Sweat & Smiles: To Make Some of the Most Critical of Changes in Life Requires Energy and Acceptance

By Melissa Romano on October 10, 2020 from Sweat & Smiles via Connect-Bridgeport.com

I’m in the business of changing habits, perspectives, and standards of living. All of this requires energy and acceptance.
Energy is something most feel short on. Acceptance is something most have a tendency to resist. You want a different life but hang on to the edges of the old one for dear life. You want to grow yet kick and scream when life offers fertilizer. I say this with love considering I’ve held on and kicked and screamed with the best of them. Hanging on to the edge is not what is stealing your energy. Being buried under fertilizer is not what is stealing your energy. Your resistance is. Carl Jung remind us that what we resist, persists. The only way to change your habits, perspective, and standard of living is to stop resisting the present and begin practicing acceptance.
You can resist by ignoring. Either pretending there is no problem or ignoring that you have the leading role. Burying it all deep down. Sweeping it all under the rug. You can resist by digging your heels in - putting all of your attention and focus on what you don’t want. Ignoring is the more obvious form of resistance. If you ignore a problem it will assuredly persist or grow bigger. Digging your heels in, well, is a deceiving form of resistance. It looks and feels as though you are doing something to fix the problem, and yet it persists. You resist unhealthy behaviors. You resist discomfort. You resist anger, anxiety, depression, rejection, fear, sadness.. and on they will persist. You resist your desire for bread only for it to persist until you’ve eaten an entire loaf. The only way to change your habits, perspective, and standard of living is to stop resisting and begin practicing acceptance.
Acceptance is awareness. There is a reason the first step to addiction recovery is admitting you have a problem. There is no ignoring. You can’t sweep things under the rug. You can’t bury them. You never could. There is no rug large enough and no black hole within. Acceptance doesn’t give things power, it neutralizes them. Accepting that you are feeling angry, anxious, depressed, rejected, scared, sad… doesn’t exacerbate the feelings, it neutralizes them. When I see someone resisting a feeling, most often emotional pain, I ask them to describe the pain to me. I ask where they feel it in their body. I ask if it has texture, taste, smell. Most often the pain begins to neutralize within minutes of acknowledging it. This of course isn’t a one time practice but something to utilize each time that pain is demanding to be felt. When you bring awareness to something, when you neutralize it, you don’t have to fight against it. It simply is. You don’t resist unhealthy behaviors anymore because you’re too busy pursuing the healthy behaviors you want to create. You don’t resist your desire for bread you either accept that you want a piece of bread and eat it or you accept that you want a piece of bread and won’t eat it because it will make you sick. Someone with celiac does not resist the desire to eat a bread, they accept the truth that bread will make them sick.
Acceptance is the actual act of meeting yourself where are you. Acceptance is using life’s fertilizer to grow. If you want a different life you have to accept where you are right now. Neutralizing this resistance shifts your perspective from “I don’t want to be here” to “I am here and want to go there”. Without resistance you’ll let go of the edge and be on your way.
With radical acceptance,

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