Acceptance. A simple word. Easy in fact. Or so you would think.
Do you practice the art of acceptance in your life?
I have read so many books, articles, blogs that tell you that in order to move forward we must first accept. Accept where we are, how we are and who we are. It sounds simple enough. So why does it trouble me so?
Whilst on this journey to heal from anxiety, depression and physical limitations, I have always tried to accept my lot. I have tried not to fight it. To know that this is me, as I am. Right now.
The trouble is that by nature I’m a fighter. I love nothing more than a challenge. So when I am told that I have these limitations on me, my inner lion roars and I get set to fight. Whether it be medication, nutrition, exercise, diet, self-help techniques or alternative therapies. I try and have tried everything.
Now the question is, has it worked, all this fighting?
Well hand on heart, I believe it has. To a point. But has it cured me? No! And this is where I get frustrated. It is not in my nature to take things lying down. It is not in my nature to accept that this is all it will be. But in this lack of acceptance, am I generating further pain and conflict?
I know many who have been given a diagnosis and that is it. They have accepted it. Made adjustments accordingly and live their life with it. Albeit in a restricted way. Is this a better path? Would I do better to be the same? To stop fighting?
Maybe that is the right path. Maybe it isn’t. Maybe there is no right or wrong. Maybe it just depends on the person. Everyone copes in different ways. Each person is different, we know this.
So how do I, and you, learn to accept our situation? Whilst all the while trying to improve, where you can, but not to the detriment of our overall health.
The starting point is to take away expectations. If you do not have high expectations then I guess you cannot be disappointed. Expectations are a way of hoping and assuming that things will be better in the future. I have ALWAYS had them. But there are no guarantees. Sometimes those expectations smack you in the face when nothing works out as you hoped. So if you take away the high expectation of yourself, your recovery, your life, then maybe we can find comfort in just being. As it is.
I desperately want to accept my anxiety. I want to accept that I am physically limited. But I struggle. Maybe I will never fully accept it. I have a fire in me. It’s this fire, that has kept me going for twenty years. Not in my bed, but out there living. Well, as much as I could anyway.
I know that there would be peace with acceptance. Acceptance is seeing it as it is, rather than as it should be. I know I had a vision for my life. This is not it! But then in parts it is. So much of my life now, I love. I am more content than I have ever been. It’s from acceptance that the contentedness comes. I don’t have to worry about career goals at the moment. I don’t have to worry if I will get through a days work. I am free in many ways.
I do accept all my conditions. I always have. And I’m proud of my ability to have continued to live, work and socialise. But I know, that of late, the fight is wearing me out. And I’m already worn out!
So, this piece today is to mark a point for me, where I can really begin the art of acceptance. Where I let go of the ropes. Where I stop fighting every single part of my being. I am me. As I am. And right now I am struggling physically. I hope it won’t always be this way. But for now it is.
Do you accept your lot? Or do you fight it? Do you feel that life is passing you by? By continually searching for what you think you want and maybe what others have, you’re missing your life. Each moment, however insignificant, is your life, so make it count.
Maybe we all need some peace where acceptance becomes our friend? I’ve proven to myself over the past two years, that the areas of my life that I accept, bring me the most joy. It’s funny but this is a true example of how the most simple things, bring the most pleasure. Somewhere over the rainbow doesn’t exist. You are right where you should be.
In terms of anxiety. I know, through experience, that accepting the feelings and thoughts and attacks, actually lessens their power. It’s not easy when you’re in the midst of an attack in public. But by saying to yourself ‘hey, it’s just my anxiety. I will be fine’ Then you stop the fight. You accept. You move on. The anxiety passes.
Let’s all practice more acceptance in our lives. To know that what is, is as it should be. For now. For however long. It doesn’t really matter. It’s about seeing it as it is. Not as how you ‘think‘ it should be.
Acceptance is freeing. It’s peaceful. It is at the core of all zen practice.
So I ask you to accept all parts of yourself. Just as you are. With whatever limitations are set on you right now, or however your life is not panning out exactly as you had planned. Let go of the expectation and see it as it is. Enjoy it. Live in the now. Make plans to do things that you can do. Make plans to pace your life or adjust your life to get the most fulfillment you can get, with what you have. I’m going to do the exact same. Time wasted on wishing for things that are just not going to happen, is futile. It will make us feel bad and wear us out. So we will see it as it is and see the good in it. Even try to like it!
Working to improve your situation is always good in my book. I don’t know any other way to be honest. But having high expectations that are followed by a fall, is not good for the soul.
As with everything. Maybe it’s about moderation?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Onwards my loves. Kiki xo