Thoughts on the Power of Attitude in Recovery
“The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.” – Oprah Winfrey, American television host, actress, producer, and philanthropist (born Orpah Gail Winfrey, 1954)
Sometimes when we set our minds to something, a course of action, a belief, even an opinion of another, we’re often putting ourselves in a corner. We may believe, for example, that we’re not worthy of forgiveness and thus we look suspiciously on others. We may think that we don’t deserve happiness and therefore don’t think others deserve it either. We may even seek to dull our thoughts so that we don’t or can’t think of anything – simply because thinking is so painful. It brings up too many agonizing memories.
But failure to think is just as much cementing ourselves behind a wall as setting our minds irrevocably in a certain way of thinking and refusing to accept or allow change. When we look inward, what do we see? Are we willing to give ourselves the benefit of the doubt and, like the miraculous healing power of the God as we know Him, forgive ourselves for all that we’ve said and done in our past days of addiction?
In fact, the road to recovery is paved with many uneven surfaces. Some days, it may be easier to think positively and create constructive plans of action for our life in sobriety. That’s when we should spring to it and eagerly set about figuring out ways and means to achieve the goals that we’ve tentatively decided may be right for us to attempt.
Of course, much of what we think about ourselves and our abilities has been colored by others, perhaps a stormy upbringing in a severely dysfunctional family, certainly by our dark days of mind-numbing addiction, and lastly, by a series of failures and defeats that may have beaten us down so low that we can’t imagine climbing up again.
Right now, acknowledge that what has been is past. Today we are the architects of our lives. What we choose to do and say, the plans that we put down on paper for our new life in sobriety is what matters. We can move forward, one step at a time, one day at a time. We aren’t looking to bite off more than we can chew. We’re just giving ourselves permission to think, say and do that which will be instrumental in our path of healing. We absolutely can change our future, and it all begins with the attitude that we adopt today.
Will it be easy to think in a positive manner? Likely not, especially if we’re rusty or never much had an optimistic thought. But this is something that we can train ourselves to do. When a thought comes to mind, and it’s negative, turn it around to the polar opposite, the positive. Having trouble finding employment? Instead of resigning ourselves to lack of work, make a list of what it is that we do best. Maybe looking in another area will be more beneficial. Who says that we have to be locked into whatever we did in the past?
If it’s starting over that seems so burdensome, consider the fact that we start over every day when we wake up in the morning. We open our eyes and greet the day. It isn’t difficult at all. We just do it. How much better to start off the day with a positive attitude, an intention backed up with a plan of action to accomplish something that we want for our recovery.