Acceptance with dignity
Given everything that went on in the United States yesterday, I feel it’s appropriate to share with you some thoughts about a topic I’ve wanted to talk about for a while – acceptance. Specifically, acceptance of: what was; what is and what will be. You see, the thing about acceptance is that it’s pretty much the easiest thing to do when you’re faced with a situation or person that aligns with what you’d hoped for and wanted. However, it can feel next to impossible to accept a situation when it appears (on the outset) to be unfair, unjust or not representative of your efforts.
I have no shame admitting this, but in the past, if something hadn’t gone according to my plan, I really struggled to accept it and let it go. For example, when I’d put every ounce into my studies only to get mediocre grades in secondary school at the final hurdles, or when I’d lost friends through my depression or even, loved ones to illness – acceptance has often been my biggest battle. Now, it’s not to say that I’m spoilt and expect things to go my way (because if you know me by now, my life has been far from the perfect fairytale) but I really had a hard time accepting endings, outcomes and feelings when something major happens in life. When I feel that my efforts have been wasted, or saddened that my life needs to take another course which couldn’t be further from what I’d planned, I’ve often been beside myself with helplessness. Have you ever felt this way too? I’m sure you have, and if you haven’t, way to go – you’re steps ahead!
So how have I managed to deal with it, and what actually works? Well it’s only been a recent phenomenon to me, but in short – surrender. Specifically, surrender and reliance on a force greater than myself. Now I’m not saying that if you don’t believe in God or a Higher Power, you’re doomed. Absolutely not! Surrender essentially means to stop resisting an enemy or opponent and give oneself up, typically on compulsion or demand. When applying it do daily life, it could look something like stopping the act of resisting a situation or thing you can’t change and instead, accepting it for what it is with faith and hope in a more positive outcome in the future. It’s when you aren’t looking to change and/or control something/someone, but instead, trusting that whatever will be, will be – cause let’s face it, control is an illusion and there’s not much we as individuals can control… apart from ourselves, our response to things and our behaviours.
Donald Trump’s resistance to concede and despicable behaviour with regards to the outcome of the US election is evidence of the devastating effects resistance can have; on not only yourself as the individual, but those around you. Resistance is powerful and can make someone behave in unthinkable ways when really, all they want is for the pain to stop and for the outcome to be more pleasing to them. All they really need is a bit of clarity and perspective, coupled with some self-compassion. However, if there’s something we all know, it’s that life might not always be what you want and you’ll not always get whatever it is you are chasing, so doing this can be hard when you feel deep in a powerful feeling. Trusting in the timing of things and the natural order of life is key. Resisting change only hurts yourself and pursuing a path of destruction to get what you want will often leave you feeling powerless or ashamed, rather than empowered and dignified.
I have in no way mastered the art of acceptance and letting things go, nor do I particularly trust anything to go the way it’s meant to. However, I am learning to accept things better, and day-by-day with practice and dedication, its becoming easier to put one step in front of the other. With the courage of knowing that whatever I’m faced with, I will be able to deal with helps and the best news is, you can try this too!
If you’re struggling to accept a situation, an outcome of an event, or simply accept how your life is right now following the pandemic that has ravaged this world, trust that there’s a time and place for everything and if you let go of the need to protect yourself through control as well as resistance, you will feel more peaceful for it.
I implore you to join me on the challenge of acceptance today. Surrendering in any form is hard, but resistance and control causes far greater damage. With this in mind, I know we can do it.
So, what are you waiting for?
Spread your wings and fly,
The Confused Butterfly
Disclaimer: The contents of this website are intended for educational purposes only. Nothing found on this site should be a substitute for professional medical advice nor is it a substitute for therapy. Therefore, please seek the advice of a Doctor or Mental Health Practitioner if you have any concerns about your wellbeing. These views are personal to me and are in no way a representation of other individuals or organisations.