Monday, February 3, 2014

How To Accept Your Self and Your Life...."As Is"

I've always been a fairly "ambitious" person - it seems to come with the territory of being a Capricornian.

Not that being ambitious is a bad thing, per se, but ambition seems to come with an inherent sense of dissatisfaction. Ambition says I want more. I want better. I want bigger...

It's something I've struggled with - how to strike that balance between aiming high and dreaming big, while accepting and being grateful for where I am right now.

During the last 12 months, a recurring theme running through my experiences, has been the need to accept what is.

Accept my life as it is right now (and not for what it may be in the future).

Accept myself as I am right now (and not for who I'll be one day...).

Accept people as they are (and not for who I wish them to be.)

I've done a lot of thinking and soul-searching on this issue, and though I still have a ways to go, I wanted to share some of the epiphanies and realizations that have been helpful to me, in learning how to simply accept what is.

1. The realization that everything that happens to me is a gift.

This is just as true for the experiences that we might label as "problems", as it is for the experiences we enjoy and strive for. 

Struggle, disappointment, sorrow...these are gifts that allow us to fully experience and appreciate their opposites. We cannot fully experience (let alone appreciate) happiness if we have never experienced sadness. There is no such thing as abundance, if there is no lack. One gives meaning to the other.

2. The knowledge that, on a soul level, I chose this experience.

I attracted this! Our conscious mind might never have chosen disappointments or sadness or loss (in fact, we would probably avoid it at all costs), but our soul (our true self) attracts and manifests the very situation we need, in order to learn and grow and become the person we were meant to be. 

I just finished reading "Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah" by Richard Bach, and among the many quotes I loved, was this little gem:

"There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in it's hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts."

Our thoughts create our reality, so if my circumstances are not to my liking, there is no point in railing against God/the economy/the government/the people who annoy me/the weather/the "elites"...etc, etc, because I, and I alone, am responsible for my thoughts and the way I perceive and react and experience this life.

This is both sobering and liberating, all at once.

3. Remembering that we cannot change the past, but we also cannot change the present.

It is what it is. Sure, we get to influence what happens next, but we simply cannot change what is right now. It is futile and draining to even try.

For so much of my life, I have struggled (in vain, I might add) against what is. I have railed and resisted, not realising that you strengthen that which you resist (kind of like being a sparring partner for a champion boxer. Each round we resist him only strengthens him and allows him to perfect his technique further...). What a relief to finally stop resisting and start going with the flow!

4. Reminding myself that nothing - that's NO THING (or NO BODY, for that matter) - can affect me or control me...unless I choose to allow it.

I can choose to struggle against or I can choose to accept. 

Either way, the choice is always mine.

It's called free will. It's the most powerful - and most under-utilized - choice in the Universe. The power to choose our own thoughts. Too bad that so many of us unthinkingly concede that power to people and circumstances outside of ourselves. "He made me so mad..." (Nobody has the power to "make" you feel anything. Only you can do that!) and "She left me with no choice..." (Stop right there. You ALWAYS have choices. Even Nelson Mandela, inside his prison cell for 27 years, had choices. He was free to choose forgiveness or hatred. Anger or peace. And the moment he realized this, he became free-er than many people who have never seen the inside of a jail-cell...)

5. Realizing that I may not be perfect...but I'm perfectly where I should be.

The beauty of life and humanity and nature, is that it is constantly evolving, ever changing...such is the way of things. I am not the same as I was yesterday, or last week or last year.

I, too, am changing and evolving with the great cycle of life.

Rather than always looking ahead at how far I've still got to go, it's okay to sometimes look back and see how far I've come....and know that everything is perfectly as it should be. 

I am a work-in-progress, perfectly imperfect, beautifully flawed...

Trust the journey.


Gluten Free Aussie said...

It is amazing how we grow when faced with challenges - I have struggled with addiction at times and like you wrote - it is me sort of fighting against the inevitable.
I go much better when I am focussed on myself and doing what makes my family and I happy. Nice post.

Kate Punivai said...

Thank you! It is great that you possess the self-awareness to sense where your challenges lie, and what works for you.

I want to say thank you for linking to me on your blog. I appreciate that!