Today I write about Acceptance. I’ve been speaking about it all week on Facebook, sharing how acceptance of what is, is the only way to get past what was. And in my audio book, Your Ace in the Hole I share that acceptance is the only way to live an authentic life. I still believe that. However, acceptance as we use it today, does not have the standard meaning the dictionary ascribes to it.
When we talk about acceptance what we are really saying is: let it go, know that someday we will understand, and move on.
Right? Because we aren’t saying that what happened, what someone did or said to us, is favorable. In fact we can not condone acts that impact us negatively. We have to say, ‘this is not okay.’
I know you will agree that sometimes things happen that lead to an outcome that we feel we consciously did not create. That we worked very hard to avoid. That left us in a place, feeling a feeling, taking actions, thinking thoughts, that we did not want. And sometimes it was not us that instigated it. So we feel victimized.
So we want to understand why this happened. And we can’t accept until we do.
We are in pain, feel stuck, can’t stop the thoughts that circle in our brain incessantly looking for the answers to questions like:
- How did this happen?
- How could I not have known or anticipated?
- What did I do wrong to deserve this?
- How can I fix it?
- How do I ever trust anyone or myself again?
You get the picture, right? But here’s what I’ve figured out and what I want to share with you today.
Acceptance is not about condoning, understanding, or making things right again.
It is simply about letting go. Letting go of the need to know. Letting go of the need to change things. Letting go of an old plan, old dream, old way of being, in favor of something new that has yet to come. Letting go of what you think should or would be happening right now ‘if only’ and being okay in the present moment with what is.
It’s kind of like what you do when you are watching a movie or reading a book and half way through you realize you are not enjoying it. So you simply turn off the T.V. or place the book back on the shelf. And instead of ruminating about why you didn’t like it or how it didn’t live up to your expectations, or calling friends to share your disappointment, you simply look around and ask yourself, “what now?” And maybe you sit for awhile till the ‘what’s next’ shows up. And while you wait, you close your eyes and take some deep breaths, and you relax.
Now I know I’ve made it overly simple. And I know that sometimes what has happened hurt you deeply, turned your life upside down, and made you question everything you thought you knew. I know because I have had some traumatic upheaval in my life too. I was stuck in the pain for a while. And when I allowed my self to feel the feelings completely, grieve fully, and I really let go, I have found a sense of peace. The questions in my head stopped. The dust settled and I slowly saw what my next step might be. I gently nudged myself into a new life.
And I also found that, although I knew I didn’t consciously create it, my experience was exactly what I needed to have happen to grow into my highest potential. Over time I was able to look into the old situation with clarity and accept that I was unconsciously participating in the ‘something’ that happened.
And that’s when the greatest letting go occurred.
I let go of blaming myself, of blaming others, and I saw the truth, the authenticity of my experience. In other words, I accepted me. And that was favorable!
I hope you found this helpful. I hope you now have a different perspective of the word, acceptance. That you might possibly consider that the favorable part will actually happen deep within you as you let go of what was and embrace what is with an open and peaceful heart.
As always, live easy and be kind to yourself!