Whenever a situation gets tough, there is a natural tendency to want to avoid it. You hope that the issue resolves itself without having to do anything. Or, you spend too much time trying to get a certain outcome. It makes me thinking of the saying "What you resist persists."
That's because when you avoid something it doesn't go away. The problem festers and creates more problems later. When you resist something, it becomes a nagging thought. You start worrying about the "what ifs" rather than living in today.
Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real which means what you fear rarely happens!
When something new happens, don't assume the outcome. Remind yourself that nothing has actually happened yet.
Be in the moment. Bring your thoughts back to what's really happening not what you are worrying about.
So what is acceptance?
Acceptance is being in the moment without necessarily agreeing with it. It's about facing reality rather than trying to control it.
Part of acceptance is knowing when to detach form someone else's stuff. Detachment is letting someone experience their consequences without trying to rescue them. This helps with addiction or difficult behaviors that you want to control or change.
Let the other person do their life even if you think they're wrong. You'll be less anxious and be able to enjoy them for who they are.
When someone else's behavior is bugging you, it's time to check yourself. Do you need to detach? If so, click here to read more on Detachment.
Letting go of the outcome
When you can let go of the outcome, you let go of control. You stop trying to change the outside because you know it only increases the frustration.
There is a wonderful prayer in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous that captures the true meaning so beautifully.
"And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation -- some fact of my life -- unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.
Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God's world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life's terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes."
Repeating this prayer serves as a reminder that you only have the power to control yourself. Once you being to accept life on life's terms, relationships improve because you stop trying to manage situations that you have no control over anyway.
Expecting people to be different than who they are is a set up for disappointment. Acceptance isn't easy but facing what's happening in the moment gets you out of the struggle. You get your energy back because holding on is exhausting!
How do you practice acceptance in your life? Please comment, I'd love to hear from you!
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