ACCEPTANCE IS NOT APPROVAL. I really struggled with that for quite some time. For a few years actually. I would like to look at the definition for acceptance together. I have shared the definition below and also provided a picture of the definition. I would like to bring your attention to definition 3 the subcategory of the definition. It says…
willingness to tolerate a difficult or unpleasant situation.
“a mood of resigned acceptance”
toleration endurance sufferance forbearance putting up with
WOW that says a lot. It was helpful to see that definition for me! Acceptance meant something different for me before this different journey of Addiction entered my life in such a profound way.
Let me repeat that line. “The WILLINGNESS TO TOLERATE A DIFFICULT OR UNPLEASANT SITUATION”. Yes I was not wanting to accept the unpleasant situation I was facing, being affected by addiction in my family.
Wait, I can “accept it” then use acceptance as a tool??! And that also means that I can accept it and not like it. Acceptance can also mean not wanting to go along with the flow and honoring how I am feeling, all at the same time? And Acceptance can also mean that I do not have to fight about something over and over again because I do not like it?! AND IF I DON”T I AM NOT CONDONING IT EITHER!!?? That I do not have to “like what is going on” to meet myself where I am at? WOW, this word Acceptance seems like it could be a game changer, that was new! It was like a whole new world opened up for me. A whole new way of seeing the situation I was dealing with.
It is receiving the situation as it is, rather than resisting it and fighting against it over and over and over again. Side note, as I was doing at one point, for quite some time.
When you accept it, you are no longer telling yourself this should not be happening. Try not to “should, shit’, all over yourself. Should’s interfere with decision making.
You accept that this is the current reality and figure out how to meet your Loved One where they are at. Not easy at times, especially depending on the day.
You have a choice to make here. By exercising your power of choice you get to decide, choose, if you want to try this thing called, Acceptance. More articles on Acceptance in the future.
If your Loved One is abusing substances or is dealing with addictive behaviors, you are currently in a marathon, not a sprint. I wanted to share that with you here because it is helpful to know this as soon as possible so that you can start to conserve your energy right at this very moment.
Acceptance will help you conserve your energy so you can go the distance in this journey you are traveling on. Oh boy, that is so very true for me. Somedays I am way better at this then other days. And guess what? That is okay.
I would like to challenge your automatic thoughts on the situations where “Acceptance” is something that might be helpful. Accepting what the situation actually is at this very moment instead of what you want it to be can greatly and I mean greatly help you reduce the suffering that you are or have been experiencing. It also helps you to realize that you could still choose, exercising your power of choice here to maintain this important relationship with your Loved One but in a different way. Making this shift would be healthier for both you and your Loved One. This idea of Acceptance works with all of your relationship. Work, business, family, friends and even with your neighbors.
Change is the only constant in life, and yet most of us are never taught the tools that will enable us to manage all of the changes we experience. Our ability to adapt to change and uncertainty will determine both our success in life and our overall state of mind, which is a HUGE WIN for us in life!! I was not taught this. I did learn this along the way though. I am still learning this. Dealing with change can bring up a whole lot of different emotions. That is very normal.
While learning to keep the focus on ourselves and learning to actively change, for us is especially relevant right now as we are still in and on this journey. Yes, that is hard at times and hard to accept. Meet yourself where you are at. Acknowledge your feelings about what is going on. Might sound strange. I will say it could be real helpful to do so, up to you to try. No pressure here. All of our lives have changed. Regardless of how old you are, where you live and with who, and what your particular circumstances are with your Loved One, They are their own person and different then they were. It might not be an ideal situation right now, reminding ourselves of that can be helpful to our own starting point of “acceptance”.
Pain + Resistance = Suffering
Now this one is a big one for me. I had to learn this too and boy oh boy was it hard when dealing with Addiction and on some days exceedingly painful. We often ignore what we don’t want to see or what we wish to see differently. Sometimes we devote a lot of time trying to change what is. Consequently, so much energy is wasted by resisting something that cannot be changed in the first place, and suffering comes about from that. If we stop resisting and accept what is, we can stop additional suffering and pain to Ourselves, our Loved One’s, to our family member’s and friends. It will help not carry over what is seriously painful into other areas of our lives, believe it or not.
It’s important to note again that you do not have to like, want, or support whatever it is that you’re accepting. I am going to say that again. It’s important to note that you do not have to like, want, or support whatever it is that you’re accepting. Acceptance starts with perceiving reality as it is right now: what people are rather than what you want them to be and situations that you cannot control. Acknowledge what is present and what is, but know it is not necessarily forever.
Acceptance is an active process. It can seem like why do I have to work on this. Guess what, that is a very normal response and quite okay. It doesn’t mean that you can’t work on changing things and that what you’re accepting will be that way forever. By struggling against reality, what is going on right now—resisting and rejecting it—we create unnecessary additional suffering and pain for ourselves.
Here are four tips on learning acceptance, letting go, and reducing your suffering:
Be patient with yourself. Yes this “be patient with yourself” could be helpful to think about when learning a different way of being. In SMART Recovery we talk about the 3 P’s Patience, Practice, and Persistence. I am a SMART Recovery Family and Friend’s Facilitator also. I currently run two Local SMART Recovery Family and Friends meetings: one on Thursday nights at 8:30pm EST and another which I run run with another Facilitator which meets on Tuesday evenings at 7pm EST. Please feel free to come check these Family and Friend’s meetings out they are free! As I often say, we matter, you matter so being patient with yourself matters!!!
Hello feelings! Please be curious and open to learning. Open to feeling, feelings that you have pushed down. Observe what your patterns are and notice what’s happening. How are you feeling? What emotions come up?
2. Use mindfulness. Okay, side note here. This term used to agitate me. Mindfulness?! What? I have come to find out that there are a few different ways to approach that word. Sometimes to make things more relatable to myself I will swap out the word Mindfulness to Awareness. That seems to help me be less defensive or resistant to the word “mindfulness”. The goal is not to get rid of these internal states or emotions that you observe. When these states or emotions come up, even the unpleasant ones, try to welcome them, I know that sounds nuts, and then appreciate that they are a necessary part of being a human being and learning a new way of being. Remember that All human beings have a range of emotions in response to any and all experiences they have. Let the emotions be as they are. That tends to start to create a more friendly, acceptance-based relationship with your internal state. I know that sound like nonsense, but it’s actually not.
3. Stop resisting. Okay I would like to share when I heard this line, “Like quicksand, the more you struggle against these emotions and feelings, the more you will sink”. I was like oh wow okay that makes sense. I did not really relate to this at first. Over time I did.
All feelings are necessary and important to acknowledge and be with. Yes it can sound real annoying to hear this said. Be with all of your feelings? Yes it is helpful to do so. Additional suffering and pain are created by the resistance to what is. Maybe say to yourself something along the lines of, this too shall pass, like a big huge wave, as all emotions can sometimes be strong and overwhelming. Do not act on them. Press the pause button and step away.
4. Ask yourself: What is one thing that I can let go of that no longer serves me? This too was annoying when I first started this journey. Let go?! Let go of what, of one thing, really? I felt every single thing needed to be hung on to. Not anymore though.
For example using this new tool in your Tool Box, that you are starting to accumulate, could be life changing. I started to notice the changes in my relationships, family situations, friendships, and everyday life. For example I started small, like how the cashier in the supermarket responded to me. I just practiced accepting how ever she was being. Not the easiest all of the time, especially when I was practicing this consciously.
I stopped resisting the reality of how my perception of what just happened was different from my current experiences. I also stop letting my emotions take over. I accepted that I could still enjoy the relationship with my Loved One even though it was not going in the direction I wanted for them. I noticed it was helpful to change my expectations, to let my expectations go. To not expect things or to expect them to be a certain or mandatory way or exactly how I wanted them to be. I became more aligned with what the current situation actually was without attaching meaning to it or taking it so personally and boy was that helpful.
Consider using this time to get really curious about who you want to be right now and what is yours to do. Maybe ask yourself this question which I find helpful. Why not choose the path of curiosity instead of fear? Remain curious about any feelings that arise during these uncertain times. Now is the perfect time to work with a Coach who can help you strengthen the connections to yourself, your Loved Ones to others in your life. Here is where working with a Family Support Tapping Coach can come in pretty handy to help with Acceptance in all it’s forms. That Family Support Tapping Coach helper is me, Cassandra! Tapping is another Tool you can add to your Toolbox of things to help with all areas of your life.
I use Tapping in my professional and personal life, for my own self-care, mental health, well being and in my Toolbox.
If you have any questions regarding how Tapping can help with Acceptance, please give me a call or text at 516-984-3756 or use the button below.
Wishing you well always..
Peace, Love, & Tapping,