Why Acceptance Needs to be the First, Middle, and Continuous Step in Your Recovery
Recovery will be one of the most difficult things you ever do. Changing those automatic behaviors and thoughts, going against the very strong eating disorder voice, getting very uncomfortable each day as we create a new recovered life- this is no easy feat. Striving toward recovery means we will BOTH contemplate what change could mean for us and what it can bring us AND we can struggle with the resistance of accepting this journey, what it entails, and where we are now.
How can we start to move toward change in this moment if we are resisting and do not accept where we currently are? How can we move toward a recovered life? The how that I want to talk about today is something we need to do both at the beginning of our journey and throughout our journey. This how will take practice but is one of the keys to getting rid of the eating disorder, disordered eating, and/or body image distress.
In order to create change, we must practice acceptance along the way.
Let’s use the example of body image work in our recovery journey. You may hate your body, have a horrible relationship with your body, and do not want this relationship you have with it now. So therefore, you want to work on body image and start to move toward a better relationship with your body. Why does acceptance need to come first?
Acceptance gives us patience, helps us maneuver the inevitable ups and downs, and allows us to persist thought the difficulties we will experience. It is acceptance of where we may be now, acceptance that there will be failure, acceptance of what we can not control, and acceptance of the imperfections that grant us that grace we need to reach the finish line without looking back.
Many of us believe that is we accept the now, we won't make that change we desire. However, in actuality, not accepting where we are is the very thing that will create many of our problems we have along our journey.
Failing to accept reality creates suffering where there’s already pain, confusion where there can be clarity, anguish where there can be peace, and resistance where there can be growth. Wherever you are currently, is where you are. We need to embrace this because it is the only logical thing to do- because it is the right now, and resisting it will not make this reality different for you. With accpecptacne, we start to let go of resistance, and with this, we can start to approach the journey differently, perhaps changing our experiences on that journey.