Those who have spent any time in a 12 Step program usually get a relatively good understanding of the term “acceptance” from the get go. It’s crucial to give us a goal – a place to which we aspire, whether or not we can practice it on a consistent basis.
I have always understood that acceptance means I can accept the hand that is dealt. It doesn’t imply that I have to like it. But if I can accept, my path is a little easier – and definitely a LOT simpler.
However, I know many (myself included at times) who tend to accept begrudgingly.
When I started on a more serious study of my spiritual beliefs, I came across the concept of “allowing.” Just saying it give me a sense of relief.
To me, allowing means I don’t have to fight it at all. I just have to recognize things are as they are – possibly as they are meant to be – who knows? I just feel so much peace when I remind myself to allow.
I don’t mean any disrespect to those who feel they must fight something in their path. I understand that it gives them a sense of personal power and a motivation to get past something. However, I think sometimes the mindset is “If I don’t fight it, I am giving in or giving up.” I don’t believe it has to be all or nothing.
For example, I have had some health issues this year that have, at times, knocked me on my butt! I’ve never had this experience, as I’ve always been very healthy and physically strong and have prided myself in eating well most of the time, working out and meditating to care for myself in all areas.
I can’t say I have always accepted my illness. And I still slip back into fighting it from time to time. But I’m slowly learning something.
(Before I go further, I want you to know that I understand what I’m about to say may sound kind of “woo woo” to some of you. I get it, but it’s working for me so far).
I’m learning that if I allow my illness to be what it is without stressing about it, that I can see it with love. I fully believe that if there is a purpose to life here on earth, it is primarily to connect with others and to learn to truly love myself. Since I believe we are all One and
part of a larger entity (God, Source, Universe . . .), those are two aspects of the same thing.
When I can see my illness as as part of myself that has simply recently shown up, I can welcome it lovingly. I believe it’s here to teach me something, and I might as well get about learning the lesson, so I can move on. That’s not giving in to it. I’m even more motivated to take care of myself – and to love myself more. I’m using traditional medicine to a small extent, but I’m being more proactive in pursuing alternative treatments that focus on my energy and love of my Source and Self.
In the midst of all of this, I use a lot of loving self-talk – and gratitude toward my illness, thanking it for being present and allowing me this opportunity to learn.