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.
I enjoy sanity when I look at life realistically.
This is aware-ness. A good start. It's also incomplete. It's eighty-eight percent of the an-swer when hand-ling life's problems. There's no remedy if we don't
see the issue.
Some clients kick themselves when they are aware of an area needing improvement. "Gosh, if I only saw this ten years ago," they
I see it differently. If we now see an area needing growth, that means we are getting healthier. Yes, we are becoming a better person. We have a maturer perspective.
Rooting Out the Problem
The Vital Need for Acceptance
But, we want to go beyond awareness. Acceptance follows. This is dealing with the emotional impact of our circumstances. This step is often neglected. If we don't take it, we are only trimming the shrub of our problems, using awareness and action alone. Our problems will reappear.
Acceptance is handling the issue at the visceral level. It involves several steps:
1. Seeing the vexing area.
2. Feeling our emotions and needs beneath them.
3. Taking our feelings a step further by grieving any losses involved.
4. Letting the negative sentiments go---often through forgiveness. This is coming to terms with reality---not living in a fantasy or with defensive hope.
5. Seeing what steps we can take next, acting upon our options.
Acceptance helps address the problem from the heart level. Acceptance is not acceptance with resignation, "Oh, this is my lot in life, I'll bear with it."
Here's another critical point: many go straight from awareness to action. "I see the problem, and, this is what I need to do.....," then develop an action plan. Bad idea. We are only operating from our head. Our emotions are ignored. Without acceptance, the problem can't be rooted out.
When was the last time we made time, determining why we isolate? When have we done an inventory of an area perturbing us? Connecting at the gut level, looking at the payoff for unhealthy behavior helps us see our areas of need. It's uncovering our motives. We don't do anything, if there isn't a reward.
Key point regarding acceptance: we don't have the psychological or emotional distance to clearly see areas needing growth. Having friends who accept and love us, yet challenge us are a great help when rooting out a problem.
The Shoe Leather of Personal Growth
After we are aware of the triggers, source, behavior and people who contribute to our difficulties, we apply shoe leather.
Donning the protection of practical principles and practical action steps help us when we are out in the street of life, handling its demands. We want to healthy alternatives. We move away from unhelpful default modes, unsuccessful former approaches to life's challenges.
Action is the remaining step needed for handling painful 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. We enjoy better relationships. Sanity, serenity, emotional health and ease becomes ours.
My Gratitudes for Today:
Being Kind Towards Myself
1. I rode six miles in the hills of Lake Chabot yesterday and eight miles today. I loved flying on two wheels."We achieve inner health only through forgiveness - the forgiveness not only of others but also of ourselves." - Joshua Loth Liebman
2. I'm thankful for making time for me, by cycling.
3. I value prayer. Without it, I'd be lost. I've discovered over the years 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.
How About You?
Which of the three A's are you using to deal with the difficult areas in your life?