Tag Archives: Acceptance

It All Starts With You

It All POST

”Loving ourselves works miracles in our lives”

Louise Hay

 Unless we believe in, respect & love ourselves how can we expect anyone else to?

When we better understand this we become ever closer to finding our authentic self but for some the road to self discovery and the realisation that not only are we worthy of our place in this world but that we do matter can at times be a long and difficult one with a price which very often we aren’t prepared to pay.

The mere thought of the consequences of our actions along the way being enough to stop us dead in our tracks, such is the fear of upsetting or even losing those we love for fear of being deemed selfish!

So what on earth causes us to lose sight of the fact that we actually DO matter?

The majority of us I’m fairly certain will have been told countless times by those close to  us; parents, spouses, friends and so on things like…….. ”Stop being so selfish” or ”The world doesn’t revolve around you, you know”. In all honesty I’m also equally certain that these things and others like them will have been said largely in a genuine effort to make us realise that there were other people to consider at that time and let’s face it……..no matter what the situation there is always a bigger picture to consider.

However subconsciously (and moreover if we’re the sort who actually do care and give a damn) when we’re hearing this type of thing historically and consistently on whatever level and regardless of either intent or source then slowly but surely the seeds of wanting to ”people please” begin to take root. We start to think before we do or say things for fear of upsetting others or God forbid being deemed selfish. We start to second guess the reactions of others if we say something we ”think” might come across as unfair.We slowly but surely and almost certainly (initially anyway) subconsciously start to convince ourselves that ”it doesn’t matter” if our opinions aren’t taken on board, if we leave what we want/need to do till another day, which almost never comes.

……..IF? IF? IF? ………..

At this point although we are completely unaware of it we have placed ourselves very firmly at the back of the metaphorical queue in our minds when it comes to our own needs, feelings or emotions because we have come to believe that they and we don’t matter when it comes down to not only looking after but actually validating ourselves in any way.

Quite simply our need to not only people please but be validated by others  becomes the yardstick by which we measure our own self-worth.

We mistakenly start to think that by being all things to all men we will be loved and appreciated all the more for our efforts. In reality what tends to happen is the exact opposite because the more we give, the more we do then the more others will not only allow us to but will come to expect from us. When on occasion we can’t for whatever reason we find ourselves unwittingly deemed lacking in some way. In essence it’s a very short step to the polar opposite of nothing we do is ever enough!

The crushing fear of being labelled ” not good enough” or ”selfish beyond belief” robs us of our sense of well-being, of our self-esteem of our sense of self-worth and of our confidence to stand up for ourself. Something inside us becomes broken and before we know it we are completely lost.

Piecing together the jigsaw that is our broken self takes courage

However without doubt it should always start with loving ourselves because we are worth it!

The power to change be it the world, our circumstances, our future or ourselves starts with us. It all starts with us because we are the architects of our own lives. We must become mindful of the fact that we are the only ones who are responsible for us if we want to see any positive changes in ways which will not only alter how we see ourselves but how others do too.

In order for any of this to happen we more often than not have to unlearn everything which we have previously come to know. We have to accept that we are a work in progress and that it is not only ok it is more than good enough. Having to reclaim that which we have inadvertently lost……the absolute right to be who or what we want to be…….is a big ask of anyone, let alone those of us who over time have seen the very fabric of who we really are eroded away to the point that we’re actually unsure who we were in the first place!

Having discounted our needs, wants, feelings and emotions for so long it has become a foreign concept to us to not only validate ourselves but to need and expect those previously unwilling or unable, to do so as well. It is at this point we have to face perhaps for the first time the fear that others will and do choose not to come along our journey with us from hereon in and we need to accept the fact that in making this choice they are saying more about themselves than they ever did about us. As upsetting as we may find this, when we remain resolute (as we should) in our intentions to validate ourselves going forward, then our journey for a while at least becomes harder.

BUT!!!

In doing what we have to do in order to get to where we want to be, we slowly, but will nevertheless come to love ourselves for who we are, we will become comfortable in our own skin and be grateful to be so.

Up to this point we have lost sight of many things, but the courage we have gained in facing up to the challenges and adversity which we have along the way and the resultant rise in our self-esteem as we rediscover our authentic self has come to help us really understand that self-love and self-care are truly very different from being selfish.

The sudden revelation that our thoughts are the most powerful ability we possess and that we not only have the power to be who and what we want to be but it be liberating in the extreme serves to further increase the sense of well-being and peace which settles over us.

On the most basic of levels then, when we accept that we cannot (nor is it practical) to be everything to everyone all the time because in being human we are not perfect then we have started to turn our negative self-talk around.

Having done this we can finally afford ourselves the love and respect which we most definitely deserve but previously we hadn’t.

In being accepting of our shortcomings and imperfections. In caring for, respecting and loving ourselves then we become increasingly touched  how much and how quickly others follow suit. We become surprised that people really do love us just the way we are.

We would do well to remember that……How things start. How they finish. Is our responsibility

When we believe in, respect and love ourselves then others will too.

So if you validate just one thing today let it be yourself because after all

It All Starts With You!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forgiveness The Universal Gift

FORGIVENESS media file

Forgiveness: the action or process of forgiving or being forgiven

Forgiveness brings with it a calm, acceptance that what is done, is done and it no longer has a hold over you, the FREEDOM that it brings with it clears the path to a future filled with a renewed sense of optimism and hope.

Yet it is one of the most difficult states of mind to achieve as generally speaking we tend to hang onto past hurt or perceived wrongs against us. We hold onto feelings of angst and betrayal when we think of how we’ve suffered at the hands of others and on occasion if we’re brutally honest with ourselves we use these negative feelings and reactions to feed our sense of  wounded indignity as we succumb to being or becoming a ”victim” of the circumstances which made us feel this way in the first place.

It’s a perfectly natural reaction to assume the demeanor of an injured party when someone has ”wronged” us in some way or we’ve ”fallen foul” of a situation over which we had no control. Very often after we’ve had time to reflect and  in the cold light of day the majority of us with a little thought and maybe gentle prompting can usually come to see things more clearly and accept that at the very least there were reasons (not excuses mind) for what had gone before. Having said that the stark reality is we are all of us human and as such are realistically far more inclined to take our initial knee jerk adverse reaction and run with it allowing it to gain momentum over time and before we know it we are unable to move on, over or past this ”thing” which has wounded us so. In essence we become stuck.

In my life so far I’ve come very slowly BUT very surely to learn and more importantly to understand some very valuable lessons. Firstly everything in life is TEMPORARY….time, emotions, situations…everything. Secondly everything is as it’s MEANT to be for NOW….when we have learned the lesson which we need to from any given situation then we can and do move on and perhaps MOST importantly thirdly how other people act is THEIR RESPONSIBILITY but how we REACT is OURS!

Let’s just take a moment here to understand that VERY OFTEN before we can forgive others OR indeed expect them to forgive us….we first of all HAVE TO FORGIVE OURSELVES!!!

If then we take these three ”core lessons” and apply them to ANY situation which may be requiring of FORGIVENESS we must come to understand that;

TEMPORARY means exactly that, no matter how wounded, upset, angry or emotional we are about something it WILL subside and in time fade at the very least to a level at which we can at least consider the option that IF it was;

MEANT to be, what was the lesson we needed to learn from it and moreover how can we grow from that same lesson?

I know probably more than most how DIFFICULT this particular lesson is to take on board. I know only too well that the fear, misery and emotional turmoil brought about by not only the perceived ”wrongs” but the possibility that all the months and years of ”holding on” to those same ”wrongs” could have been so very different IF I had been open to the possibility that ”yes I was the injured party” BUT what if the reason for that was simply that I needed to learn a lesson to help me not only grow as an individual but to move on positively with my life? So then to the premise of the third lesson that of;

RESPONSIBILITY & REACTION; it is perfectly true to say that how others act is their responsibility and how we react to it is ours. I have found (admittedly late in the day) that in the short term at least NO REACTION at all is the better option, at least whilst I consider my RESPONSE which is a very different scenario altogether! If we take on board that in stressful situations, especially those where we are emotional or hurt in some way and we react in an adverse manner it could actually be this factor which becomes the catalyst for a protracted period of hurt, emotional turmoil or even estrangement from someone. Lets be clear, whilst in all likelihood our adverse reactions wouldn’t be the actual cause of any difficulties they most certainly COULD be the reason behind wasted years of frustration, upset, anxiety and alienation with the added complication of us being left ”on the outside looking in” as others close to us fail to understand why or even how we could be ”so unreasonable”. Trust me on this when I say I REALLY DO know what that feels like and having been there would urge anyone …..in the first instance….to always consider their response rather than come to regret a knee jerk reaction.

You must understand that I’m not advocating we roll over and surrender in any of this. Not at all. What I’m suggesting is that EVEN in the most trying of circumstances we should give ourselves space. Space to breath. Space to understand that what we’re feeling is temporary and will pass. Space to contemplate that what is happening is meant to be happening for a reason. Space to give ourselves time to understand that ultimately our reaction to the situation WILL play a part in determining the outcome.

Of course it can and indeed does take years for us to reach a place where we are willing to consider any of the above as possibilities and even then PRIDE will often become a stumbling block to restoring communications as we struggle with the concepts of ”having to back down” or ”why should I be the one to make the first  move”.

When find ourselves then in situations which ARE requiring of FORGIVENESS what are we supposed to do? Do we just take a deep breath and mentally forgive someone or something? Do we demand an acceptable explanation or apology before conferring forgiveness? Do we try and understand or consider the bigger picture. Do we simply do nothing at all and allow any ill feeling, estrangement or alienation to continue indefinitely? 

Or:

DO WE CONVINCE OURSELVES THAT NOTHING’S WRONG & EVEN IF IT IS, IT’S THEIR FAULT, THEIR LOSS?

For me the best advice I could possibly offer anyone would quite simply be this –  ultimately accept the situation for what it  is, release the need to understand the dynamics of it, relinquish the need for control (if you don’t apologize I won’t………??) simply let it find its own level, let it be. There’s an old adage……’‘least said soonest mended” and that is obviously a matter of personal choice but………..

In CHOOSING to forgive someone or something (including YOURSELF) do so NOT because you expect them to be grateful…chances are they won’t be because they will rarely have taken responsibility for their part in the situation.

Forgive them because in doing so you will be setting yourself FREE.

Free from the burden of being STUCK. Free from any associated GUILT you may feel for your part in it all. Free from the power which someone or something has held over you for far too long. Free from anxiety, upset and emotional turmoil and in doing so you instantly become FREE to stop looking backwards and start looking FORWARD to the future. YOUR FUTURE and one that is indeed awash with the prospect of a renewed optimism and fresh HOPE.

Secure in the knowledge that

FORGIVENESS HAS BECOME YOUR PASSPORT TO FREEDOM

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let It Go and We’re Not Talking Disney Here

Let It Go POST
In the process of letting go you will lose many things from the past but you will find yourself
Deepak Chopra

One of the most difficult skill sets we ever have cause to learn is the art of letting things go

Now, that can be letting go of; old habits, obsessive thought patterns, the need to understand something, toxic relationships, guilt, anger in fact pretty much anything which can hold us back or cause undue worry, stress or upset in life.

As we become older and hopefully wiser we gradually come to understand that EVERY situation and/or emotion we face throughout our lives is only EVER temporary. Yet the compelling need to hang onto that which no longer serves us in anyway, rather than diminishing with age often grows ever stronger as we face the uncertainty of what will happen to us or because of us if we dare to do the unthinkable and just LET THINGS GO!

The safety net of the familiar, albeit something which habitually causes us angst and upset perversely becomes somewhat of a comfort blanket as we rail against our own self doubt questioning whether or not IF it would be the right thing to do and this in addition to the negative input from those around us – even loved ones – who would have us stay ”stuck at a point” simply because it serves their own ends for us to do so. Other people will often attempt to manipulate us into ”leaving things be” sometimes not even fully aware themselves that this is what they’re doing and yet at other times they blatantly attempt to browbeat us into submission employing tactics such as name calling, veiled threats, emotional blackmail, put downs, outright insults and so the list goes on.

However when others do try and bring their influence to bear over our intent to ”let something go” and DESPITE their assurances that ”it’s for your own good” or ”for the best” etc they are almost without exception trying to do nothing more or less than to control that which is NOT theirs to control.

YOUR LIFE! YOUR FUTURE!

It’s important to realise through all this that our own self doubt is in itself enough to prevent us from moving forward if we choose to allow it to but at least that would be OUR CHOICE.

For me the biggest shift happened when it came to ultimately deciding to let go of something which had paralyzed me emotionally for years. It was a slow but sure awakening to the absolute FACT that in doing so not only would it be a freeing experience BUT it would in no way be a betrayal of someone or even a denial about a given situation. Rather the exact opposite because by acknowledging AND taking responsibility for it I came to understand the simple truth that what had been, had happened and on occasion was still happening just didn’t have a place in my life anymore. The toll on my health had been immeasurable and furthermore I suddenly knew without doubt that I was no longer willing to carry the burden of (in my case) the limitations of the learned behaviour patterns which had chained me so very firmly both in the past and within my own mind set.

By definition the act or indeed the art of ”letting things go” is synonymous with change and this I’m sure is the major obstacle for most of us as we struggle to detach ourselves from that which is holding us back in some way.

At times in many ways.

The thing is change can be good, it can be bad and it can most certainly be a painful experience as we transition from one phase to another. However when we weigh up the pros and cons we start to realise that any pain or anguish which transpires on the back of letting go pales drastically when compared to that felt by someone (as was I)  who is stuck in a scenario they are unwilling or unable to remove themselves from and as a result of which they are unable to learn, grow and move forward. In effect that someone becomes responsible for disabling their own future as our old friend procrastination happily throws up a myriad reasons why things are best left unsaid or undone so almost subconsciously things are left unchanged because after all….”better the devil you know eh”?

Once the decision has been made to ”Let It Go” and the gamut of manipulation and emotional blackmail has been run it becomes evermore obvious to us that where we had previously thought that by holding on we were being strong, in actual fact ”letting go” takes an act of even greater strength. So as we commence our journey along our chosen path to a healthier future then, we can begin to see that the act of cutting ourselves loose from our hurt, sorrows, negativity, toxic people or situations…….BY LETTING GO.……we can and will embrace the here, the now, this moment and very definitely our future with a renewed sense of enthusiasm and hope because  we can now say with certainty that there is a world of difference between the choices of ‘‘giving up” and ”letting go”.

I can only speak for myself when I say this but having taken a long, long time to understand that when someone or something no longer has a place in my life (regardless of the reason) then I can not only choose to  let it or them go BUT I can do so safe in the knowledge that I do not have to explain, apologise OR justify either myself or my decision to anyone else.

It takes an inordinate amount of courage to ”Let Go” of the old or familiar, especially when the resulting change  has the potential to cause  you even more distress in the short term at least than that which you have liberated your mind from but the benefits to us as individuals is immense. Again speaking personally, on the back of actively choosing to ”Let Go” (especially of situations over which I had absolutely no control) I saw in me a hitherto unknown personae evolve…..granted one which I very firmly consider to be still a work in progress……I became a stronger more assertive person, one who whilst still always attempting to be fair to others would nevertheless hold firmly onto my principles. I became someone who was (to quote the blessed song..) ”For The First Time In Forever” comfortable in her own skin, someone who came to understand that;

To let go of something means simply that we can move on.

Whereas to hold onto something means that we are always looking back. Accepting that the art of ”Letting Go” will produce change in our lives is a massive ask of anyone but when we couple this with the fact that ”Letting Go” does not mean forgetting rather it means that we have learned something, be it about ourselves or something else then the positives we can take from this are beneficial on levels we hadn’t previously considered because we ARE FINALLY SECURE in the knowledge that;

Regardless of what others may or may not think about our choices in life we are GOOD enough, we are ABLE enough, we are SMART enough, we are STRONG enough to make make those same choices for ourselves WITHOUT the need for validation from others. They will no doubt continue at times to attempt to derail the progress which we have chosen to make BUT if we keep steadfast in our decision and don’t acknowledge their behaviour then we can continue to keep moving forward with OUR LIVES because we suddenly know with absolute clarity that whatever another says or does in their efforts at sabotaging your future happiness it is ALWAYS, ALWAYS a reflection on THEM not us!

Going forward then ALWAYS REMEMBER that;

YOU are the only person who you are responsible for and to, whatever you do or say along your journey in this life YOUR LIFE somebody somewhere along the way is going to be upset and/or disappointed in you BUT THAT’S OK as long as you are secure in your decisions, your actions and more importantly YOURSELF that’s all that really matters at the end of the day.

I’ve come to know with absolute certainty that LIFE IS TOO SHORT to be constantly at war with yourself OR others. Pick your battles. Be kind to yourself and others by making the practices of ACCEPTANCE & FORGIVENESS part of your daily routine LETTING GO of the trials and tribulations of yesterday is the first step towards a brighter more positive future.

TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. A NEW BEGINNING. TAKE A DEEP BREATH. EMBRACE IT AND STEP FORWARD INTO THE FUTURE

YOUR FUTURE!

 

 

 

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.