Why acceptance can be so powerful
The key contributing factors in feeling stressed and unhappy come from wanting our reality to be different. When we struggle to accept what is presented to us we exhibit/experience combination of the below.
1. We resist it, which drains our energy and creates a lot of internal tension.
2. We become frustrated and angry.
3. We become disappointed and upset.
4. We get put off, discouraged or even lose our confidence entirely.
Now imagine that you can minimise all of these draining and difficult emotions by simply accepting the reality as it unfolds. I say simply, but we all know that this can be the most difficult thing of all. We have been conditioned to like, dislike, judge, compare. We qualitatively assess everything that happens to us with reference to our ideals. We are attached to the way we want to experience life. When our reality does not meet these expectations we get angry, frustrated, upset, disappointed, we resist, we fight back, but mostly it is a battle that cannot be won.
Of course, it is important to be proactive in life, to create your own opportunities. To go out there and try to get what you want but it is equally important to set achievable goals and to know when it is best to let go. Our energy is limited, to make the most of it we need to understand:
1. What is truly important to us (what we want to prioritise)
2. What we can actually control
3. What we cannot control and therefore need to accept
Our experiences depend broadly on context, experience, our conditioning, other people, their conditioning, the power of nature, coincidence and too many other variables to mention. Often it takes a lot more courage and strength of character to accept and let go than to fight and resist. Once you accept you can start creating something new. As long as you are resisting your energy is buried in whatever your are trying to resist. This means that no matter how much you want to ignore something, it will remain present in your life.
Yes it can be extremely challenging to accept certain things in our lives but whatever you accept you move beyond. It is up to you where and how you want to use your energy but the moment you realise how short life is and how much you can achieve by focusing your attention on things you love, accepting becomes easier.
How do you feel about taking notes for 1 week? If this is something you would be happy to try, write down any/all negative thoughts that you have during the day. Make sure you take a note every time a negative thought pops up, even if it is the same thought coming back to you. At the end of the week, you will analyze your journal and divide the things that create most negative thoughts into 3 sections.
1) Things you can eliminate from your life.
Sometimes it is hard to let go of certain habits, behaviors, people, interactions, especially if part of us “likes” it or if we have been doing it for a very long time. Remember we have a limited amount of energy, so we need to make sure we focus it on what is really working for us. This way we can become better and happier people.
2 ) Things you can cut down on / minimize
Sometimes we can’t completely eliminate something from our life but we can find ways to minimize it’s impact. If it is a person we find challenging but can’t avoid those interactions, we might be able to see them less often. If that is not an option either, maybe we can see them in a different environment or create new rules during our time together, which will help us feel more comfortable.
3) Things you can not change.
This is often the hardest practice but once you realize what you can not change, the only way is to accept it. As long as you resist/fight against reality, you will suffer. True strength and peace come from the ability to accept what you can not change.