Practicing Acceptance

For the past two weeks, we’ve been talking a lot about Radical Acceptance during our group sessions. I felt as though my mind was fighting against this idea. It wasn’t until Friday morning that it grabbed a firm, positive, foothold in my mind. Since then, I’ve been working through the concept, trying to understand it better and just basically thinking about it from every angle.

One of my biggest challenges is in accepting myself. I’m my own worst enemy. Aren’t we all? No matter how many compliments I get, what kind words come my way, I struggle to believe them. How can I believe that which I don’t feel is true? I’m still trying to get to that place of being able to accept compliments without feeling embarrassed and like I don’t deserve them. Or that people are just saying these things without actually meaning them. I have become better at this over the past year, but still have a long way to go. I also struggle with the concept of being accepting of myself, the way I am, while also working on changing that which needs to be changed.

Then there’s acceptance of others. It’s easier for me to be accepting of others, than of myself. But of course, I said “easier” not “easy”. One of my biggest irritations is having people cancel plans with me, too close to the time. The reason I feel so strongly about it, is because keeping commitments is very important to me. I stick to my commitments, unless of course, there’s a very valid reason for cancelling. No matter how depressed or tired I may be, or how much I want to cancel, I will keep that coffee date with a friend, for example. But I need to accept that not everyone is like this. We all have our own values, and what’s important to one person, might not be important to someone else.

In Thursday’s support group, near the end, I awkwardly shared a tiny bit of where I am in life. Living in an environment in which my boundaries aren’t respected, but unable to get out due to a lack of financial resources. One thing that stuck in my mind since then is when they said that I’m doing the best I can. But I can’t get the inner critic to stop telling me that I could do more. I feel this constant pressure to do better, be better, and I get so angry and frustrated with myself because I can’t think of how to do that. This constant striving and fighting is exhausting. Adding fuel to the fire is the feeling of excessive guilt. That maybe I’m doing something wrong, did something wrong, or just not trying hard enough.

I need to accept that I’m doing the best I can with what I have. The circumstances in which I find myself. But I still need to be aware, and open to anything that comes my way (including ideas or solutions that cross my mind) that will allow me to change these circumstances. I just don’t need to fight so hard anymore, which hasn’t accomplished anything worthwhile anyway, and just keeps me in a constant state of high anxiety.

Something else that came up during Thursday’s support group, is how much I tend to compare myself to others. Everyone there had such positive things to share, and seemed so mentally stable. While I was struggling, and in a very dark space in my mind. On Friday I realized that I need to accept that I might not be as far in my healing journey as some others are. Just like there are those who are not as far along as I am. We’re all dealing with different problems. Our lives don’t look the same. Besides, just because someone is having a good day (or seems to be), doesn’t mean that they’re not still struggling. Healing and growth looks different for all of us. There’s no mould for this.

As the writer of a good article I came across yesterday, says:

“Radical acceptance takes lots of practice. And understandably, it might feel strange and hard. But remember that radical acceptance is about acknowledging reality – not liking it or contesting it.”

You can read the article here.

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22 thoughts on “Practicing Acceptance

  1. “Besides, just because someone is having a good day (or seems to be), doesn’t mean that they’re not still struggling.” Our problem is the ease with which we compare our insides with other people’s outsides. I sometimes watch all the people I pass downtown, not knowing their stories, but knowing each one has multiple tales, multiple agonies and joys. I’m impressed by your dedication and tenacity. From here it looks like you are making progress, even if it may not yet “feel” that way.

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    1. “Our problem is the ease with which we compare our insides with other people’s outsides.” Said so perfectly. Thank you so much for your kind words, which I accept with gratitude. See, making progress already. 😛 🙂

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  2. “No matter how many compliments I get, what kind words come my way, I struggle to believe them. How can I believe that which I don’t feel is true? I’m still trying to get to that place of being able to accept compliments without feeling embarrassed and like I don’t deserve them. “Same here hun. In my opinion no one is as self confident as they claim they are. Im so insecure, it ain’t funny. I myself am the same way you are only about my art, ya know…damn, what’s our problem!? Hahaha!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I agree with your opinion that no one is as self confident as they look, or claim to be. There’s always some little snag in there. I think it’s just human nature. “What’s our problem!?” Gee, pick one. 😛

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    1. I enjoy reading up on things that seem to grab a hold of my mind, and exploring it a little deeper. This was one of those times. I’m really so happy to hear that you found this post and the article helpful. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I can relate to this post. I am same as you, I hate people that cancel the very last minute. I don’t mind if it is valid, but if it’s just simply they cancelled me for someone else when we had arranged it for several weeks before, then yes, I am upset. I have had it done to me a few times this year.

    The other that I can relate to is the accepting of compliments. Although I am better than I was and I say thank you, sometimes it doesn’t sink in with what I am hearing.
    As you know I am learning to drive and that inner critic has creeped in a little more. The instructor explained how I did well and probably better than I think. I said to him it’s true, I am thinking I have not done as well as he has told me.

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  4. Wow! This article is so well written and it reflects upon such an important aspect of all of us. So many of us really find it difficult to accept ourselves and it becomes yet another hurdle in achieving peace within and to feel good about your very own self.
    Thankyou for such a helpful post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for sharing this authentic and honest post. I have a poetry blog here on WordPress and today’s poem is about self acceptance and love in case you have time to look? Wishing you a fulfilling day ahead, Sam 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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