Sometimes where you are in life doesn’t feel so great. Maybe you don’t like your job, maybe you’re going through a divorce, maybe you’ve got a nagging health problem, or maybe you just want it to be sunny outside and the sky is full of clouds.
We’ve all heard a lot about the concept of acceptance. It’s not new. Acceptance doesn’t mean you have to like something. It just means you have to be willing to be okay that whatever is happening right now is actually happening. One of my favorite spiritual teachers, Byron Katie says, “When you argue with reality, you lose, but only 100% of the time.” You can’t change what is, you can only respond to it.
And I know many think that if they accept what’s happening (even if it sucks) they won’t do anything about it. Nothing will change. And yes, that’s possible but it doesn’t have to be true for you. Acceptance is about recognizing that the reality of what is happening right now is happening. Your thoughts about that reality are going to make you feel however you feel. Good, bad, or indifferent.
For example, I’m in the middle of my second cold for the winter. This basically pisses me off. I’m a person who eats well, exercises, gets a lot of sleep, basically does everything she can to take care of herself. Then why oh why am I dealing with this again? I can spend all the time in the world in my head trying to figure out why this is happening and fighting against it. But that’s not acceptance. Acceptance is, oh look, I’ve got another cold. I need even more rest, more down time, I’m not going to feel my best for a while, I’m going to feel frustrated for a while. I’m going to think what I think about it and feel what I feel about it, and then do the only thing I can do. Keep resting, keep taking care of myself, and choosing what’s best for me as I go.
Staying pissed off about being sick gets me nowhere but being sick AND pissed off. I don’t like being sick but I’ve accepted it. And I’m doing what I need to do and moving forward. Because eventually I won’t be sick. And if you don’t like your job, you’ll change you or it. Or if you’re going through a divorce, at some point you’ll be through it. And even if the clouds fill the sky today, tomorrow might be nothing but sun.
It will suck for a while. So feel that. Then accept it. Then move forward in it and through it.
Please share if you know just the perfect person who needs this.
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