Who Said It Shouldn’t Be Like This?
by Paul Garrigan
How much of our suffering is caused by the silly idea ‘it shouldn’t be like this’? In my case at least, this unwillingness to accept reality led to a great deal of unnecessary pain. Life is what it is, and it is our ability to accept what is here now that determines our level of inner peace and contentment.
It is vital you learn to live life on life’s terms if you want to develop to emotional sobriety. Here are just 5 reasons for why acceptance is so important:
1. Acceptance Opens the Door to Compassion
Compassion is the ability to turn towards pain rather than trying to avoid it or ignore it. We begin developing this most wonderful of all human attribute by facing and soothing our own inner discomforts – this requires acceptance. Once we have developed self-compassion, we will then find it much easier to be there for other people in a meaningful way. One of the quirky facts of life is that the more compassion we feel for other people, the better we feel about ourselves.
2. Acceptance Means We Begin to Heal
It is not going to be possible for our inner hurts to heal until we are able to accept these wounds exist. Acceptance is like a lamp that we can shine on the hidden parts of our psyche where most of our discomfort comes from. Most of the time, our past hurts just want to be acknowledged, and once we do this, the healing can begin.
3. Acceptance Gives Us the Mental Peace We Have Yearned For
“The act of turning to addictions for recovery from pain or difficult situations is deluded self-help. We are looking in the wrong place for happiness. This misguided kindness toward ourselves perpetuates a cycle of pain.”
Valerie Mason-John and Dr Paramabandhu Groves – Eight Step Recovery
There is nothing wrong with our desire to escape unhappiness – it is just that alcohol and drugs doesn’t offer a good solution. It turns out that trying to avoid our emotions and worries just makes everything so much worse. Once you learn to make the best of what is here, rather than getting upset over what is not here, you begin to experience the mental peace you once believed could be found in bottle or pill form.
4. Acceptance Means You Are No Longer Fighting Reality
Fighting reality is a battle you can never win, and it will only lead to further misery and declining mental health. Living life on life’s terms doesn’t mean you give up on trying to improve your future – it just means you accept what is already here because this can’t be changed.
5. Acceptance is What Allows Us to Reach Our Potential
“Full acceptance of ourselves, moment to moment, makes it easier to adapt and change in the direction we’d like to go.”
Christopher Germer – The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion
Acceptance means getting out of our own way so we can begin to blossom. By spending less time worrying and over-thinking, it makes it easier for the brain to focus on the development of wisdom and creativity. We don’t reach our potential by obsessively planning every step but by just allowing this development to happen.
3 Tips for Developing Acceptance
- A daily mindfulness practice will greatly increase your ability to accept reality
- Once you see how most of your suffering is a result of trying to avoid reality, it will become easier to practice acceptance
- Understand acceptance is not the same as saying ‘it’s just the way I am’ – we still need to change what needs to be changed
5 Reasons Why Acceptance is Crucial for Recovery By Paul G