"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
We celebrate the sanity en-joyed when we look at life real-istically.
This is aware-ness. It's a good start, but incom-plete. It's eighty-eight percent of the answer when deal-ing with problems. There's no remedy without first seeing the issue.
Awareness helps us overcome life's challenges and disappoint-ments. It helps us see progress. When our learning curve spikes upwards there's no better encouragement.
With greater awareness, circumstances that once lingered, for months----perhaps years---are now dealt with quickly. We begin to thank God for quicker personal growth.
Rooting Out the Problem
The Vital Need for Acceptance
It's vital going beyond awareness, seeing the problem. Acceptance takes place next. This is taking the perspective awareness provides.
Acceptance is dealing with its emotional impact. This step is often ignored. If we don't take this action, we are only trimming the shrub of our problems. We are not rooting it out. The problems will grow back.
1. Seeing the vexing area.
2. Feeling our re-sponse.
3. Taking our feelings a step further. We grieve the loss involved.
4. Letting the negative sentiments go---often through forgive-ness. Forgiveness is not forgetting, it is letting go of the hurt.
5. Seeing what steps we can take next. This is looking at our options.
Acceptance helps remove ten percent of the problem. Did you notice? Acceptance is not acceptance with resignation. "Oh, this is my lot in life. I'll have to tolerate it."
Here's a critical point: many go straight from awareness to action. "I see the problem, and now, this is what I need to do....." and design an action plan. Bad idea.
level is not addressed. With-out acceptance, the problem isn't rooted out.
When was the last time we made time, determining why we isolate? When have we done an inventory of a perturbing area? When have we made the time to root out festering resentments? When have we looked at steps that overcome the torture of self-loathing?
We need to connect at the gut level. If we want to heal our pain. That doesn't happen if we go rational, as most of us do. Negative feelings just don't disappear, if ignored.
It is wise looking for the payoff for our unhealthy behavior. When have we investigated our thinking, checking for false beliefs? It's emo-tionally healing, uncovering our motives. We don't do anything if there isn't a reward.
There's a key point regarding acceptance. We don't have the psychological or emotional distance to clearly see areas needing growth. We need friends who accept us. When we fail, they are compassionate.
We thrive when surrounded by friends who loves us. Yet they challenge us. With hard questions. This is what's needed if we want to dig out problemed areas in our lives.
We cannot experience healing if we go it alone.
The Shoe Leather of Personal Growth
Awareness of what triggers us is helpful. Handling the emotions that surface---meeting the needs beneath them is critical too. That's acceptance.
But next step is critical. It is applying the shoe leather of practical action. We want to make efforts that support meeting our need for thriving, balance, and peace of mind.
Donning the shoes of practical principles and actions help us. They protect us when we are out walking in the street of life. Principles assist us in handling life's demands.
They enable us to overcome the vulnerable, co-dependent parts of our personality. We want to apply healthy alternatives. We want to move away from unhelpful default modes. We want to replace unsuccessful former approaches with new and better behavior.
Practical principles permit us to tread upon the gravelly aspects of life without being harmed.
Action is the remaining two percent needed for handling painful areas. 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 will enjoy 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?