Tag Archives: acceptable

The Conundrum That is Acceptance

The Conundrum POST

”The fact that you are willing to say, ”I do not understand and that’s fine,” is the greatest understanding you could exhibit”

Wayne Dyer

” I just don’t understand”

How many times in a day, week, month do we say or hear others say just this?

For myself (until very recently) it used to be a frequent occurrence, often multiple times daily dependent upon the situations I found myself in. It took me a very long time to realise that no matter what my motivation was for the need to understand……..it was irrelevant!

Irrelevant in the sense that whether or not I understood why things were happening, why someone had said/thought  this or that about me or anything else for that matter, why, why, why, why????? It would not make any difference to the outcome of the scenario whether I understood it or not!

For many of us today the act of acceptance is firmly based on the standard definition found in the dictionary;

Acceptance is the process or fact of being received as adequate, valid, or suitable

The misnomer here is that we have come to take as a given that if something is perceived as inadequate or unsuitable in some way then it is by default deemed to be ”unacceptable” within the confines of societal norms. Whereas in actual fact what we should realistically be saying to ourselves is quite simply;

I do not like and/or understand……scenario x……….however assuming that nothing that I can say or do will effect a (in my opinion) positive change or even make a difference am I willing to consider that I do not actually NEED to understand it?

In other words rather than accepting any given situation which I may find upsetting, uncomfortable or even repulsive I need to consider the reality that the thing I need to think about is quite simply;

That my lack of understanding coupled with the fact that it’s perfectly fine not to be able to do so, is the ONLY thing I have to accept!

I HAVE TO ADMIT that even though I have finally come to understand this as FACT, I cannot take the credit for reaching the conclusion alone. My often insatiable NEED? to ”understand” which on occasion has caused me immense personal heartache has been very calmly, gently but firmly tempered by the unconditional love and support of a small number of people who partly as a result of their own journey and partly because they were able to be objective about my circumstances have been instrumental in helping me to unpick the lock to a mind which had without realising it become a prisoner of the unconscious urge to mold the actions and opinions of others in such a way that they would be acceptable to me!

WHAT? WOW!

When I thought about that rationally I couldn’t actually believe how arrogant it seemed to me, let alone others!

The mere fact that by acting the way I had it meant that not only was I trying to change something, I was trying to do so by controlling how that change would take effect…changing someones viewpoint, habits, likes, dislikes and so on. This was very closely followed by the dawning of a reality which meant that if change ”were” needed then it surely it would have to start with me?

I came to understand that it is unrealistic let alone unreasonable to assume that effecting change in someone/something who is unwilling to do so will result in a happier, more positive outcome for those concerned. More likely and especially if the circumstances are already strained in any way, it will serve only to hinder any chance of a mutually acceptable outcome. That said then the only option available is to look to oneself to determine an acceptable solution to the ”issue of acceptance”!!

Historically acceptance is often tied up with the need for control……if something we don’t understand doesn’t ”fit” our picture of life or how it should be, then often the natural impulse is to attempt to ”change it for the better”. Better being our individual take on what is acceptable in our world: and trust me this could range from the smallest everyday issues……..making sure your children eat their greens because they’re ”good” for them…… all the way up to the bigger, serious issues of say……….. altering the opinions of another on religion or racism and everything in between.

The need to control in so far as trying to make someone else conform to our way of thinking is actually the root cause of our not being able to accept the viewpoint of another or any situation caused by it. When we come to realise this and accept it as being unacceptable in itself then we become a lot closer to ”understanding” that because we enjoy freedom of choice and thus thought,  we are by definition entitled to view situations or indeed life and how we live it, differently from the next person and that is exactly how it should be.

However whilst we can often reconcile ourselves to the fact that our views on religion, racism, beliefs and lifestyle choices etc can and will differ (sometimes enormously) from others it’s often much more difficult to accept the attitudes or circumstances which impact daily on our personal situations closer to home.

Which brings me neatly back to the simple fact that the only thing I NEED to accept is that I DO NOT need to understand it! Plain. Simple.Period!!

I have come to see that in life and particularly with personal relationships for instance that the thoughts and actions of others are their responsibility and theirs alone. It is very definitely not my place to interfere, judge OR try to control either another human being or the situations they create as a result of their words and actions. However it is my place to assume RESPONSIBILITY with regards to how I respond!

Eckhart Tolle came up with a near perfect summation of the concept of ACCEPTANCE which was;

”When you are in a situation or surrounded by circumstances which are causing you to battle with either your ego or emotions then you should consider the following to help you determine how you will deal with it/them;

LEAVE IT! Can you LEAVE the situation or walk away from the person that is the cause of anger frustration? You need to weigh it up and gauge what is going to be best for YOU.

Choice, Life Is A Choice

Choice, Life Is POST

”It is our choices… that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities”  J.K.Rowling

Life!

The singular thing we all have in common. However having said that there are only actually two things which for sure will happen to us all.

We will be born. We will die.

Stark but nevertheless completely true.

Equally true is the fact that many of us do actually treat the experience that is life as a final destination. We all too easily lose sight of the fact that it is actually a journey. Each day, for each of us is completely unique and thus our journey in turn becomes as individual as we are and in all honesty most of us never even consider that it is our choices along the way which make it so.

The amazing thing is that we all of us do have the power of choice.

It is after all the most basic of our rights as humans. We can all of us, if we so choose be compliant and ”allow” life to happen to us OR we can become proactive and choose to be the architect of our own journey and subsequently our destiny.

So my friends I would urge that you give some thought to the gift which is your life and the like of which you will not receive again. As you go through your day tomorrow pay attention…..be mindful if you will.… as to the number of choices you will actually get to make during it’s course. In addition to the those you would make automatically……what to eat, what to wear, where to go…….concentrate on each moment as it occurs and realise that everything in life is a choice;

Positivity. Negativity. Gratitude. Happiness…all of it

Those choices in turn have the power to alter your life for the better or worse. Any given point on your journey through life is in direct correlation to your words, actions & attitude and it is you alone who are responsible for it.

There are those amongst us who will say ”Oh no it’s not  my fault… ???… did this, said that and so on which would all be very true HOWEVER the key here is that the other person is the one who has to take responsibility for their actions whilst it is YOU alone who must take responsibility for your REACTION to the situation/ feeling they created. You have the power to allow or disallow how anything impacts upon you. You can CHOOSE and it is this choice alone which will dictate whether you are compliant in or an architect of your life, your FUTURE!

So having urged you to be mindful as you go about your day tomorrow you should consider the possibility that you have inadvertently become compliant in ”allowing” your life to just happen to you. If you should come to realise that you have in fact been ”happily” accepting your lot then it may come as somewhat of a surprise to find that you have always had the option of CHOICE.

It would be unrealistic to assume that choosing a positive option will either be simple or easy

Indeed at times it will be very far removed from these two particular emotions. The difficulty comes with the slow realisation that (in many instances) we have been accepting the unacceptable as being the only option open to us without ever having truly considered any alternative just because ..”that’s the way it’s always been”….! When you think about it would you buy meat from the same butcher every week regardless of the fact that it had ”gone off” just because your family had always shopped there? Of course you wouldn’t because you would be able to see, smell & taste the badness.

However when it comes to something as intangible as ”happiness” our recognition and/ or acceptance of it is based on the largely intangible, meaning that whilst we can witness someones happiness by seeing them smile, we cannot touch it, taste it or smell it. By default therefore we become more inclined to be accepting of something which cannot be physically evidenced as being otherwise and as such it enables us to trust that things are as they should be.

After all how often do we say things such as; ” it was just a gut feeling” about something?

So having decided (which in itself is a choice) then that everything in life is a choice, let’s take the a fore mentioned emotion of happiness. People have often said to me things like ”you’re either happy or unhappy, that’s all there is to it” I would for a long time have agreed with them UNTIL that is I had my own what I like to call ”light bulb moment” and realised that I like you can choose happiness.

It took me quite a while to get into the habit of choice and for me it became easier when I realised that the opinions and or actions of others for instance, could only hold sway over my emotions if I ALLOWED them to. The bottom line is that we all of us have responsibility for what we allow in our lives. For me I have actively chosen not to allow or embrace negativity from any source. If we try and remember that the negativity we encounter on a daily basis particularly from another person is THEIR negativity and as such has no place in or power over our lives we soon come to realise that it’s just a small step to choosing between a smile or a frown!

In CHOOSING HAPPINESS I now also understand that (to quote the song) –

”You’re never fully dressed without a smile!”  and it feels AWESOME!!!

Happiness you will come to understand is not only a choice but a way of life and it’s contagious so………..what are you waiting for???

Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself!

Dont be so POST

”Love yourself first and everything else falls in line”

Lucille Ball

I have long struggled to reconcile myself to the fact that practicing Self Care  as opposed to being Selfish is not only ACCEPTABLE, it’s NECESSARY! Whilst for me at least being selfish has never been an option on this journey through life, the alternative and far healthier choice of caring  positively and in a loving manner for oneself, I have for a very long time mistakenly believed to be the same thing. In fact NOTHING could be further from the truth.

Self Care;  Looking after ones self in a healthy manner be it physically, mentally or spiritually
Selfish;  lacking consideration for other people; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.

When you look at the definitions side by side the difference in meaning is CLEAR for all to see. Yet in my minds eye the fact that on occasion when I chose to utter the word NO in response to say a request to do something for another the guilt and anguish I experienced at my own PERCEIVED selfishness  simply because I had ”refused to help someone” in some way, knew absolutely no bounds. Unfounded guilt, coupled with  equally unfounded paranoia that they would deem my negative response to their request as me being SELFISH fueled a self perpetuating decline overtime into the unrealistic realm of me responding with a compliant YES to requests REGARDLESS of whether I needed to do something different at the time or not!

In real terms what that meant on the most basic of levels is that in the great scheme of things when asked to do……..(you fill in the blanks)….and regardless of circumstance, situation, time constraints, personal commitments I would more often than not be heard to proffer an enthusiastic YES (when actually feeling anything but!) and usually at great personal expense in terms of the impact on both my physical and mental well being. Simply put I had done an OUTSTANDING job of convincing myself that without doubt to proffer an equally firm but polite NO would mean that I was SELFISH personified!

In essence I had decided at an extremely young age that I would in no way become a SELFISH person,  A noble premise but one in which aiming to achieve, I had unwittingly applied a totally unrealistic set of principles for negotiating the minefield of life. Principles which would see me time and again put the needs of others over and above those of myself regardless of personal cost. In all honesty the cost incurred was probably an equal mix in terms physical, emotional and mental decline. The concept of SELF-CARE never having even been allowed the opportunity to be considered. In my ”quest” to become ”all things, to all people” a modern day mix of Mother Theresa & Nelson Mandela if you will, my default setting had turned me into a somewhat substandard version of Mary Poppins as I had very definitely become ”practically IMPERFECT in every way”.

The pressure I had put myself under by striving to reach the unattainable saw me buckle under my PERCEIVED FAILURE to be the person I THOUGHT others wanted me to be as opposed to the person that I ACTUALLY AM! Such was my physical and mental decline that I was the last  one to realise just exactly what my self imposed mindset had cost me.

Almost too late I realised that those who I loved and who loved me in return did so simply BECAUSE of who I AM and NOT because what I can do for them. All they wanted (had EVER wanted) was for me to be HAPPY, HEALTHY & WHOLE! Were I on occasion willing and ABLE to help them out in some way then that would be ENOUGH.

I WOULD BE ENOUGH!

So late in the day I came to understand the concept of SELF-CARE! Together with it’s implications and benefits. The outcome for me (and hopefully those of you who may also lack self awareness) is such that as a matter of priority I  now strive everyday to seek BALANCE in life: a healthy, balanced diet, quality sleep and enough of it, to spend quality time with loved ones and above all else to make time to relax and just ”be” – whether sitting, reading, meditating, essentially doing something where I show MYSELF the love I now know I DESERVE and which without forethought I make so readily available to others.

When you truly come to understand AND practice the art of SELF-CARE, see it in action for yourself AND THEN realise that life as you knew it has not only NOT ceased to exist BUT in fact IMPROVED BEYOND MEASURE then you will know without a shadow of a doubt that to;

”Love yourself first and everything else falls in line”

……..probably number amongst some of the truer words ever spoken! Never lose sight of the fact that when it comes to being loved then you are right up there at the top of the list so remember going forward

”Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself!”