I saw a quote the other day that spoke so loudly to me. It said: “You only see what your eyes want to see.” The reason this resonated with me is because in my journey of life and sobriety, I can remember so many times that I didn’t accept life as it was happening in front of me. I always wanted to change it or mold it into how I wanted to see it instead of seeing it for what it was. And I’m still guilty of this at times.
Accepting life isn’t easy sometimes. It requires us to be mindful, to live in the present moment, to come to grips with reality and to be honest, compassionate and involved in our experiences. Along the way I’ve learned 10 truths about accepting life.
1) Feelings are made to be felt.
We are all prewired from birth with emotions. We were given a broad spectrum of feelings because life is full of equal opposites. We can’t appreciate happiness without knowing true sadness. A good laugh can only be fully realized if we’ve also experience a good cry. There is a time for everything and the more we feel, the more we appreciate all of the moments of life. Accepting our feelings is big piece of the puzzle when it comes to accepting life.
2) Numbing doesn’t take the pain away. It just perpetuates it.
Numbing in any form whether it be drinking, addictions or running from the truth, while it may work for a while, it only makes it worse when we finally do end up feeling it. We can’t outrun our feelings. Numbing and escaping are good distractions, but they don’t change anything. Accepting our pain is part of accepting life.
3) Life is a series of events and lessons that are designed to shape us.
When we understand this, it makes life so much easier. If we can see each circumstance, person, problem or change as something that is design for our greater good, we move into a happier existence and begin to accept life for the lessons it has to teach us.
4) Sometimes moving on and letting go is acceptance.
When we get to the point where we move on from past hang ups and let go of people or things that no longer serve us, I believe that this in and of itself is a form of acceptance. It is a delicate process that takes courage, strength and a strong faith. If you’re holding on to something that isn’t fitting into your life and you can feel it, you can hear it, you just know it…let it go. Accept that in order to move forward we have to let go of the things that may be weighing us down.
5) Mistakes are part of the journey. Learn to love them because they make us wiser.
Mistakes and failures are part of the human experience. We were not made to be perfect. We were made to evolve. In order to evolve, we are going to stumble and sometimes fall flat on our faces. These bumps in the road are put there for character. You can’t learn what you want unless you experience what you don’t want. Accepting life means we accept our mistakes and embrace the wisdom they contain.
6) There will always be a reason to want to escape.
Whether our getaway is with alcohol, drugs, sex, food, gambling or addiction of any kind, we can always find a way to escape life. Escaping is non-acceptance. There will always be a reason we want to escape ranging from denial to experiencing more enjoyment. Either way, we evade life with these excuses and patterns. Transformation occurs when we begin to accept life instead of escape it.
7) Our problems and pain blossom into some of our best stories.
We never grasp this until we look back. Some of my most miraculous life moments happened in the eye of a storm. When our worlds are rocked and pieces of us have been shifted, it is then that we learn what we are made of. Enduring and accepting our problems might be painful, but on the other side of them we come out reformed with new perspective to share and raw footage of what it means to be human.
8) Strength doesn’t mean you never feel anything. Real strength means you feel the pain, accept it and grow from it.
There is a saying that pain is just weakness leaving the body. What a beautiful reminder that when we feel pain, accept it and grow through it, we allow those places of weakness to be refilled with newfound strength. Accepting life takes this level of strength.
9) If you go the same length to feel and work through your most painful experiences as you do to run from them, you’d be surprised how much easier life can actually be.
I read this the other day: “You’d be surprised what lengths people will go to not to face what is real and painful inside of them.” Isn’t that the truth! I used to do it myself. When I finally realized that I could spend that same energy on solutions, life got a lot easier. Denying reality only works for so long. Facing the music is one of the best practices for accepting life.
10) Accepting life on its terms is much easier than fighting the truth or resisting reality.
It is so much easier to accept things than to constantly fight to change them or resist them. I’ve found that resistance takes so much more effort than acceptance. The way I see it is we have two ways of navigating through life. We can accept life, what is happening inside of it and positively work towards the future or we can fight against it miserably and be in a constant struggle. The choice is ours. When we move from resisting to accepting, life becomes more peaceful and fluid.