What are you being asked to accept today?
What major change are you facing?
As I enter the senior years, losses seem to be a routine part of life. I hear the poignant and tragic stories of people who are struggling to make ends meet, or struggle with the loss of their health or the untimely death of a spouse.
My first response when I suffer a setback is to think, Oh no, not again, Lord, I have had enough.
But then I read of what others are going through and realize my problems are trivial in comparison.
As I complete a new chapter in my new book, The Next Step, which speaks to acceptance and letting go, I am reminded again of how important it is to develop this skill.
What acceptance is not
To accept our situation does not mean we are powerless, unless we choose to remain powerless. It doesn’t mean we give up; instead it means we stop resisting and struggling. It doesn’t mean we are a victim or somehow to blame or others are to blame for all the bad luck we are having.
Working through the hurt and uncertainty of adversity is never easy. We may want to withdraw and isolate ourselves, not wanting others to see our vulnerability or our doubts. Sometimes we build thick walls around our spirits to protect us from further hurt and disappointments.
But it is precisely in those difficult times where we grow our spiritual muscles, come to terms with our inabilities and begin a trusting relationship with God.
We find in acceptance and letting go, a relief and sense of peace because we have stopped struggling with the reality we find ourselves.
Letting go may not give us all the answers we desire, but our spirits are calmed and we are able to look for new solutions, pick up the pieces and rebuild.
Acceptance is not giving up. It is not resignation. It is opening your hand and allowing new information to meld with the old in order to examine new options and new opportunities.
Here are some ways we can understand acceptance
- Acceptance means I do not have to stay in this uncomfortable spot – I can learn and move on
- Acceptance says life isn’t fair – I didn’t ask for this, but I can work with it
- Acceptance means a new beginning, starting right here, in this moment , right now
- Acceptance tells me I don’t have all the answers and don’t need to pretend I do
- Acceptance means I can ask for help when I need it
- Acceptance tells me I am okay no matter what has happened
- Acceptance means I don’t have to blame someone or something for what has happened; Allowing ourselves to remain a victim is self-defeating and a dead end
- Acceptance acknowledges my need for forgiveness, grace, humility and honesty. I allow God and others into my life and walk with their support
- Acceptance allows me to discover myself with dignity and honesty. I am free to be me, with all my shortcomings as well as all my unique qualities, special gifts and talents
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