Here are two powerful examples that will explain how acceptance will set you free – free from feeling like a failure, free to get unstuck, and free to have greater joy and peace in your life.
1. How Acceptance Will Set You Free from the Past
The past is past. But the past is important, after all, it’s history. We don’t want to forget our past. There are important milestones and achievements we’ve made. All experiences mold us and make us who we are in the present moment.
Holding onto mistakes or traumatic experiences, however, can thwart your forward progress and even cause physical illness.
An Example of Acceptance of the Past
I believe that acceptance is one of the most powerful spiritual practices in life. That’s why it is one of the secrets from my book: The Freedom to EAT – 10 Secrets for Lasting Weight Loss and Inner Peace.
In the first half of the book, where I share my struggle, I had not accepted the effect that my father’s behavior had had in my life. He became an alcoholic and was later diagnosed with bi-polar disorder after he left our family.
His violent behavior and verbal and physical abuse towards my mother was never talked about. As a result, I stuffed down all my feelings, which led to an eating disorder. Denial and busyness became my go to way of coping.
I thought that alcohol was his problem. While I didn’t become an alcoholic, I became a workaholic and developed an unhealthy relationship with food. I didn’t abuse other people, but I was constantly beating myself up for not being good enough.
I was able to accept the effect that his behavior had in my life and how I coped. I was able to accept that I didn’t have the love and support to deal with the trauma I experienced.
My father and I were estranged when he died. I realize now that he was not in his right mind. I know that he loved me.
Not Accepting Unfairness or Trauma Leads to Suffering
I had seen a counselor going through my divorce. I remember her saying, “The only fair is in Sedalia, Missouri.” (This is where our state’s fair is held.)
This was not a flippant comment. She was making a point that life is not always fair. I’m sure many times you’ve experienced a situation that wasn’t fair.
Blaming and wishing something were different only leads to suffering. By accepting what happened, even in the unfairness, you can then let it go.
The people that have hurt you may have no self-awareness that they have hurt you. Staying in that place of hurt will only cause you to suffer.
I am reminded of the powerful words that Jesus said from the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” That’s why you need to accept and let it go.
2. How Acceptance Will Set You Free to Find Joy Where You Are
Accept where you are. Do you want to lose weight, start a business, improve your health, find your soul mate, get in better shape, find greater peace, pursue a lofty dream?
These aspirations take time, effort, consistency, and perseverance. I love author Anne Lamott’s advice for beginning anything:
“Start where your butt is.”Anne Lamott
In our culture of overnight success and viral videos, it’s easy to get discouraged. Anything worthwhile takes time.
I loved the acceptance speech by Anais Mitchell, winner of the Tony award for best score for the musical Hadestown. She said three things she learned on her multi-decade journey to win the Tony:
- Nobody does it alone
- It takes a long time
- It’s worth it
If you focus on how far you have to go, you will miss the joy in living in the present moment, right where you are. It’s easy to become so overwhelmed that you do nothing.
Time seems to be moving at warp speed. Just think if you took little baby steps each day in the pursuit of your heart’s desires. Suddenly, a day goes by, then a week, then a month, then a year of forward progress that you will make each day.
The same is true if you do nothing. Dreaming, wishing, and hoping are not action steps. Accept where you are and take action every day.
Are you pursuing a heart’s desire? I’d love for you to share in the comment section below.
If you want to go deeper into acceptance and the other 10 Secrets from The Freedom to EAT including, Awareness, Letting Go of Judgments, and Living Life, purchase through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and digitally on Kobo.
The Freedom to EAT was named finalist by the International Book Awards in the category of Health: Women’s Health!