Acceptance doesn’t really get anywhere near enough attention, in my opinion, as a way of protecting mental health & happiness. And it can come up in many forms:
* Accepting a situation
* Accepting & being comfortable with who you are
* Accepting who others are & how they are wired differently to you
* Accepting what we can’t control, or even influence
My mini lesson came today as I attempted to go to my Ukulele class. I try and go every week but today I couldn’t get a parking space. I tried 3 car parks that are close by and then gave up & returned home. In effect I just accepted that today was not going to be a Ukulele day. I COULD have kept trying, waiting in a queue in a car park until a space popped up. But even if I got a space I would have been really rushing, feeling harassed waiting to buy the car park ticket, running over to the building and then feeling harassed while waiting to buy a class ticket, running in late, trying not to disturb the class etc etc. And I hate rushing – it releases stress hormones, makes your heart race, increases inflammation in your body etc. No thank you!
All that rush would have been to attend a class that I do for enjoyment. By the 3rd car park, as the time had ticked by, the balance of stress vs potential joy had tipped and it was time to just accept. To accept that I didn’t want to feel all those stress hormones. That instead I would go home and relax and, while disappointing, that felt fine. Accept and move on.
Sometime to move on it helps to look at what the situation has given us. In my case, time for porridge, which I’d had to miss before I left (and we all know how much I LOVE my porridge). And time to write this blog. Time to do some much needed solo practice on the Ukulele even!
The other forms of acceptance are equally, if not more, important.
For example, if I accept that my older child is not naturally organised, then I can put in place things to help him, instead of just getting cross or frustrated with him (although I do that too sometimes .… coaches are Human too!). If I accept that my Husband won’t notice what needs doing then we can agree that I’ll write him a list of jobs! If I accept that I have terrible menopausal brain fog then I can put lots of alerts into my phone calendar so that I don’t cause myself as much stress by forgetting things. I don’t need to beat myself up or think ‘Why am I so dumb?’ – it’s not helpful. Just accept, adapt, take action if needed and move on.
Acceptance doesn’t mean being a doormat though. It’s about recognising when is the time to keep trying and when is the time to let it go. When can you speak up to try to influence something or someone vs when are you banging your head against a brick wall? What aspects of yourself can you try and get some new more helpful habits for vs when to accept that it’s who you are and arrange your life accordingly.
If you feel the urge, have a ponder about where you might benefit from practicing acceptance. Perhaps there is a situation where you are trying to control too much or fighting against inevitable defeat? Are you appreciating who you really are or who your partner is? What aspects of your child’s character can you embrace a little more? If you found this helpful or interesting please do like or share. Thanks for reading, Sue x