Learning to practice radical acceptance has changed my life, when I can do it that is!
It is such a day-by-day proposition. And, there are definitely some areas of my life where I am better at it than others. What I notice is that to fully accept myself, to fully experience myself, and my life, I have to let go of trying to control it, let go of my expectations of myself and others and then feel all the feelings that come with it. All the ups and downs of life and relationships. The joys and the disappointments.
I also need to accept that there is much in life that is outside of my control, much that I can’t change no matter how hard I try, including within myself. What’s that saying? ‘The one constant in life is change’. And some days I find all that VERY confronting. It happened just this week. My mum and step-dad very kindly and generously lent Heather and I their beautiful apartment to film our new online Compassionate Self-Awareness Program to Know Yourself, Care for Yourself, Be Yourself. It was a truly amazing experience to film it, exhausting and exhilarating. Deeply meaningful. A culmination of years of work & life experience for us both. Our life’s work. And I was so incredibly grateful to my mum & stepdad as there were many long days that they could not be in their home. And then just toward the end of the shoot one of our team members placed some candles under a beautiful and very prominent shelf and it got burnt and cracked and it can’t replaced or easily fixed. I was absolutely guttered. I sat and cried for ages, both in exhaustion and in disappointment.
I had wanted my mum to know how much I appreciated their gift, not to have to tell her at the end that we had ruined something that was not easily fixed. It didn’t happen on purpose, it was a mistake AND there is nothing I can do to change it. I could only deeply apologise and do what I can to make it right from here. While they were extremely gracious about it, practising radical acceptance means I need to simply BE WITH my deep disappointment. Not beat myself up (never easy for me!), not blame, not focus only on the negative. Still acknowledge, appreciate and celebrate all that has gone into this last week, this last year and the many years before it, that have enabled Heather and I to create what we have. I am sure part of it is that it feels so very daunting to soon be putting it out into the world. So vulnerable, as we have literally poured our hearts and our authentic selves into it. And within that, once again, I will need to practice radical acceptance of whatever does or doesn’t happen from here. It’s a vulnerable thing to be human. It’s a vulnerable and courageous thing to practice radical acceptance, and with it also comes much authenticity, space and freedom.
With great warmth Jo