Written by Classmate
I thought I’d try to pull together a few words about today’s group/class. It was a smaller group today as apparently many people prioritise other things in September with the return of school and college. So lots of credit if you were at group, and to those that aren’t prioritising recovery, get your bum back in a seat by next week! Haha only messing. But really though, Recovery doesn’t fall from the sky.
Anyways. Today’s group was about acceptance. We got a lovely sheet that was filled with very thought provoking points about acceptance – have a read of it!
What I took from the group was that in different stages of recovery and life we are working on accepting different things. Some things are common to every journey, and some things are more specific. There are things we need to accept in life, which are sometimes a challenge. My list of things I found challenging to accept or find challenging to accept are as follows:
- I’m not the special snowflake of recovery. The suggestions apply to me too.
- Nobody can do recovery for me. They can only guide me.
- Recovery is a choice.
- I can’t THINK my way through recovery. It takes action too.
- Recovery/freedom takes longer than I ever imagined. (Recovery is worth it, and I’ll let you know if freedom is worth it when I get there!)
- Recovery/freedom won’t happen if I just pick and choose the bits I like doing.
- If a person didn’t/doesn’t have personal experience of an ED, they’ll never really ‘get it’, and I can’t force my family and friends to fully understand.
- I will not be liked by everyone. I won’t even make it onto some people’s radar.
- There will always be someone more whatever than me- smarter, prettier, thinner, sicker, funnier, taller, shorter, wiser, richer etc. It doesn’t mean I am not worthy or special or deserving just the way I am.
- I can’t always have my own way.
- I’m not always right. I’m also not always wrong either…
- I’m only human. I have needs that need to be met whether I like it or not.
- My body is grand, just the way it is.
We also strayed from the topic a bit (as per usual!) which was interesting too.
We discussed victim mode, and how unhelpful it is to slip into the ‘poor me’ mindset. It’s such a waste of energy. We also discussed legalising humanity and being supportive of ourselves and tolerating our flaws. It’s funny too that when we accept our own personal flaws or human-ness, we are more tolerant and patient with other people. Someone said something I really liked: try to accept the lightness, because everything doesn’t need to be hard.
Another point raised is that we can change our minds whenever we want. It’s never too late to learn something new. It doesn’t matter what age we are!
I find it interesting that we so badly want to be accepted by other people, that we forget we need to be accepting of ourselves!
So why bother accepting anything? Why bother accepting that list up there? Well I realised that acceptance is important for growth. We can’t change that which we don’t accept (sorry for the grammar, my talents lie elsewhere lol). If we don’t accept we have a few things (or many things) that we need to work on, then how on earth are we going to work on them?
I realised too that when we let go of what we think we ‘should’ be, we can learn to accept what we are right now. Accepting the situation right now, just as it is, means we can open the doors of change. It takes a lot of self honesty to admit to what needs to be worked on, but once we are honest with ourselves, then we start to make real progress.
I always imagined that when I recovered I would be this happy, bouncy, 100% positive person. How wrong I was. Life is messy, it always will be, but I handle it in a different, more self supporting way. I still get negative thoughts sometimes but the difference is I spend less time wallowing, and more time doing something about it. I have found this a little difficult to accept if I’m completely honest. I suppose I forgot that my mind is like a garden, full of beautiful flowers but also full of hardy weeds that need attention every now and then.
Another thing I need to accept is that this is my body. It has changed a lot over the years, but it’s still here. My heart is still pumping, my lungs are still breathing and my feet are warm. I need to accept that this is my vessel, my instrument for life. I’m just ‘normal’. And that’s ok. This is quite challenging, but I trust that once I accept my body at any size, then I will be once step closer to freedom.
I think one of the bravest things in this world is to accept ourselves in spite of society/magazines/toxic values telling us that we shouldn’t. Once we decide to ignore the pressure to be ‘perfect’ then we will be free.
Well that’s my take on it anyway…
There is no good in arguing with the wind. The only argument available with an east wind is to put on your coat. (James Russell Lowell)
The curios paradox is that when I accept myself as I am, then I can change. (Carl Rogers)
The word accept is from Latin root meaning to receive or to take to oneself. This is the most basic need you have as a child – to embrace or welcomed just the way you are.
The term self-acceptance can sometimes cause panic to those of us who suffer from an emotional distress. We connect self-acceptance with a life misery, but in reality it is the first step towards making a real and lasting change.
Self-acceptance doesn’t close the door on change. On the contrary, it can open up our inner resources so that we can explore ourselves in a more relaxed way. It develops the capacity for good personal relationships. People with a high level of self-acceptance are likely to be less defensive and it is easier for them to tolerate others. Through acceptance we learn to treat ourselves the way we’ve always wished other would. We do not need to wait for others to accept us as we are. We can start living with ourselves in a new way, and this allows us to move ahead. Acceptance means that we acknowledge what our body looks like without berating ourselves. This acceptance is not stagnation; it is step to changing and living. We spend a lot of time and energy rejecting, hating, denying part or all of who we are. We need to put all that time and energy into accepting ourselves.
Acceptance doesn’t mean giving up. It means that we appreciate the fact that recovery takes time; it means coming to terms with the fact that there are some things, which we cannot change.
People who accept themselves are not over-critical of themselves or others; they are both compassionate and realistic. They look at themselves as they are and strive for a better understanding of what they want to change. We cannot remove a problem until we accept we have one. Acceptance helps us to move on instead of postponing and wanting the impossible. In recovery some days can be better than others can. In process we learn to accept ourselves for what we are. When we suffer from an emotional distress we live a life of ‘if only…’. Most of the times the ‘if only…’ is a wish for a magical change, but prevents a realistic approach to change. The ‘if only’ syndrome automatically puts us down. Learning to accept ourselves and reality in which we find ourselves helps us to move onwards.
Acceptance is a very important part of happiness, contentment, health and growth.
If we accept, we flow with it, we allow life to do what it’s already doing. If we refuse to accept it, we usually feel pressure, pain, frustration, anxiety; we struggle with what is. Acceptance is not the same as liking or being happy about. It is simply seeing something the way it is. Accepting yourself doesn’t mean approving of some behaviour like abuse or addictions. When you are honestly confront and deal with that problem area and overcome them, you become more acceptable to yourself. With acceptance, we make the stand to be for, not against, ourselves.
Through non-acceptance we try to control the world. We want our ‘shoulds’, ‘musts’, and demands to rule the world round us. If we want to change something the first step is acceptance and move from there. This includes acceptance of ourselves. We are part of nature. In our consumer society, we have been taught that we are not really okay, we need one or more product, or one more thing before we can be happy with ourselves. This cause epidemic low self-esteem. It is time to accept and to change it …..
Try to keep sun from rising. Do everything you can to stop the rain. Struggle like mad to stop the darkness. Try to turn the Earth different way. Good Luck on that.