Acceptance Comes Before Change

acceptance in recovery

Today I want to talk about acceptance as transformation tool in recovery, and basically key for whatever change you are looking for.

As in accepting where you are at this point in time

As in accepting the person you see today in the mirror - yes today, not tomorrow or after some 5 lbs weight loss or whatever.

As in accepting your flaws as a human being in this skin we are in.

As in accepting that life will never be perfect, neither will your body, your family, your friends, your house or your bank account. Always something to tweak, always something we wish were different, than what we have. After every high (whether drug induced or work accomplished), always left with a feeling of a "is that all there is". Bottom line is, the void we seek to fill, will never be filled by anything from this transient time on earth.

When we refuse to accept what is, we cannot change, we cannot develop.

We are stuck. Change does not come from a place of hate, envy and abuse. Change comes from a space of love and acceptance.

When we feel safe, when we feel accepted in this skin we are in, we can embrace change.

This is not really groundbreaking news. It's pretty common sense. When we attack ourselves with trash-talk and fat-talk, our stress hormones go up, and we perceive this stress similar to as that of being in a stressful environment with wild animals on the run.

Toxic emotions are incredibly stressful for our nervous system and a real serotonin drainer.

Of course we are not going to use our rational thinking capacity here, and step out of our comfort zone, and work on such a luxury, as developing our potential is. We will merely focus on trying to survive. Trying to numb out from the pain. When we suffer - even with self-inflicted hatred, we withdraw, isolate and try to suppress ourselves as humans. We feel unworthy of love and existence. This is not a space where lasting change happens - why yo-yo dieting always comes from a place of lack of self-acceptance at its most core.

Addictions to drugs and eating disorders are driven by a lack of self-acceptance.

You simply cannot self-destruct, if you have self-love. Lasting change must happen through an acceptance of your never-changing worth as a human being. Your worth is not dependent on external measures, such as what you weigh, what you accomplish etc. When we try to make up for lack of internal self-worth through these external measures, we feel hollow. Like shells that crush under pressure.

When you accept what is, when you see your actions for exactly what they are - desperate acts of a profound soul hunger:

Basically looking for God in all the wrong places.

Then you can begin to let go of your self-destructive habits, because you realize how they don't serve you. They are not filling the void. Accepting who you are, enables you to relax and understand why you are doing the things, that you are doing. Which needs are you trying to fill through food, drugs or alcohol?

You need to be able to decode your hunger to honor it.

And you cannot decode your hunger, if you are busy suppressing it. What you resist, persists - why acceptance is key to move on and let go.

if you are not feeding yourself enough real food, of course you will binge at some point. If you are not out there engaging in the world, fine-tuning your skills and slowly realizing your value in this world, you will turn to drugs, food or alcohol all too often to numb out from the feelings of being of no worth.

So, How To Start Accepting Yourself To Facilitate Change?

  • Commit to never spend more than 1 minute on trash-talking yourself ever again. If you mess up, if you do something stupid, admit it and learn from it. Do not spend time trashing yourself further - allow yourself 60 seconds of toxic venting MAX. Stop yourself dead in the tracks, pinch yourself if needed, whenever you catch yourself talking trash-talk. Sometimes we need a physical wake-up call, when our mind is busy controlling us. 
  • Every day you need to brainwash yourself with positive affirmations to make up for all the years, that you have allowed that negative trash-tape to auto-play throughout the day. Perhaps without you even noticing it playing anymore, because it's always there playing the same tune over and over... and over again. I want you to tell yourself 1 positive affirmation in the mirror. Yes, you need to do this to your own reflection to re-enforce the sense of self-worth, as to not go off on some abstract tangent. Your brain needs to see your image and hear something positive in order to change your own self-belief system at its core. This could be something like: "I Am Strong, I Am Beautiful, I Am Amazing, I Am Grace".
  • Go all out, the more over the top the better. For someone who has been busy for years every day telling themselves how worthless they are etc., you need a radical 180 degree change of perspective to change your own mindset.
  • Repeat this every morning 5 minutes. 

That's it. Now do it.