· By Case Kenny
Control it or accept it?
What is healing, forgiveness, moving on, starting a new chapter, closure… really about? It's about acceptance.
Acceptance of what you can't control.
Acceptance of what happened.
Acceptance of the experience.
It’s a core tenet of any healing process.
At the end of the day, to move on… in some way you HAVE to get to headspace where you accept what happened, you accept what didn’t happen, you accept the way the past was.
If you realize that and you realize that acceptance is a pivotal part of the times where you’re healing… what about the times where you’re just living your life?
Can we apply the same need for acceptance?
What if we practiced radical acceptance every day of our lives?
What if we learned to practice accepting the things we cannot control - not just when we need to in the instance of a breakup or something bad in life… but always?
What if we lived with a motto of: "I accept the things I cannot control."
I’m sure you’d agree this is great to do this. We know this is a good thing.
There's a prayer called the serenity prayer: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
It’s part of the 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.
It’s the first step in the 12 steps of Alcoholics anonymous: We admit we are powerless over alcohol — our lives had become unmanageable. We recognize the power of acceptance in times of need. In times of stress. In times of healing.
But what about outside of those times?
Why don’t we harness it in bigger more consistent ways?
Why can’t we learn to ask ourselves 24/7… since this thing is out of my control… is this something to be controlled or something to be accepted?
I’ve found that acceptance equals confidence.
Since I can’t control a a lot of things in life... that means I’m free to try my best, put my best foot forward at least once.
Why not try?
I can't control a couple of key things in life… I can't control what other people do. I can’t control how people see me, the way people judge, label or misunderstand me. I can’t control what other people will think, I can’t control their conditioning, I can’t control the kind of mood someone else is in.
Why not shoot my shot at least once? Why not share my opinion at least once? Why not do something radically bold at least once?
I accept whatever reaction comes my way - i can’t control it beyond how I presented myself that one time, that first time.
Think about something you’ve healed from, something you’ve forgiven yourself or someone else for in the past.
At a certain point you made peace with that something, right?
You said "I accept that this happened and I'm moving on." Can you name that one thing? "I accept that I made a mistake. I accept that I made the wrong choice. I accept that someone intentionally hurt me."
Big things. You realized you deserved to move on. You have proof that radical acceptance helps you move on. Acceptance is what gave you the power to take step forward.
Can you apply that same motivation in the present?
In small micro ways? Radical acceptance in the present?
You can’t control what other people do. You can’t control people’s preconceived conditioning. You can’t control things out of your control.
So why not put yourself in a position to accept whatever happens?
Why not approach life through a lens of radical acceptance that says "is this something to be controlled or accepted?"
Is this an experience that needs to be reacted to or accepted?
Is this a person who needs to be convinced or accepted?