Topic: The Power of Acceptance
cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not
liberate, it oppresses.
C. G. Jung
Day can signal a call for growth -- within ourselves and in our relationships.
This special celebration of romance and love may illuminate what seems
lacking in our partnerships.
of feeling appreciative, perhaps you've been taking your partner for
granted, grumbling about her annoying habits, critical of something
he is doing or not doing, wishing he or she were different. Or perhaps
you've been railing against being single, not having a relationship,
feeling discouraged and disheartened in your search for love.
your situation, you may feel the pull for growth this Valentine's
Day. And if you do, I suggest that the growth you are looking for
may start with accepting where you are.
years ago I was embroiled in a relationship that was rife with problems.
No matter which way I turned, I couldn't see a good solution to the
situation. For many years I struggled, like a yo-yo, to resolve things.
I found leaving and staying were equally intolerable. No amount of
trying to "fix" the relationship worked. (And believe me, I threw
everything at it that I could think of!) I felt discouraged. I felt
embarrassed. I felt angry at myself for creating such a mess. I wanted
to be anywhere but in my own skin, facing the reality that I had somehow
midst of that very difficult time, I learned the power of acceptance.
At my lowest point, a very wise friend had the compassion and directness
to challenge me to quit railing and flailing, and to simply tell the
truth about my situation. She invited me to stop judging, stop regretting
and stop blaming -- and to simply accept and tell the truth about
what was so. Here and now.
I took her invitation and shared my feelings and thoughts fully. I
eventually came to a place of simply accepting where I was, how I
felt and the mistakes I felt I'd made. The resolution of my troubled
relationship began in that moment -- when I stopped resisting the
way it was and all the choices I'd made to that point, which had brought
me here. It took some months for the resolution of that relationship
to unfold. However the moment I accepted where I was - without judgement
or condemnation - I was able to move forward -- and my suffering largely
stopped. I experienced the power of acceptance.
where you are is the first step on the road to where you want
to be one of life's paradoxes that: in order to make a change, we
need to begin by accepting what is. Our refusal to do so can cause
us unnecessary suffering and short-circuit the process of change.
can I accept something that I don’t like?” you might ask.
“If I accept something about my partner or myself that I don’t
like, won’t I be doomed to experience that forever?” “If
I accept the fact that I’m single, won’t that just perpetuate
me staying that way?”
may be helpful to consider what acceptance IS NOT and WHAT IT
isn't submission. Nor does it imply that you will "lie down and take
isn't giving up or resignation. It is not an attitude of hopelessness
isn't an excuse to avoid change. It is not an attempt to side-step
responsibility or action.
is coming out of denial. It is giving up rationalizations, excuses
and negative judgements.
is looking reality in the eye (no sugar-coating) and acknowledging
what is actually so.
is a willingness to respond to the way that it is - not how you wish
is the first building block of forgiveness.
his book, The New Earth, Eckhart Tolle speaks about acceptance as
a "subtle energy vibration", which brings a quality of peace with
it - and therefore opens us to new possibilities. "On the surface,"
says Tolle, "acceptance looks like a passive state, but in reality
it is active and creative because it brings something entirely new
into this world."
Here are three ways to practice acceptance of yourself and your relationship:
Explore being non-resistant.
up railing against the situation - whatever it is. Give up wishing
it were otherwise and assuming that this shouldn't be happening.
This is especially helpful in relation to past occurrences which
you can't change anyway. As the familiar saying goes, "What you
resist persists." So stop resisting.
Let go of negative judgements.
of our suffering comes from our judgements and interpretations.
"He shouldn't act that way - it's rude." "She shouldn't talk so
much - she's so self-absorbed." "This divorce/marriage is all wrong
- it should never have happened." Our negative judgements keep us
stuck in our own limited perspective and unreceptive to a more positive
or life-giving interpretation of the situation.
is difficult to accept things as they are when we become attached
to a particular outcome. Non-attachment doesn't mean that we have
no desires or preferences. However it does mean that we hold those
preferences lightly, receptive to the possibility that something
else (perhaps something better) could transpire.
Eckhart Tolle, “One thing we do know: Life will give you whatever
experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness.
How do you know this is the experience that you need? Because this
is the experience you are having at this moment.”
problems and issues that we face in our relationships are opportunities
for us to grow and evolve, emotionally and spiritually. This is
the gift and the challenge of intimate relationships. If we can
embrace and accept what is -- then we are free to creatively approach
our choices for the future.
something about yourself or your relationship that you dislike and
want to change. (This exercise does not apply to any behaviour which
you experience as abusive). For one week, approach that trait with
an attitude of acceptance. Don't resist it, don't judge it and don't
get attached to changing or controlling it. At the end of the week,
notice how that felt and what transpired.
to support singles in finding the relationship they desire. Contact
me about the new and improved Conscious Dating Self-Discovery and
Readiness Program. This comprehensive program can help you avoid
past mistakes and give you the tools for making pro-active and healthy
choices in dating and finding love.
Vollett BSW PCC is a Life and Relationship Coach, with over 20 years
of combined experience in counselling and coaching. She delights in
helping pro-active individuals make positive changes in their lives,
their work/business and their relationships. Her clients appreciate
her ability to listen deeply, her compassionate wisdom and her support
in staying focused. Contact Shirley for a complimentary intro phone
session. If you are experiencing a challenge or are eager to make
some changes, explore how coaching works and how she can help. Click
on a link below or visit her website at http://shirley.vollett.com
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