Two main pillars of Recovery according to the 12 Steps are Acceptance and Surrender, and rightly so. The most important task in recovery is that of abiding in Positive Energy and allowing the Spirit to replace the Ego. We must accept the fact that at some point our Ego became seduced by Addiction and must be teplaced by our Spirit which is able to flow in Positive Energy. Positive Energy has to do with Life and its principles. Negative Energy is the opposite, of which Addiction is a powerful principle.
In case you think that this explanation of Life and the Universe is too simplistic, think in terms of electricity, molecular structure, binary language. These are fundamental elements, yet lay the foundation for huge portions of our lives. Or better yet think in terms of higher/lower frequencies. Addiction is a negative force which feeds on Negative energy and produces Negative energy. The goal for Recovery is to come to an appreciation of the principles of Life and to surrender to their power and daily application. This is primarily an issue of Health since Addiction functions as a disease. One must resist the urge to view this as a moral quest since the Mind will construct a false scenario of personal failure and redemption, thereby keeping the victim in a state of guilt, shame and behavioral expectation. This will ultimately lead to relapse and ensure that the cycle of Addiction continues. Rather than viewing recovery in terms of “good and bad” or “right and wrong”, it is best to view it simply as “healthy or unhealthy”.
The goal for Recovery is to come to love oneself and appreciate the Principles of Life which include Freedom, Love and Serenity.
The significance of Acceptance is that it keeps us grounded. One of the dangers which many encounter when attempting positive change is a type of “reverse denial”. Positive Energy is not the same as positive mental attitude. Invariably, in the early stages of Recovery or an improvement plan, the zeal to accomplish the task immediately causes one to engage in “wishful thinking” . New arrivals to treatment are often heard to say; “I don’t even want to use drugs any more” or, “I’m done with that lifestyle”. This “positive outlook” is nothing more than mental gymnastics and a type of denial. The missing component is true acceptance and an understanding of the nature of addiction.
The Ego is resistant to change. Resistance is fundamental to Negative Energy. It is automatic, instinctive. You may have experienced resistance as you began reading this article and came across concepts such as “Ego”, “Spirit” and “Positive/Negative energy”. You might have even had the thought; “this is bullshit”. This is an indication that your mind is resisting change because it fears the loss of control. The main function of the Ego (which is a creation of the mind) is that of self-preservation. It may seem incongruous to think that the Ego would align with Addiction having such a goal, but the Ego is highly susceptible to Negative Energy. The Ego desires to avoid pain and discomfort and addiction offers to eliminate them. Even though addiction ultimately leads to more pain and discomfort, by the time this realization is made, the individual is trapped in a negative dynamic.
In Recovery, the focus is primarily on alignment with Life’s Principles rather than behavior. Align with Life, behavior will follow.
The focus of recovery must be on alignment with Positive Principles such as Love, Serenity, Truth and Wisdom. One does not align with these principles through behavior, rather, through Surrender. Surrender encompasses more than just compliant behavior. Surrender embraces the light of Truth, Wisdom and Peace in pursuit of maturity and wholeness.
Surrender requires a major shift in focus. Behavioral focus is on the external, whereas Surrender focuses primarily on the spiritual, which is internal. Spiritual Principles such as Serenity and Health require more of “alignment” rather than obedience. These are not “concepts” to be understood by the mind, rather principles with which to be engaged and cooperative.
In order to accomplish this task, the individual will need to transfer focus from the Mind/Ego to the Spirit. This will require spiritual practices such as meditation, positive affirmations, observing nature and inner healing. One must remember that this is not an attempt to get back to somewhere, rather a complete change in destination.