Serenity, Courage, Wisdom: Dissecting the Serenity Prayer Part I

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

For years, the twenty five words of the Serenity Prayer have acted as a guiding light for those of us battling addiction and our own inner demons. The words embody a few core principles of recovery, and many of us can even recite them by heart. It’s not the ease with which we can remember these words that makes them so powerful, however. It’s the meaning of the Serenity Prayer that makes it such a guiding light for us, and such an excellent tool to help us give context to why we take the actions we take in recovery.

To fully understand the meaning of the Serenity Prayer, we must first break it down into its three core concepts: serenity, courage, and wisdom.

When we ask God for serenity, we’re referring to inner peace, calm, and quiet. We’re asking him to help us let go of ego, anxiety, stress, and any other emotions or dispositions that can weigh us down and prevent us from seeing and feeling clearly. Serenity is a peace we can feel, and a comfort that relaxes us. We can’t control everything, and we can often change even less. Serenity helps us realize that that’s perfectly okay.

The meaning of courage in the Serenity Prayer is two-fold. We’re asking God to help us deal with the problems, inner maladies, and issues of life without relying on substances, and we’re also asking him to give us the strength to make the changes in our lives that can be hard to make. Getting sober isn’t easy, but with the courage to continue to better ourselves and make the changes we have to make for ourselves, we can keep pushing forward even when the road gets rough.

Finally, when we seek wisdom in the last part of the prayer, we’re seeking discernment. We won’t always know the meaning of everything that happens in our lives, but in praying the serenity prayer, we’re asking God to help us release judgment about ourselves, seek the right people for help making the right decisions, and understand what it is we need to change or accept. We’re asking for God to make our recovery path clear, and to give us the knowledge we need to make the choices that will determine our future.

At The Last House sober living facility, we understand the meaning and importance of the Serenity Prayer, and we encourage our men to apply its concepts within their recovery journeys. Serenity, courage, and wisdom are a powerful recipe for building powerful men. Call us at 1-866-677-0090 to see how we can help you today.

Attitude Makes all the Difference

Attitude Makes all the Difference

Attitude is probably the single most important concept of recovery. Sound like a bold statement? Not so much! The Big Book mentions the word “attitude” almost forty times, with one key thread: that once we’ve truly recovered, “our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.” Recovery isn’t just about getting over our addictions, or learning the skills we need to live life afterwards without going back to substances. It’s also about adopting an attitude and mindset that allows us to truly make the most out of life post-treatment. After all, what good is treatment if we only return to life as hollow shells, too scared or timid to live to the fullest, not enjoying ourselves but merely existing?

In sober living, much like the real world, attitude determines our altitude. As a midpoint between treatment and life on our own, sober living communities are designed to teach us how to adopt the attitudes that will benefit us the most after graduation. Many of us mistakenly assume that a successful treatment process automatically means an easy, smooth transition to life afterwards, but this simply isn’t the case!

Why is attitude so important?

Remember the little engine that could? “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can” went all the way up the hill with nothing but willpower. We can all take a lesson or two from this popular children’s story– even if it is so old our kids can barely remember it. Attitude, as The Big Book puts it, helps us see “immediate and practical results”– especially when we adopt the right one. With the right attitude, steps that may seem difficult post-treatment become a challenge, instead of an obstacle. As it pertains to sober living, the right attitude allows us to continue to learn about ourselves, diagnose our strengths and weaknesses, and improve who we are as men, without getting caught in a slippery pride pit. If that isn’t enough, attitude is so important because it’s such a fundamental part of our development in recovery! As The Big Book puts it: “To get over drinking (read: any addiction) will require a transformation of thought and attitude.” You can’t get very far in recovery without the right attitude, and even if you somehow manage to get through initial treatment without a significant change in attitude, it will have to change quickly post-treatment in order for you to see any real results. Remember, recovery is a lifelong process. Attitude only gets more important as you progress!

How does sober living change my attitude?

When we’re addicted to something, it can be hard for us to see past what we crave. We often find that doing the things we used to love doing becomes impossible, and that our lives transition to being solely at the whim of the substance we use. Through addiction treatment, we learn to regain control over our lives and rebuild the confidence that our addiction took from us, but only to the extent that the treatment facility can provide. With both inpatient and outpatient care, we learn how to regain confidence and control over our lives, but we don’t always get as much practice with these things in the real world as we need. Because our attitudes are tied to not only what we think, but what we experience, this could make adjusting to life afterwards a bit more difficult.

Sober living picks us up where treatment ends, and provides an environment that allows us to get the real world experience we need in order for our attitudes to adjust. Here at The Last House, we encourage the men in our program to step outside of their comfort zones all the time. In doing this, we instill confidence and help them understand that life after treatment isn’t a scary place, or one where they won’t fit in– it’s one where they’ll excel. Positive affirmation combined with positive experiences makes a world of difference in attitude!

In sober living, we live by one simple rule: we want to have the ability to live the best life we possibly can after graduation, free of distractions, temptations, and, of course, substances. We don’t just wish that and leave it alone, though. It isn’t some lofty goal that we write above the stairway and pat everytime we leave the house. It’s something we actualize– and we do it in large part by attitude. Everyday we live to get one step closer to our goal, and we learn to rely on our brothers to keep us accountable and make sure we’re constantly moving forward. We don’t take no for an answer, and we build the confidence we need to not just fight our problems, but to conquer them. We become gentlemen, scholars, and world-changers right there in the community living room, or around the dining room table at evening dinner. When we go to work, it’s not just the tools of the trade that we carry with us– it’s also the attitude that today will be more, mean more, and achieve more than any other day we’ve seen.

In just about everything, attitude makes all the difference in the world. It’s the difference between fear and confidence, success and failure, and living life or letting it live you. With the right attitude, our best lives are always just ahead of us, and everyday is a great day to change the world.

The Last House is a men’s sober living facility in West Los Angeles with one goal– making you the best man you can be. Call us at 1-866-677-0090 to find out how we can help you today!

Learning to Love the Man You Are (Again)

Learning to Love the Man You Are (Again)

Men need love too, believe it or not.

It’s something we don’t often think about, what with focusing on our responsibilities, trying to provide for others, and being as macho as we possibly can be, 24/7. You can’t really blame us, after all. We grew up hearing things like “crying is for girls,” and “real men don’t feel pain.” Being called a “mama’s boy” wasn’t a compliment from anyone (except maybe Mom), and not playing sports may or may not have gotten us roughed up by the middle school/ high school/ college jocks.

This concept of men needing no one, no sympathy, and no love has been ingrained in our DNA for almost as long as time itself.

There’s a line, however, and, particularly in recovery, it’s important that we remember that line more than anything. Aside from the machismo that is our manhood, there’s a side of us that also needs help. It needs reassurance. It needs affirmation. Through treatment for addiction, we learn the methods and strategies to address deep-seeded issues that may have caused us to abuse substances. We also learn strategies for self-care, how to make amends with those that we’ve hurt, and how to move from our past and into our future. But there are things that, before graduating from treatment and diving headfirst into the real world, we need more of.

Sober living communities like the one we foster at The Last House focus on helping men build the intangible qualities they need to excel in life after treatment by changing up the rhetoric. We provide help that keeps men’s spirits high and doesn’t crush their independence. We provide an environment that spells out the definitive difference between relying on others for help, and collaborating with others for strength. Most importantly, we teach men that they are amazing in and of themselves, and that each and every single one of them has unique talents that can and will make a difference in his community.

We are by no means a soft, easy option for men after treatment. As The Big Book states, “Love and tolerance is our code”– but we implement that code through rules, accountability, and unity. The way we see it, sometimes it takes getting our hands dirty in order to strike gold. Sober living isn’t a cakewalk, and it can be tough to adapt to doing things a new way, in a new environment, with new people. However, by forging through, our men find peace, direction, unity– and a whole new way to love themselves.

How can I learn to love the man I am?

Love is a central component of recovery. It’s mentioned almost sixty times in The Big Book, and for good reason. Love is one of the only emotions that can keep us going even when everything else tells us to stop. It’s the reason our spouses put up with us, why we’d do anything for our kids, and why we’d go to hell and back for our family members. However, when addicted, we often act in a way that’s anything but loving, and in treatment we take the steps to make up for those actions. These actions certainly weren’t our fault, but telling ourselves that and believing it enough to not just forgive ourselves, but to love ourselves again can be difficult to accomplish. Yet if we never learn to love ourselves again– for flaws and all– we can’t say with confidence that we’re ready to move on into a world that can be anything but loving. In sober living, we learn to love ourselves for the people we are, the qualities we have, and the meaningful contributions we will make. We learn to love our mistakes, because they are what allow us to improve ourselves. We learn to love correction, mentoring, discipline, and brotherhood.

At The Last House, we accomplish this by providing an ideal balance of structure and freedom for the men that live with us. We encourage our men to push their boundaries, but provide the resources they need to do so with confidence and charisma. We champion growth, because when we can see growth as men, we tend to love the men we’ve grown into. Our men are taught to do everything they do with a purpose, and to never doubt their ability to do it. We also foster an environment of brotherhood and accountability, so each man knows he has the next to count on.

Learning to love the man you are doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your machismo, confidence, or independence. In fact, by learning to love the man you are, all of the qualities that make you uniquely you are enhanced. Escaping from addiction’s death grip and getting the treatment you needed to beat your illness for good was an invaluable step in your recovery process, but your recovery shouldn’t end there. Use the resources that sober living provides to prepare yourself for life after treatment. Through unity, brotherhood, and the right environment, you can learn to love the man you are, and become the man that you’ve always wanted to be.

The Last House is a premier men’s sober living facility in West Los Angeles. Our mentors and staff come from an array of backgrounds, but we all have one common goal: transforming men into the best versions of themselves they’ve ever been. To see how we can help you, call us today at 1-866-677-0090!