Tag Archives: acceptance

Accepting our own power

Acrylic on Canvas 24 x 36 Louise Gallagher
Acrylic on Canvas
24 x 36
Louise Gallagher

“If you tell me I just have to accept it, I’ll scream,” my friend said as she finished telling the story of a ‘wrong’ she’d experienced. “I feel like hitting someone, not accepting their bad behaviour.”

“What does acceptance mean to you?” I asked.

“It means I can’t do anything about it. I just have to accept it and move on.” (Okay. She wasn’t quite that calm but that is the gist of what she said.)

Too often, we equate acceptance with being helpless.

My friend was not helpless in this instance, and once she talked it through, she came up with several things she could do to ease her burdened heart and circle-thinking mind.

Acceptance wasn’t found in the victim’s role of throwing up her hands and telling herself ‘there’s nothing I can do. Accept it and move on.’

Acceptance was found in the acknowledging the impact the other person’s behaviour had on her, and then, identifying where she had the power to not let their behaviour cause her to act without integrity, to contravene her own values.

Acceptance was in recognizing that what the other person did was not a statement of my friend’s worth, but of the other person’s position. No matter what motivated the other, what they did caused harm to my friend. And that is not okay.

It’s also not okay to retaliate in kind. As the wise and gentle Val at Find Your Middle Ground wrote in her post, Outer and Inner Lives, on her blog yesterday,

Our outer lives and living are a reflection of our inner lives.
When we are at peace within we are at peace without.

My friend is not a violent person. She’d never hit another, even in that instance when she claimed she wanted to. It is not her nature. Violence is not a value she upholds.

Yet, in her frustration and belief that acceptance means ‘accepting the other’s bad behaviour’, she felt powerless, helpless, confused. And in her confusion, she wanted to lash out at those who hurt her.

It is human nature to want to right wrongs, correct mistakes, fix problems.

We all make mistakes and sometimes, we don’t want to face our role in what has happened in our lives because we want someone else to be held accountable for what they did to cause the problems in our lives.

I will never be powerful enough to make the man who abused me be accountable for what he did.

I will never be powerful enough to change the past.

I am powerful enough to be accountable for the harm and pain it caused my daughters and those around me and to create better today.

I am powerful enough to let go of holding onto the need to avenge his wrong-doing and live freely in the beauty of today without letting revenge and bitterness steal my joy.

I am powerful enough to accept I am not helpless. I am powerful beyond my wildest imaginings.

When I let go of holding on to my fear of letting go of all the things I tell myself hurt me, I cannot change, or cannot let go of, I am free to live my life on the wild side of my dreams.

When I accept that the change I want to create in the world begins with me, I fall with grace into Love.

 

 

 

Dementia dialogues 3 – a post from JM Goyder

Julie Goyder’s husband has Parkinson Disease. She shares their journey on her blog, JMGoyder.

Following Julie and her husband, Anthony’s, journey is a voyage into marriage, relationship, compassion, kindness, loss and above all love.

Recently, Julie took a part-time job at the home where Anthony lives. One of the things she does is take patients with dementia for walks through the grounds surrounding the care facility.

In the beginning, Julie chattered away, asking questions her patients couldn’t answer.

Until, she decided to share ‘the silence’ instead of words.

I wanted to share Julie’s beautiful post about the silence, the third in a mini-series she’s written about what she’s learned working in the dementia house.

I found it profoundly beautiful and inspiring.  Please… keep reading. You will be moved.

Dementia dialogues 3

by Julie Goyder

Okay so this post concludes the little mini-series about what I have learned over the last several weeks of working in the dementia house.

Silence is golden!

To begin with, I would take various of the ten women for wheelchair walks around the gardens and through the facility, bombarding them with my chatter and questions, pointing to flowers or pictures on the walls, or just telling anecdotes or jokes that I hoped would elicit conversations.

In hindsight, that was idiotic in many ways….    to read the rest of Julie’s blog, please click HERE.

The Enlightened thinking of Andrew Solomon

This is not at all the post I intended when I sat down to write this morning. It can keep.

As I went in search of a link for a quote I wanted to share in my original post, I stumbled upon writer, Andrew Solomon’s, TEDMED 2013 talk:  Love, No Matter What.

Given that Love is Always the Answer is one of my beliefs, I could not resist clicking on the title of his talk.

Andrew begins his talk with these words,

“Even in purely non-religious terms, homosexuality represents a misuse of the sexual faculty. It is a pathetic little second-rate substitute for reality — a pitiable flight from life. As such, it deserves no compassion, it deserves no treatment as minority martyrdom, and it deserves not to be deemed anything but a pernicious sickness.” That’s from Time magazine in 1966.

Later, he quotes an article in The Atlantic Monthly, voice of liberal America — written by an important bioethicist who, in 1968, on the subject of Down syndrome children, said to millions of Americans,

“There is no reason to feel guilty about putting a Down syndrome child away, whether it is put away in the sense of hidden in a sanitarium or in a more responsible, lethal sense. It is sad, yes — dreadful. But it carries no guilt. True guilt arises only from an offense against a person, and a Down’s is not a person.”

I read Andrew’s first book, The Noonday Devil: An atlas of depression, a year after it was released in 2001. I was in the dark, dark, days of a relationship going very, very wrong. I knew I was in a depression. I didn’t know how to ‘get out of it’ and was searching for answers outside myself.  The answer to my depression was not ‘out there’. It was within me all along. It came from accepting I was not in a relationship of love gone wrong. I was in an abusive situation. It came from accepting I was abused. I did things I wasn’t proud, and I was still worthy of love. It came from acceptance of me, just the way I was, in all my warts, with all my Beauty and the Beast complexities. In acceptance, Love had room to flow. In Love, all things were possible, including loving myself even when I didn’t think I deserved it.

After devouring every word of his 20 minute TEDMED talk, I intend on reading his latest book, Far From The Tree.

Don’t tell anyone…. I’m hoping for rain this weekend so I can curl up and read!

Give yourself the gift of 20 minutes of enlightenment this morning with Andrew Solomon.