Mahatma Gandhi puts the power of belief perhaps the most poignantly. Gandhi explains that we become who we believe ourselves to be. Who we believe ourselves to be dictates who we allow ourselves to become and how we allow ourselves to live our lives. If we have the belief we can do something, like getting and staying sober, then we are more likely to do so because we know we are capable of doing it somehow, someway. If we cannot believe that we can get and stay sober, we might manifest any number of self-sabotaging inhibitors which prevent us from developing a successful and sustainable sobriety. “Man often becomes what he believes himself to be,” Gandhi explains. “If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary,” he continues, “if I shall have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it,” and he adds, “even if I may not have it at the beginning.”
We may not have everything we need to believe in ourselves at the beginning of our recovery journey. In fact, we most likely don’t. Whether or not we have hit what we believe to be “bottom” we are likely struggling with the belief that we are actually capable of going an hour, a day, a week, a month, a year, let alone a lifetime, without picking up a drink or a drug. It is, in part, the power of belief which helps us get through that very first moment of not running away, not ruining our chances at recovery, not succumbing to the first whim of cravings we experience. If it were only up to our laurels or our best ideas, we might turn steadfastly toward our substance of choice. Yet, once we start to believe we can stay sober and we can change our ways, we stay sober and inevitably, our ways start to change. We experience this on a hike when we don’t think we can make it up a steep incline, or in the gym when we don’t think we can finish our set, or on a run when we don’t think we can take one more pace.
“One thing is certain: That is that the power of belief, the power of thought, will move reality in the direction of what we believe and conceive of it,” Buddhist philosopher Daisaku Ikeda has said. “If you really believe you can do something, you can. That is a fact.”
Belief is about more than can. Belief is also about doing and being because belief is as much about what we can do as it is about who we can be. Men, even in the worst stages of their addiction, can turn their lives around, can heal, can become healthy, and can be well-rounded exemplary men of sobriety. As Russian author and playwright Anton Chekov succinctly stated, “Man is what he believes.”
We believe in your ability to change. We know men struggling with addiction have the capacity to create transformative change in their lives, sustainably, building a sustainable sobriety and future. Call Tree House Recovery in Orange County, California today for information on our men’s addiction treatment programs: (855) 202-2138