Radical Acceptance As A Living Serenity Prayer

“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 is a popular saying in recovery for people learning to live without addiction to drugs and alcohol. Radical acceptance is a tool that is spiritual and clinical, used in popular and effective treatment methods like dialectical behavioral therapy.
Radical Acceptance = Serenity: “Serenity to accept the things I cannot change” is a the beginning of the “serenity prayer” which is a popular sentiment in recovery. Serenity is a “state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled”. Radical acceptance allows you to find serenity in your life by creating calm and peacefulness by taking away some immediate troubles. When you aren’t in acceptance you are allowing yourself to be deeply troubled by something, which then takes away your serenity. Radical acceptance helps you realize that you cannot change what you cannot change. You can accept how that makes you feel, and you can accept that you don’t like that very much at all (not many do). Ultimately you accept that even though you don’t like it and even though it gives you uncomfortable feelings, it still is what it is, and that’s all it is.
Radical Acceptance = Courage: “Courage to accept the things I can” is the next part of the serenity “prayer” of recovery. Radical acceptance gives you courage to change your perspective by changing your perspective radically. Courage is “the ability to do something that frightens” you. Acceptance can be frightening! You are afraid of what it would mean to accept something- under the false belief that by not accepting something you control what it means. It takes courage to be in acceptance and let go of the need to control what you can’t.
Radical Acceptance = Wisdom: “Wisdom to know the difference” is the last part of the serenity “prayer” of recovery. “Letting go” is a difficult concept for many people who are in treatment for drug and alcohol addiction, just as it is for many people who don’t have a history of drug and alcohol addiction. You hear about letting go of your resentments, your fears, your need for control, your thoughts, and more. How do you let go of something you can’t see or touch, but something you can only feel (not physically)? Radical acceptance gives you the wisdom to know what is in your control and what isn’t by encouraging you to accept both. In doing so, you let go and you just accept- which is a pure form of wisdom.

Radical acceptance helps you change your story from one of addiction to one of recovery. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment facility for addiction and dual diagnosis, believes that when you change your story, you can change your life. Our programs are designed to help young adults radically change their lives through strength-building treatment programs and care. For information, call us today: 877.279.1777