I seriously love MindBodyGreen.com. It would be awesome to get paid for talking about them so much. Alas, that's not why I'm writing. I'm writing because yet another article hit home today. It's about acceptance. Learning to accept reality has been difficult for me in the past few years. I didn't want to accept that my husband can't have a biologically related child. I didn't want to accept that my life was headed down the wrong path, into a deeper, darker hole than I've ever been in before. I didn't want to accept that children just aren't in the cards for us for a while, if ever. I didn't want to accept that the plans I had for my life weren't feasible. I didn't want to accept that I was going to have to give up on a long-standing dream. Most recently, I didn't want to accept that I was a hoarder.
Acceptance is hard. It doesn't just happen. It takes work. It takes effort. And most of all, it takes hope. That seems counter-intuitive; at first glance, acceptance is giving up hope. And pessimistic people will see it that way. I saw it that way. In some cases, hope can be interchanged with faith. Example: If your mom died, part of accepting that she is gone is the belief that one day you'll see her again in heaven. You have faith that God exists and heaven is real - and that faith helps you accept that her Earthly body is gone, but maybe in spirit she isn't. Obviously my religious views are different than most, and I don't believe that heaven or Hell exists, so I don't have the luxury of believing that I'll meet a dead family member ever again. My acceptance of death is different than others. But death isn't what I want to focus on today.
The article has 5 main points about acceptance.
1. Acceptance does not mean liking, wanting, choosing, or supporting.
2. Acceptance is an active process. It must be practiced.
3. Acceptance doesn't mean that you can't work on changing things.
4. Acceptance doesn't mean you're accepting is going to be that way forever.
5. We can practice acceptance toward our experience, people, appearance, emotions, ideas, and more.
I haven't decided that I like the idea of never having kids. I hate the situation, but I have accepted that I can't have that dream right now. I can continue to work towards that goal. I can hope that in the future, I'll have changed what's necessary in order to have kids. But today, I can't. Today I'm an aunt and a child-free wife. I remind myself that I have plenty of time to become a mom. I don't have to worry about it right now. I can enjoy being a 20-something. Accepting the possibility of not having children doesn't mean it'll always be like this. We could get a call one day from a friend that is pregnant and wants us to adopt. The future is uncertain.
I don't like that I have admitted I'm a hoarder, but I accept that at this point I am. I know that I can change my situation. I can teach myself to let go of unnecessary items. I can get rid of that project I started years ago that still isn't finished. I can trash that 7th grade yearbook I've been dragging around. I've accepted that I have too much crap (especially after this last move that almost killed me.) I may be a hoarder today, but I don't have to stay that way. I can work on changing my view of worldly items while still accepting my current situation.
My new goal for the rest of the year is to become more accepting of people, situations and emotions I can't control.