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  • Acceptance is the Answer



    This unwillingness to sit with the feelings leads to cloudy thinking and behaviors which cause us to feel guilt and shame.  It becomes a vicious cycle because the only way we know to get rid of stress, guilt and shame is to numb out the feeling instead of accepting it and letting it pass.  But when we numb out negative feelings, we also close ourselves off to happiness and joy.

    On the other hand, when we accept the negative emotion and can simply sit with it until it dissipates, we practice opening ourselves up to accepting the discomfort.  It’s just a feeling.  It’s not dangerous, it’s just annoying. We are willing to face the challenge and simply notice ourselves slowing down to observe our feelings and thoughts and bring awareness to our values, morals, and beliefs.  Our emotions rise like waves in the ocean.  They peak and then fall.  It’s our willingness to sit with the emotion until it weakens which promotes acceptance and self-care.

    Maimonides states: “For whatever a man thinks is hurting him, and it brings sadness and mourning, it can only be for two reasons: Either he meditates upon the past; losing money, a family death, or he meditates on what is going to happen in the future and imagines he will suffer a loss.  It is known through intellectual observation that ruminating over the past will be of no avail in any way and these are the actions of people who lack intellect.” 

    Psalms (37:3) states, “Trust in God and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faith…his heart should trust securely in God, and he should not fear the future and what it may bring.”  The opposite of fear is having the courage to trust in God, because we cannot control the future.  Some people are born with a predisposition to fear.  Everyone experiences fear, frustration, insecurity, resentment, and discontent to some degree.  It’s having the courage to push through the fear and accept the fact we have no control over the future.

    The answer is acceptance. When we can accept reality, we become less stressed out. Acceptance doesn’t mean we approve of past events that happened to us, or circumstances that are happening today. But we realize that we cannot change other people, situations, or circumstances. It’s our attitude toward those circumstances that determines our mental health. When we take the energy consumed in being resentful and adapt it to what we can change and achieve, we remain free of anger and resentment.

    There is a relationship between anger, resentment, shame, and fear.  Imagine an iceberg.  Peeking up through the water is the tip of the iceberg which represents shame.  We hold in shame because it’s embarrassing to be vulnerable enough to admit we have a flaw.  Under the surface of the water, spread out wide and clear are the foundations of the iceberg, anger and fear.  Shame covers up the anger and fear we feel that we don’t want to express.  The problem is,  if you don’t reveal your true self by talking about the shame, others will re-invent you and you may not like what they come up with!

    To discover how to get from resentment to contentment download our FREE e-booklet by clicking on this link.