease of addiction.
Wisdom Comes From Finding Spirituality In Recovery
The term spirituality turns people almost as much as “religion” these days. But we shouldn’t focus on the word, rather the experience of spirituality:
· Moment of clarity
· Sense of inner peace or calmness
· A burst of euphoria
· A feeling of interconnection with the world around us
· Being in the present moment
· Detached from all of life’s labels and feeling as your true self
· Unconditional love
Admittedly, there is no permanent cure for addiction. Recovery and treatment are continuous and life-long processes. But there are several ways to considerably lighten the burden. Support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and community organizations with treatment programs guide dependents to recovery. In joining these groups, dependents get the chance to relate and share experiences with persons battling the same problem. These groups are also facilitated by people who are experts in substance abuse counseling. A common practice in these groups is the surrender of the dependents to Higher Powers which guide them through the process. Dependents who undergo this form of recovery describe it as deeply spiritual and life-changing.
If surrendering oneself to another is not the dependent’s cup of tea, there is another treatment program that banks on individual power. The SMART Recovery addiction treatment rejects the Higher Power but instead urges individuals to find within themselves the strength to overcome their problem. The treatment is abstinence-based – the individual has the competency to choose a better life over the substance he is addicted to.
No matter what form of addiction treatment a dependent follows, it is important to emphasize that no one becomes sober overnight. It is also important to stress that relapse is still a strong possibility. Substance abuse programs are only there to help, not to cure. Having a better life is a choice dependents have to make for themselves.