Why You Should Lean into Acceptance, Even (Especially) if it’s Hard
Were you born a bad seed or are you full of light and goodness? The world’s religions lean to one side or the other. What do you believe? What is true for you?
A spiritual seeker my whole life, I stand firm in inherent goodness — yes, I am that woo-woo love and light girl. And lately I’m believing it more not with my head but with my body. The body has a knowledge beyond the head. Felt sensations of the body are more real than anything we can conceive in our minds.
As I continue a daily writing habit, it’s clear the things I am called to write about, the things that are in me that need to express. Some days words flow. Other days I feel stuck. But it’s all here, in me, somewhere.
How much is below the surface that we don’t know about?
The concepts and ideas that light my fire? Ways to live our yoga, lessons I learn on the life path, virtues, expanded thoughts on quotes that make me feel something, everyday embodiment, practical spirituality.
Attention goes where energy flows; everything is energy. You get what you focus on.
I write about things I want to call forth. And most of it is a practice in teaching my body and my mind to synthesize. I feel whole when I write, when I get the thoughts out. And once I do, I examine the way it feels. I drop it down into the body.
ACCEPTANCE. To accept is to ‘believe or come to recognize (an opinion, explanation, etc.) as valid or correct.’ (Merriam-Webster)
It feels a lot like surrender. And surrender feels serene. There are many aspects of life we can (do) fight against, and sometimes that fight is valid — and best. Other times, however, acceptance is the right thing to do because (a) we can’t change what’s happening, and (b) it feels better in the body.
Do you know that feeling? Have you ever thought about it in that way? Acceptance feels like peace, calm, a silent yes — versus a feeling in the pit of your stomach that says ‘go back, do it differently. Stop for goodness sake. You are killing yourself with this.’ I do.
How I’m applying acceptance right now …
My mother has stage IV breast cancer, metastasized into her bones and bowels. It’s been a rough spring and early summer. We’ve talked about treatment options. She’s chosen chemo as it gives her the best odds. The disease is so widespread that it will never be eradicated. It’s the right treatment for her, and it comes with good and bad.
Secondary holistic options may also prolong her life, give her hope, vitality, and teach her things about herself as she goes through this terrible illness. She’s chosen a few but rejected many others. She has different values and beliefs than I. She’s from a different era. And we communicate differently. The situation is frustrating on many levels. She’s very sick. I’m not sure how much energy I would have either.
I could fight, deny, force, control, get mad, coerce; do any number of things to get her to do things my way. But what does that solve? How does it make her feel?
How does it feel to me, in my body? When I’m pushing, striving, trying to change the way things are, it doesn’t feel good.
Her choices are ultimately her call, whether I agree or not. It’s her body and her life.
I sat through chemo with her this morning. I want her to know I support her and am here for her no matter what. I’ve also chosen to offer ideas, suggest alternatives, communicate my perspective, and ultimately to accept where she is and how she chooses to proceed.
It hasn’t been easy. No one promised life would be easy. I hope I always learn and grow through the hard spots. And I hope I go deeper into the quality of acceptance as she endures this illness. As I watch parts of her die, I die too.
Acceptance builds character. It makes us stronger. It helps us see things from another person’s perspective. And it feels better in the body. Acceptance feels grounding to me. It feels like Divine Light.
So that’s where I am today — loving mom, accepting her decisions, breathing into the fact that she knows herself better than I. It’s what I’d want. It always needs to come back to that.
We aren’t living someone else’s life. We are living our own. If we were living another’s life, how would we want others to treat us? Three words come to mind: kindness, love and acceptance.
Where in life are you at war? Where do you need to create space — and make peace? In what areas do you need to lean into acceptance more?
Breathe into that space. How does it feel? The body never lies.
Thanks for reading. Did you enjoy? Please tap the 💚 to recommend it to others, and stay tuned for more Everyday Embodiment practices in this series. Namaste …
Heather is a writer and yoga educator. She shares here (almost) daily as part of her personal writing practice — mostly lessons about everyday embodiment, living her yoga, practical spirituality, holistic health and personal development. Cheers to a life well lived!