Tuesday, February 11

The Five Levels of Acceptance 2/11/14

"You can't undo anything you've already done,
 but you can face up to it.  You can tell the truth. 
 You can seek forgiveness.  And let God do the 
rest."   Unknown
      I'm bumping up this post, written in 2012........

       Recently, life has had more drama than
I care for, such as it is.  It continues this morning, and throughout this day.  I'll get to the Three A's after sharing what makes me thankful.

    In the midst of all these circumstances I rely on God's help, power and the serenity He alone offers.

    I haven't been sleeping much. That's no fun, either. Am I complaining?  I hope not.  I'm simply inventorying the past few weeks.  I need awareness before any improvements can be made in the areas where I'm challenged.

My Gratitudes for Today:
Being Kind Towards Myself
"We achieve inner health only through forgiveness - the forgiveness not only of others but also of ourselves."                         - Joshua Loth Liebman
1. I lost an important notebook that had important records, telephone numbers and inspirational information. Oh darn.

     It's an occasion like this that allows me to be patient towards myself.  This includes forgiving myself.  I'm human, responding like many do when they are under tremendous stress.

2.  I don't take God's gifts for granted, which includes my friends.  Life would be more tense without them.

3.  I value prayer. Without it, I'd be lost.  I've discovered that I'm as strong spiritually as I am in my prayer.

4.  I appreciate prayers you, the guests of this inn, toss towards heaven on my behalf.  Yes, yours, they count.

The Importance of Awareness

       I celebrate the sanity enjoyed when looking at life realistically.  This is awareness.  It's a good start, but incomplete.  It's eighty percent of the answer, when dealing with a problem. There's no remedy without first seeing the issue.

       Awareness deals with the challenges.  I'm seeing progress, my learning curve is spiking upwards. Circumstances that once lingered for months, perhaps years, are now handled within two months.  Thank God for personal growth.

Rooting Out the Problem
The Vital Need for Acceptance

      But, it's vital going beyond awareness.  Acceptance is next.  This is taking the perspective awareness provides and dealing with it's emotional impact---an aspect often neglected.  If  we don't take this step, we are only trimming the shrub of our problems, guaranteeing they will grow back.

       Acceptance is getting in touch with the issue at the visceral level.  It involves five steps.  It is:
1.  Seeing the vexing area.
2.  Feeling our response.
3.  Taking our feelings a step further and grieving the losses involved.
4.  Letting the negative sentiments go---often through forgiveness.
5.  Seeing what steps we can take next. This is looking at our options.

      Acceptance helps us to remove the problem and eighteen percent of the solution.  This is not acceptance with resignation.  It is not, "Oh, this is my lot in life, I'll have to bear with it."

      Here's another critical point: many go straight from awareness to action. "I see the problem, and now, this is what I need to do....." and then come up with an action plan.  Bad idea.   If this is our approach, we are only operating within our head.  The heart level is not dealt with. Without acceptance, the problem isn't rooted out.

      When was the last time we made time, doing an inventory of an area perturbing us, be it festering resentments or the torture of self-loathing?   Connecting at the gut level, looking at the payoff for unhealthy behavior allows us see where we need help.  It's uncovering our motives.  We don't do anything, if there wasn't a reward.

       Key point regarding acceptance: we don't have the psychological or emotional distance to clearly see areas where we need to grow.  Having friends who accept and love us, yet challenge us with hard questions are of great help when rooting out a problem.

The Shoe Leather of Personal Growth

       After becoming aware of the triggers, source, behavior and people who contribute to our difficulties, and having acceptance about them,  we apply shoe leather.

       Donning the protection of practical principles and actions help us when we are out in the street of life, handling life's demands.  Applying  healthy alternatives---moving away from unhelpful default modes, unsuccessful former approaches to life's challenges---permits us to tread upon the gravelly aspects of life with minimal discomfort.

       Action is the remaining two percent needed for handling painful areas strewn with the broken glass of life.  There you have it, the Three A's.  Awareness deals with the head, acceptance with the heart and action with the feet (what we do).  Applying healthier alternatives---staying in the solution---helps us move beyond what were once monuments of our past pain into the meadow of better relationships, sanity, serenity, emotional health and ease.

How About You? 
Which of the three A's are you using to deal with a rocky area in your life?

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Quotes from the Posts

"I'm mindful that our thoughts affect the words we use, our words influence our actions, our actions shape our character and our character determines our destiny."

From "My Character Determines My Destiny." To read it, please click here.

"Progress not perfection, is better than no progress at all, especially when we're trying to rid ourselves from unwelcome dragons that dwell within the closets of our soul."

From, "Still Learning" which, within four days, became the most popular post
written. To read it, please click here.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, but it does empty today of its strength"
From the post: "Life Is Not a Correspondence Program." Click here to read it.

"Even though we cannot control our circumstances, we can control how we choose to respond to them."

From, "Handling Stress and Dealing With an Emotional Bully."Click here to read this post.

"Nope, being busy isn't exciting. Boring is good. Because boring is not boring; boring is being healthy, living a balanced life that has serenity"

From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.