The Life Coaching Series is a series of posts where I will give my expertise in life coaching to help you explore issues or problems you may have in your life. Please use these freely as suggestions. Nothing I say is truth, but only another possible way of looking at life. New lenses. Like glasses. To view your life in a constructive and healthy manner. Enjoy.
Acceptance is a subject fraught with misunderstanding and frustration. Let’s be real about it. Many of us would like to know what the really big deal is about Acceptance.
Well, let me tell ya’. It is a really big deal. Acceptance can bring you a serenity like you’ve not known in your life before. No matter how you’ve experienced peace of mind before, the experience of serenity will continue to blow your mind as it deepens in your experience of life.
So how do you get there? How do you truly accept?
Do you just say, “I accept this?” And it’s a done deal? You’ve accepted it?
Well, that can happen, and does happen. However, some of us live in the illusion that it is happening all the time. We say it, and it is so. Except… we still feel poopy about it. Now, we’re just pushing down the “poopy” feelings, or even better, ACTING like we DON’T feel poopy. We say it, and it is so. Right?
I know a lot of the current motivation and self-development mantras out there speak highly of Declarations. Declare it and it will move. Well, not so. I’ll show you why. Have you ever declared something and felt like a total fraud? That’s why.
Declarations are great, and I’m not telling you to get rid of them. You get to do what works for you. However, the truth of it is – and I’ve done a lot of experimentation, exploration both with clients and in my own life on this matter – is that words are not the exalting factor in creation. Feelings are.
Look, it does happen once in a while that you’ll speak something and your life will move. And, wholeheartedly, I am grateful for the times it has happened for me. Sometimes we speak it, and it is so. Sometimes it is just that easy.
However, there are other times… and while I won’t put a quantifier on these other times, let’s just say we need some new strategies. For the poopy feelings, mind you.
Yes. Your feelings are the indicators you want to follow here. Yes, yes, I know. Not all of us trust our feelings. Well, that’s a matter of faith, and really another article. Frankly, if you’re going to find true acceptance, you’ve got to feel your way into it – that means trusting that you can… feel, that is… and that you can trust feeling.
Well, wait a minute. You could… accept that you don’t trust your feelings. (If you don’t, that is.) You could accept that feelings are not trustworthy in your world. You could accept that you hate the idea of trusting your feelings altogether. You could accept that you don’t trust me for even mentioning the idea of trusting your feelings. (Don’t worry. I don’t take it personally. And I still love you.)
For those of you, who trust your feelings, you could accept what you don’t trust about yourself… like that time you trusted your ex. Accept you don’t trust people that do things like your ex did.
See, acceptance begins with believing that you are okay. Just as you are.
So maybe if you’re not okay with the word “accept,” maybe you can just be with that “it’s okay” that these things are like they are; that you are like you are.
But don’t just say it to yourself. Remember, declarations aren’t the complete package. GET that you really feel that way about it.
What? You’ve got a weird feeling inside? Okay. Take a look at it. You don’t like that you’re feeling that way, huh? Okay. Accept that. (Or… find your ability to believe that “it’s okay” that you feel that way. It’s not okay? Okay, find your way to “it’s okay that it’s not okay”… There’s always a way in.)
Don’t get mired in the bad feelings. Just name them. What are they about? What are they saying to you?
Can you make that okay? Or, even, can you make it okay that it’s not okay?
You can do this. There’s nothing wrong here. What you are making okay is that you are human and that you’re in the midst of the human condition. Nothing more.
If it’s not okay with you that you’re human, you’ve got no shot at acceptance. Ummm, try this. Accept that it’s not okay with you that you’re human (if this resonates). Make it okay that you can’t stand this thing I keep calling “the human condition.”
Yes. See. We always have a starting point. There is always something you can begin with. Until you can get to the feeling of… Relief.
When you really do accept something the way it is and not the way you want it to be, there is a feeling that comes over you. It’s a feeling of relief.
No, the serenity is not the Big Reveal yet. But… If you follow the feeling of relief, it will lead you to a restoration of hope. And if you allow yourself some time, and, some more acceptance, serenity will become the Big Reveal in time. (Look, even Dorothy had to follow the Yellow Brick Road. Have a little patience with yourself.)
If you can’t find something that you can accept, to make your way to acceptance of something you really want to accept, you won’t find relief.
Relief is part and parcel of Acceptance. It is what will guide you to greater and greater acceptance of what is, and a greater ability to be with your own feelings about anything.
You don’t have to be perfect. You never have.
You don’t have to begin anywhere in particular. You can begin exactly where you are.
Acceptance is about knowing that nothing is the “end of the world.” Acceptance is about beginning to get that you are okay — however you are.
And as your relief grows, your stress level comes down. Your health flourishes in ways it has not (or in ways it used to when you were 4 years old). Your ability to hope returns, or bounds in ways you’ve not yet experienced.
Accept where you are and you will be on a path to acceptance of all you desire to bring acceptance to.
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