Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Breathe Strategy - A is for Accept

Years ago we were going through a difficult trial and my cousin shared this phrase with me:  you have to accept that what you are going through is the only way for you to learn what you need to know to progress spiritually and once you do that it takes the drama out of the situation.

That phrase has helped me through so many trials and life experiences.  I think acceptance means that you quit fighting against what is happening.  Does this mean that then your experience will be easier, I'm not totally sure but I believe that as you quit fighting against the bull and flow with it's bucking, your ride will be much easier.

I guess for me, acceptance of trials came with learning and living through them.  I assumed that acceptance was only meant for the here and now.  I didn't realize that I also needed to accept things from my past.  Accept that they happened, and accept how they really happened instead of putting rose colored glasses over it.  Accepting the pain and sadness of those experiences is what helps you move through them and let them go.   I love this quote on acceptance by Nathaniel Branden in his book The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem:

Self-acceptance entails our willingness to experience -- that is, to make real to ourselves, without denial or evasion -- that we think what we think, feel what we feel, desire what we desire, have done what we have done, and are what we are.  It is the refusal to regard any part of ourselves -- our bodies, our emotions, our thoughts, our actions, our dreams -- as alien, as "not me."  It is our willingness to experience rather than to disown whatever may be the facts of our being at a particular moment -- to think our thoughts, own our feelings, be present to the reality of our behavior.

Left to right: Stacey, Jenny
and me on the right
Over the last few years as I have been working through a lot of things, I have put on a lot of weight.  I finally had to decide to accept that I was overweight, to quit avoiding having pictures taken of me, looking in the mirror, etc.  Accepting that it is taking time to put myself together emotionally and that it will take time to put myself back together physically.  So this week I'm focusing on accepting that I am who I am, with all my emotional baggage and weight baggage.  I believe the weight will come off as I work on it, I also believe that the emotional "weight" is coming off too as I work on that. 

It has taken a long to accept me as I am right now, I wanted to be who I used to be, all skinny, cute and seemingly in control of my life.  Now I am overweight, stronger than I was just a few years ago, living a more real life and much wiser too.  I can accept that.

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