Saturday, June 7, 2014

Release Through Acceptance

There are lots of catch phrases that are being tossed around these days.  The 'let it go' and 'just be' movements have caught me off guard MANY times!

How do we just be?  I think I blogged about it here one day so I won't go back into it today.

The frustration of not knowing how to let things go and just be has had me in a tailspin for the last few years.  Every once in a while though I do find myself easily moving through experiences and letting things go.  It passes too quickly for me to catch it and bottle it up.  I wish I could do that sometimes.  Catch those blissful moments of clarity and shove them into a bottle for safe keeping.  At least if I had it in a bottle I could access it on purpose instead of tripping over them sporadically.

A number of years ago I was moving through experiences of panic and anxiety for what seemed like no reason at all.  At one point on our way home from a vacation I turned to my husband and said "I think I'll need to be medicated the next time we vacation."  I was just coming down from a three day panic attack that resulted in us leaving our cottage a few days early which infuriated my husband.  I haven't had a panic attack since.

What I learned from that experience was that the key to 'letting go' is in accepting what is.  In the moment that I admitted that I may need some help with my panic attacks via conventional medicine I was accepting my position.  I was accepting that my life had become unbearable under the weight of the panic and anxiety. Until then I was in denial.  I was blaming other people for my circumstances.

I believe that when we accept where we are we are demonstrating self love.  Allowing ourselves to own our emotions and take responsibility for where we are.  When I was fighting against my position I wasn't focusing on how to be gentle with myself.  I was being harsh and that harshness was fuelling the fire.

Owning our emotions and taking responsibility for where we are is like the big red circle on the map that says 'you are here'.  It is a starting point in which to gently evaluate ourselves; a place to push off from.  A place to get to know yourself a little better so that your next step is more aligned with what you need in that moment.

Letting go isn't about forgetting or severing the circumstance from your mind.  It's the opposite.  It's the acceptance and embracing of the circumstances that free you from yourself, your fears and your worries.

I don't see acceptance as giving up by the way.  Acceptance is compassion.  We release what we no longer need through acceptance because it leads us to compassion which leads us to the love that we are.

To let go of a fear you need to look at it; observe it from a different perspective then walk right up to it and give it a hug.  That fear is telling you something about yourself.  It's a teacher.

The same thing is true for worry and also for those other emotions we hang onto like guilt, shame and remorse.  You can do this same thing with relationships.  You can do this with past experiences that you are still hanging onto and still dictate your life.

What I know to be true is that we are all human.  We are all walking around on this planet like bumbling idiots (yes even those of you who think you have it all together).  And we haven't a clue what to do about it.  The only thing we might know for sure is that what we have been doing up until now hasn't really been working so well.

Maybe it's time to switch it up and try something new.  Next time you are faced with something that you just can't seem to let go of; try compassion.  Try embracing it and see what happens.  You might be surprised!

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