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Accepting what is

And how it's the antidote to releasing what isn't

Some days I wish I hadn’t started

Some days I wish I’d left the lid on

Some days I wish it was easier

Some days I wish the box was smaller

Some days I wish I was someone else

And some days I’m so amazingly grateful to have blown the lid on pandoras box I could high five the world.

There’s no escaping it, exploring your soul can be a tough journey. Holding up the mirror to your life, your challenges, your choices, your identity, your relationships can feel exposing and vulnerable. Being willing to ask yourself what you ‘really’ think and feel and to speak from your heart with total honesty about what ‘is’ can be daunting for the bravest of souls.

It requires accepting the possibility that we may be wrong, that we may not have done our best, that our reality may be less than what or how we’d like it to be and to stare head on into the feelings we’ve been avoiding feeling, the ones that really hurt.

Life would most definitely be easier, less painful if we chose to avoid this route, to keep the lid on pandoras box, stay in denial, keep telling yourselves the same stories you’ve made up about your reality because it’s easier that way, it doesn’t upset the apple kart.

I mainly kept the lid down on my pandoras box for many years except for the odd sneaky peek and a bit of maintenance here and there. I slapped a fake smile across my face and got on with life. For most of the time life was pleasant enough, I carried on about my business pretending to be normal, ignoring all the signs that it wasn’t normal (like the weird illnesses, the boiling rage that bubbled under the surface, the inner loneliness) and life was …. OK.

Then the time came when I realised I didn’t want life to be just OK.

One of the most amazing gifts therapy has given me, is the ability to see myself and my experiences in life for what they are, no smoke and mirrors, just real naked experiences. In a recent session with Crazy C (my therapist) I observed how much of a battle I sometimes I feel in life, like my broken car I can’t get VW to fix, being single, the desire to rest but the resisting fight against it. I’ve been trying for months now to focus on the concept of Being. It sounds easy right? Just Be! Feet up and Be. Well I find it frickin hard. I’m rubbish at it. I resist it wherever I can.

Two weeks ago, something magical happened. With nothing interesting on TV one Saturday night, I took myself and my restless pants to bed early. As I sat on the bed contemplating the reality of my early Saturday night, the word ‘acceptance’ kept popping into my head and like a penny it dropped. ‘Being’ wasn’t the right word for me, however hard I tried, I remained in resistance and therefore stayed in battle mode. I needed first to accept. To truly accept things for what they were whether I liked it or not, I needed to also accept the deeper uglier parts of my life I’ve wanted to resist; that I am someone who has been raped. To stop fighting that part of my identity that doesn’t want to believe it, the part of my being that wants it to be different, to change it, like Coldplay says, ‘to try and fix you’. As I focussed on the different parts of my life and myself I needed to accept, I noticed the imaginative body armour softening, the tension easing in my chest, lowering shoulders, a softness to my face.

In accepting the reality of ‘what is’, we can let go of the battle, and let go of what isn’t. The really beautiful thing is we don’t have to like it either we can say. ‘I accept this situation, although I don’t like it’. And from this place we can make choices. We always have choices.

So, yes therapy can be tough but it far outweighs the reality of a world in denial. I’d rather try and make the most of this life with minimum battle and hurt feelings and maximum love and support.

What about you? x

Originally published at wearebravesouls.co.uk

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- MARCUS AURELIUS

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