Acceptance: Turning Breakdowns Into Breakthroughs
Once in awhile most folks get to feeling that life is falling apart. Mine looked like a train wreck last month, one disaster after another. At the bottom of it all was my son, 38, developmentally disabled and chronically angry, a tremendous drain on my energy and finances. I felt I could no longer cope with the daily challenges of life with Pat, on top of the business and health challenges that I was facing. The main issue is that Pat does not accept his disability, pushes against his limitations, and resents me and any authority in his life as the source of his problems. In his mind we are the barriers to his enjoying life… we just won’t “let” him do what he wants.
If only Pat were capable of doing what he wants . If only he could see the purpose in being who he is. If only he could enjoy his life as it is. It’s actually pretty good, by many folks’ standards. If only he could accept his handicaps…
As so often happens, in this same cycle acceptance was coming up as a common theme in my readings. Finally in a recent radio show when the role of acceptance came up around being psychic, I knew I needed to look more deeply.
I wanted to write about the power of acceptance, but every time I started, I stopped. The words wouldn’t come. I thought of writing how acceptance is about claiming your power in the present, and then how accepting what is, as it is, leads to creative new solutions.
I thought of how my son railed against his disabilities, how senseless was his struggle, how wasteful all the energy and time spent asking Why? Why, Why Me? And I remembered my own questioning, and how often my clients cried out in anguish over the same questions, Why? Why me? Why him?
I know there is purpose in all, and that it is important to understand and accept there is value in every experience, every relationship. Yet knowing why doesn’t change what IS! That’s where acceptance and living in the now come in. In order to change what is, to move past the obstacle or the challenge, we need to accept it as it is. Sometimes purpose needs time to reveal itself. Until then, staying present, dealing with the practicalities, the realities of “what is” keeps you moving forward.
There’s an old adage in the self-growth movement – “what you resist, persists.” When we are able to recognize, acknowledge, accept – embrace – ourselves and our circumstances as they are, we can break old patterns, turn flaws into features and transform obstacles into springboards to success.
These were the thoughts floating in my mind for this article, and there they hung. Until yesterday, while meditating in one of my favourite places, the bath. Seemingly out of nowhere came the words “acceptance is also about opening to joy, abundance and contentment, accepting your gifts and your talents.” My guides flipped the lights on.. I immediately saw why I had been blocked.
Acceptance of “what is” is a two-pronged task. Yes, we need to accept, love and be grateful for our flaws, our handicaps, our mistakes, our challenges and our lessons in life. When we see clearly and in the now, when we work with what is, as it is, we can claim our power to change, grow and get better.
Acceptance of my circumstances and Pat’s deep frustration was the first step in finding creative solutions, in being able to move forward with some comfort that the solutions are also practical and realistic. But it wasn’t until I noticed that I needed also to accept joy, and love, to be willing to receive abundance that I felt my spirit actually lift.
So, the second – and perhaps most important – part of the task in accepting what is, is to look at what is good, what works, what brings joy and peace into our lives and homes.
As the light dawned in me, I saw that while I had focused on accepting, I had been focused on accepting the negatives, focused on learning and growing from them, and so I was still heavy in spirit, plodding along, making progress, but… The first level of acceptance led to being relieved of some anxiety, yet I remained blocked. The moment I saw the second part of the task, accepting joy, abundance, freedom, good health – all that is good to me – I felt my heart open and the light shine through to my soul…
In the midst of a train wreck, we have little choice but to accept the crisis and dig in to fix what we can where we can. Pretending there is no problem, no handicap, or mistake leaves no opening for healing. But accepting a breakdown for what it is is only the first step in the healing process… too often, in the midst of recovery, we forget to also accept love, and joy… our hearts have so contracted, our feelings become so contained that we are not open to receiving grace, the grace of accepting All That is Good in our lives.
There lies the secret to turning a breakdown into a breakthrough – first accepting that you’ve broken down, accepting that you must change in order to break through, and second opening your heart to receive love and joy, accepting that you can attract all that is good in life. All it takes is an open heart to create a real breakthrough! And we open our hearts by accepting, loving, being joyful and grateful for what is… both the good and the bad of what is.
Until next time, Lotsa LLLove, Danielle