Acceptance or surrender?
Am I giving in? Or am I living in this moment?
Is this feeling a feeling of resignation? Or am I letting this feeling wash over and through me?
I made radical acceptance my goal for my May Happiness Project, and it’s been a challenging month. I’ve felt underwater with all my roles and responsibilities and pressure to be everything to everyone. Felt frustrated with the loneliness and monotony that goes along with being a stay-at-home-mom. Worked through nervousness and jitters as I taught step classes and in between crammed my brain with new choreography to learn.
Sometimes life can feel so heavy. And in those heavy moments, I worked to survey my mind and body, ask myself what it is I’m feeling. Why I’m feeling that way. Sit with those feelings instead of let them run roughshod through my mind.
To me, that’s what radical acceptance is. Accepting how I’m feeling without trying to change or judge how I feel. It’s just a feeling. It’s not who I am.
But it’s mighty uncomfortable to sit with certain feelings. Sitting with frustration is not my favorite. I feel that frustration bubbling and pulsing. Frustration is a burning feeling. And unworthiness is equally itchy. Sitting with unworthiness feels like lying in mud through a rainstorm.
I’m not particulary fond of sitting with feelings. I want to hurry through them. But feelings are tricky. The more I try to push them away, the more they remain.
So this month I just sat with my feelings. Good feelings. Bad feelings. Indifferent feelings. Just sat. And at first it was just too hard. But I kept trying. And trying a little more. And a little more.
Some of the time, I was able to let the feelings slide through me without judging myself. And other times I got stuck and turned a critical mind to myself and my thoughts.
It seems this radical acceptance thing takes some practice.
I’ve determined I can’t completely change my thought pattern in one month. But small shifts in my thinking this month proved to me there is another, a happier way, to move through life’s frustrations.
I don’t have to like everything about my life. And some stuff I can change. But for those things I can’t, there’s acceptance. And that’s kind of freeing.