Can Acceptance Really Bring Freedom?



Rant, rage, stomp, fume, blame, criticise, complain, moan.

So often this is what we do instead of accepting how things are. It’s as if that very action of accepting will condone the situation, or let someone ‘get off scot free’, or because we don’t know what else to do.

Our society doesn’t help – in the papers and online you read all the time about people blaming others, trying to discover ‘who’s fault it was’, and doing all sorts of odd things to avoid any part they might have had in a situation.

The trouble is, it’s this kind of anger and blame that actually keeps you stuck. Stuck in your own emotions, stuck in righteousness, just plain old stuck. Not very comfortable.  Understandable, but definitely not comfortable.

Accepting that change has happened; that certain things will never go back to how they used to be is actually the way forward. It gets you unstuck. It helps you take your foot out of the mud of regret, blame, bitterness and resentment and move forward into open-heartedness and love once more. It’s a much nicer place to be. Acceptance brings freedom – yes, it really does. As Eckhart Tolle says:

“The basis for true change is freedom from negativity. And that’s what acceptance implies: no negativity about what is. And then you see what this moment requires: what is it that is required now so that life can express itself more fully?”

It is of course, easier said than done, but doing this was a huge part in my own process in being willing to move on after my husband died. So how can you accept just one thing about your situation right now?

Simply be here, right now, with whatever is happening. Right now, it’s reading this. You’re probably able to accept you are reading this; but possibly not finding it so easy to accept what you’re reading.

Here’s a hint though: read this paragraph, and then just close your eyes. Turn your attention inwards and focus on your breath. Notice your breath just happens all by itself; notice how it comes in through your nose, feeling slightly cool perhaps on the inside of your nostrils. Feel it going into your lungs, or your chest, or wherever it is going. This is acceptance, right now.

If you want to know how I worked with acceptance, I tell all in my book Gifted By Grief. It wasn’t easy. I realise now, looking back, that the shock I experienced for months after was a form of non-acceptance. And that’s OK. If your experience in the moment is not-accepting, then you can accept that!

Remember, you can always reach out to me or to others if you want more support to help you accept (even if you feel ambivalent, guilty or resentful about accepting your loss).

Contact me and I can listen to you. You don’t have to do this alone; and you can join my new Facebook group for people who want to be able to find the gift in their grief.



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