If there’s one area in my life where I don’t practice what I preach, it’s acceptance.
This is a testimony of how challenging it can be to accept > life > people > situations! Anytime something upsets me, or I get fixated on thinking about something distressing, I know that I’m not practicing acceptance.
One reason I struggle with acceptance (and it may be some thing you struggle with too) is the mistaken idea that acceptance means > approval of what you’re not happy about > resignation > hopelessness > giving up.
But, really acceptance means none of these things.
* accepting a person/situation/experience in your mind, body, heart AND
* when you stop denying reality, getting upset that things aren't how you want, and letting go of resentment, pressure, bitterness, hopelessness.
How much of my own life has been not accepting? I've spent way too many hours wanting things to be different, wanting a different experience, wanting people to be different, wanting life to be different, knowing someone else needs to change - and maybe they do (but they don't want to).
For some crazy reason, recently I've had this idea of just letting go - releasing and accepting, radically accepting life/people/situations as they are.
This is a practice. So even if I have had this recent epiphany - and yes, maybe I've had that same epiphany before - it obviously doesn't mean voila! I wish there would be one VOILA! where everything inside my head has permanently changed and is different and genuinely accepting of life. When I find myself stewing or sad, I can circle around to see what it is I am not accepting...
Does this happen to you too? Consider giving yourself the grace to see that anytime you are upset, you may not be accepting something/someone/some situation. It's okay. Will you have a willingness to accept? That's what matters most. Willingness to accept.
In order to change your life, it really does help to start accepting things as they are. Once you do this, maybe you feel grief, and even hopelessness. That's natural. Just don't stay there too long if you can help it.
Once you really accept something or someone or something is what it is and you let yourself feel how you feel > eventually something better can happen. You can start finding hope.
I really got to see this more clearly when the universe gifted me the story that became the book "Love catches up with Wanda Petunia." In the story, Wanda is betrayed. There is a struggle within her, and she travels around the planet trying to work out her anger and her desire to accept.
Deep in her heart she wanted to aspire to something more - not letting the sun set on her anger. Accepting that someone she loved had betrayed her was painful. She was rootin' mad and snortin' mad, and sad. It was interesting to me that Wanda didn't try to get her boyfriend to be different (how many of us do that)? She did accept him. And, she kind of didn't accept him also. It is a process!
But Wanda committed to her journey and eventually she met a new best friend Beefy Parisian Pig. While, Beefy didn't become her boyfriend, he was a reminder that she could be treated well and that she definitely deserved more in her relationships!
If you have experienced a loss or hurt of any kind - death, breakup, accepting a parent who won't change, acknowledging Covid has changed things in ways you don't like, or whatever > remember that accepting this will actually help you move through it.
Acceptance is the next step into reality, but you won't stop there. You will keep walking and then find more hope of what to do next. What next steps can you take if this is how it's going to be? What new thoughts and actions will you choose?
This whole acceptance thing got me into painting about it. I started to think of acceptance as letting "life" flow through the heart and not get stuck there. Living in my whole heart is opening it up to accept. I thought of my heart not as broken but as open, just letting life flow through it. While I am still in the process of painting this idea... I wanted to share where I am now :)
Creating acceptance is healing, and life is sure more enjoyable. Better things happen when we accept.
What do you need to accept? Let me know. I care.
Thanks for reading this, Amy :)