Acceptance is taking things as they are, without needing to change or protest them. This doesn’t mean you have to like it or agree to it. Just acknowledging that they exist the way they exist can be freeing and lead to personal growth and healing. The focus in this article is on events that are beyond your control; situations that have already happened in the past and experiences that are outside your realm of control in the present. Specifically, the desire to change other people.
The amount of energy spent on lamenting the past and trying to control or change others to fix the present can be draining on the soul. The persistence to change the world now, even though the pain is high, and the energy is low, can cause individuals to burn out or fall into depression. I am a strong advocate for standing up for the rights of others and myself, however, there is a line where individuals begin working against their own well being; be it spiritually, mentally and/or emotionally.
Unlike Back to the Future, Being Ericka or other shows of that ilk, there is no time warp that will take us back to a pivotal point in our history in order to shift the course of our life. If it was possible like in “A Wonderful Life”, we notice that if we change one aspect of our life, we also change everything else and possibly miss out on aspects that we hold dear.
The reality is that we can’t go back and change the past. No amount of worrying or beating ourselves up for what happened will change it either. When we accept what has happened and find ways to see the positives that have come from that situation, we are able to release that burden. An example of shifting perspective to see the positives could include someone remembering all the rejection they felt going door to door. The positive to this is that you know now that you can survive being told no. Then continue to adjust how you present yourself confidently until people say yes or start to listen.
It is also natural to want to change other people so our lives can be better or different. A long time ago I was at a conference and a mental health specialist made a comment that has always stayed with me. He pointed to his fingers and said, “Fingers in is within your control. Fingers out (into the world) is beyond your control.” This is quite liberating as it is a reminder that your thoughts and actions are the only things that you can control. You no longer need to feel like you are responsible for fixing or changing others.
How much energy and frustration were there in trying to save, fix or change others?
What could this energy give you if you were to focus it on what you wanted for yourself?
When we focus on what we can change in our lives, we take back control of our own destiny. If you are not happy with your situation what is within your power to change?
Acceptance of what has happened in life so far and accepting people for who they are is liberating. Focus the energy now of what you need to build, grow and strengthen yourself for now. When you have built up your energy and resilience you will be in a better position to advocate for the things you are passionate about.
What would be beneficial for you to accept and release from your life?
Let’s start out with a shout out to April W for the suggestion to focus on relationships this week. It has been a fun topic to dive into.
Relationships cover both friendships and intimate relationships and for the sake of this article I will be touching on both. The question posed to me was how we can not only initiate relationships but also move beyond the mindsets that once defined what was expected. There was a caveat for those who were once in highly controlling religions about no longer feeling like you need to report to anyone else about what happens in your relationships and feeling OK with being happy.
There are four different types of relationship. There are family relationships through blood or adoption, friends, acquaintances and lovers or romantic relationships. We are going to leave family for now and dive into the other three.
Humans are social creatures. We have a basic need for connection and belonging. As children so many of us made friends with people who sat next to us or who lived near us. If we were part of a religion, we found people to hang with at church or hall. As adults or now that we are not linked through religion, it is not as easy make those bonds and any attempts seem to be awkward.
So how do we now move beyond our former mindset and feel OK about being happy? Well once you have done that inner work and continue to grow and heal then the desperate need to be accepted by those who seek to control you disappears. You have built your confidence and taken ownership of your self-worth. There is no longer a need to share intimate information with people who have no business in your relationships, and you can feel more relaxed in the safety of your own self assurance and happiness.
In my experience, many people who are looking for deeper friendships already have a large circle of friends. Take a moment to consider who you enjoy talking to and consider what would help those friendships grow.
How does this information shift your perspective on relationships?
For so many that I have worked with over the years, the actual word truth has become a trigger word. What is truth anyway? Among philosophers, it is a hotly disputed debate and has been going on for centuries with famous people like Aristotle and Aquinas discussing it in great depth. It is also something that is taken for granted as something tangible and unwavering. The truth seems to be something a bit more elusive like trying to touch liquid mercury as it slips and defies such an attempt. (I don’t suggest trying since it is poisonous)
Despite being so elusive, it is something that all of us feel is an essential value. We are quickly offended when we find that we have been deceived and are calmed when our sense of truth is validated. So, is it absolute truth or perceived truth that is at the heart of the matter here? According to Scientific America, only 98.72 % of the North American population believe the world is round with 1.28 % believing the world is flat. In the Journal for the Association of Psychological Science found that 358 people who were convicted and sentenced to death since 1989 have since been shown as innocent with DNA evidence and those people were convicted from eyewitness testimony. Were those eyewitnesses lying or as their perception of what they saw distorted by something?
What I am trying to convey here is that truth can be shifted by perception and distorted over time. Determining the truth really isn’t a black and white determination, but more a sifting through all the shades of grey that influence those who are involved.
Those who are pushing absolute truth are really playing on or innate desire to have truth and the linked values of freedom, justice and peace. Truth really comes from within and from our willingness to understand from other people’s perspectives. Acknowledging that other people will have a slightly or vastly different truth than ourselves is important. What it really comes down to is trusting our intuition and making every effort to seek to understand from other people’s perspectives. Over our life, our idea of truth will shift and change. This will happen with others as well.
Truth is one of my three core values. On diving into this more deeply it has given me a new perspective of really accepting the shades of grey and opening to how others hold their truth. They all are unique like the people that hold them. Just like our growth journey, there are layers of truth and degrees of truth for all of us.
What comes next?
What are your thoughts on truth now?