Time does not heal everything, but acceptance will heal everything. ~Annonymous
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There is beauty, peace, freedom and ease in acceptance. Not accepting things as they are is a fight against reality. Say for example that someone said something hurtful to you. You can stew and wish they hadn’t said it forever, but the fact remains that they said what they said.
Say you did something you deeply regret. You can wish you hadn’t done it, which could leave you stuck for a long time, but here’s the truth – you did what you did.
The problem with wishful thinking – willing things to be different than they are, is that it’s agonizing. It eats at you. It resists what’s real and it keeps you stuck in your head, replaying the scenario over and over again and analyzing to try and make sense of it, so that you feel better. But, it doesn’t work, and it won’t bring you happiness.
It’s liberating to know that there’s another way – accepting things as they are.
Contrary to what we often view “acceptance” as – acceptance isn’t passive. It doesn’t mean that you’re resigned to a life of just putting up with things and being unhappy. Yes, you may accept that you feel anxious, eat too much junk food, or that you’re in a relationship that’s not working. But, it doesn’t mean you’re stuck in these situations forever. Accepting things as they are is a beautiful baseline that then opens up possibilities you may have never considered.
Acceptance allows you to build a foundation for actions and choices based on truth. With acceptance, you’re authentic and real, versus pretending or living in a fantasy about how you wish things were. Acceptance allows you to see with eyes of clarity, versus turning a blind eye or keeping your head buried in the sand. Acceptance empowers you. Acceptance is the opposite of avoidance or denial. Acceptance ultimately allows for deep understanding that then cultivates you living as whole, free, and untroubled. Acceptance is a YES to things as they are. It’s welcoming, open, and freeing – like a breath of fresh air.
Are you resisting something in your life? I invite you to try acceptance on for size, for it’s a beautiful place to be.
In last month’s newsletter, I shared that I learned less than a month after undergoing the first surgery of my life, that I have to undergo the same surgery again. For the past several weeks, I’ve struggled with acceptance of the fact that this is happening. I’ve really had a hard time believing this is my reality and that I have to go through this again. After giving myself permission to feel all of my emotions, my work then became acceptance. Not fighting or resisting what’s happening, but rather accepting it. I can will and wish this situation away with all my might, but I’d only be met at a dead end road and with frustration each time, because the fact of the matter is that this situation does exist and accepting this truth is what will set me free. I can’t close my eyes, click my heels three times, then open my eyes and suddenly no longer have an umbilical hernia that needs surgical repair. Life doesn’t work that way. My work has recently become accepting this situation and softening into it by focusing on all of the next steps (i.e.-doctor’s appointments, etc.). By keeping my gaze and energy fixed on moving forward in this situation, versus wishing it away, I have clarity and peace of mind. I don’t have to “like” the situation, but I give myself the gift of peace by accepting the situation as it is and moving forward anyway.
Acceptance is taking an honest look at things as they are right now. You let go of judging or interpreting. You don’t need to add the story of feeling like a failure or victim because of the situation. Instead of turning away from and resisting what is, you turn toward it and receive what’s present right now, with compassion and understanding.
Yogi, you can live forever waiting for that apology, or you can accept that it probably won’t happen. You can continue with a habit that you know doesn’t serve you, or you can accept that this habit doesn’t serve you and explore and get real about the underlying feelings that contribute to and keep this habit alive. You can keep procrastinating and putting it off, or you can admit that you’re scared. You can wish you had made different choices, or you can accept that you’re in the situation you’re in.
I invite you to experience and feel the profound shift and beauty that acceptance brings. Let’s use the example of waiting for an apology to illustrate – you feel someone has wronged you and you’re waiting for an apology that’s not coming.
If this is you’re mindset, you’ve given up your power to the other person. You’ve decided that the only way you can let go of the situation is to receive an apology, which is something you can’t control. And what are you experiencing internally in the meantime? Sadness, bitterness, and resentment (to name a few). You’re also caught in thinking about the past a lot, and you’re fully missing out on everything that’s available to you NOW – the beauty of this NOW moment.
Shifting into acceptance, here’s what’s different – you acknowledge what happened in the past and you realize that you and you alone are keeping the past alive in your thoughts and feelings. New possibility – instead of repeating the story over and over again in your mind, you can choose to welcome these feelings, kindly and lovingly – just as they are. Can you consider that they are just the energy of a physical sensation from the past and allow that sensation to move through? You accept that the other person has not apologized. No one knows if that might change in the future, but for now, the apology isn’t happening. You thought you needed this apology to be at peace, but now you’re open to the possibility of exploring other ways that you do have control over (i.e.-you realize that you can be present with your reactions). You realize you’re no longer stuck on this problem and are now available to the rest of life. It’s been here all along! You realize you can enjoy yourself and you’re receptive to what’s here NOW. You see yourself, situations, and other people with fresh eyes.
Acceptance allows you to enter the world of authentic living. You see things as they are. You consider your options and choose wisely. You’re no longer willing to stay stuck.
Make it a practice to accept what is. I promise you will feel relief when you do. What used to bother you is no longer a burden. You’re left spacious, peaceful, open to others, and kind to yourself. You also find clarity in choices moving forward.
You can spend your energy denying and avoiding, or you can accept. The choice is truly in your hands. One of my favorite sayings of all time is, “Let go and let God.” I think of acceptance as being a lot like this – releasing that which I can’t control to a higher power for divine intercession. I know when I do this – when I really let go and let God intervene, that peace and acceptance truly abides.
Okay, it is now your turn
What did this inspiration mean to you? How will it change how you think or what you do in the next few days?
As always, I appreciate hearing your thoughts and feedback. Share your thoughts in the comments section below. I personally read them all.