My beloved father passed away over a week ago and in experiencing different emotions through the loss, it got me thinking about the power of acceptance. We have all lost something at certain points – the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, the loss of direction, etc. We can either focus on the loss and what we no longer have or we can choose to focus on what we gained from the experience, and what we now have.
My father lived a long life and so it might be easier for me to accept the loss. I can appreciate that he is now out of pain and the frustration of his poor mobility over the past years is now gone. I am also grateful that he had so much in his life, including his mind, up to the end.
Acceptance, appreciation and gratitude – powerful attitudes to help you overcome the challenges in your life.
Acceptance is powerful in helping transition. Without acceptance, one is resisting the natural flow of life, resisting what is and all that usually occurs is frustration, angst and even depression.
Many people struggle to accept others for who they are, or certain situations in life – preferring to try and mold life to their ‘model of the world’. The problem is that we all have a unique outlook, a unique view of how things are and should be. Why do we insist that our view is the right view?
I find a lot of clients struggle to accept themselves – to accept their body, their faults. Acceptance is the first step towards being able to love oneself. Being able to love self frees a person to be authentic, express their true self and to then have authentic relationships with others.
Many people think accepting something or someone might be ‘weak’ or it might mean that one is settling for less. I have had resistance from clients in accepting themselves as they are (even carrying excess weight), thinking that will mean they don’t change. It doesn’t. Accepting what is, allows one then to proceed and make the changes one desires.
It is saying “I’m okay, and what I can improve is …..”. Let’s face it, we can all improve something. It is wrong to think that something or someone is unacceptable until it is perfect.
Appreciation is the next step beyond acceptance. Once you can accept a situation, a person or yourself, then perhaps you can appreciate. I ask clients to make time to appreciate what they have (the attitude of gratitude), rather than focusing on what they don’t.
If you have trouble appreciating, then take a step backward and first work on accepting.
What could you accept and appreciate more in your life? Spend some time every day appreciating or being grateful for what you have in life, what you are doing or creating. Is there someone you could let know that you appreciate them?
A big note here, if you feel that you are not appreciated by others, then do take a look within. Where are YOU not appreciating others and more importantly appreciating yourself? Change starts with you.
I am fortunate to have so many wonderful memories of my father and to have enjoyed a good connection, one of mutual appreciation for each other. I believe appreciation attracts appreciation.