Day 60: Acceptance

Acceptance. They say that is the final stage of grief and loss.

I don’t think that grieving something is linear. Sometimes I go through all the stages within a a few minute period. Sometimes I spend days in each stage… days that feel like months.

Acceptance.

Assenting to the reality of a situation. The act of no longer resisting or trying to change a situation.

Sometimes accepting feels like giving up. It feels like gently releasing the tendrils of hope that inhabit the heart. Sometimes it feels like a pit a thousand feet deep. Occasionally it sits quietly on the shoulder whispering “everything will be okay.”

Acceptance of a situation is the only way to really stop the cycle of pain. It can allow the heart to quiet and finally start healing. It is permission to move forward.

Just because I accept a situation does not mean that I like it. It doesn’t mean that I am happy about it. It doesn’t mean that I am giving up. It is a perspective shift that will help me to become empowered and truly focus on what is important. Me.

As the stages of grief come in waves, acceptance must be practiced. It must be gently ushered in again and again. Each time the head of denial or resistance pops up, acceptance must be called back. The circle once again, gone around and completed. It is not a passive process. Until one day it is and the acceptance sinks in, the resistance fades away and there is no longer the finger clenching urge to keep fighting.

I have to remind myself of a quote I have written before “Every storm runs out of rain.” Just because I am accepting things does not mean that I will feel this way forever. There will be happiness and smiles and laughter. Accepting not just changes in relationships or life transitions but learning to accept the process and give space to the feelings that are present helps to smooth the journey. I accept that today feels really heavy.

Sometimes I stand in front of my bathroom mirror, and I say to myself….

I accept that Mr. X can’t love me like I need, and doesn’t want to be my partner in this life.

I accept that we will not be together romantically.

I accept that it will take time and effort to develop a friendship.

I accept that a friendship may not be possible.

I accept me. For loving as big as I do, for expressing myself with an open heart, for falling down and getting back up again.

Sometimes I repeat these things over and over again, tears falling each time the words are repeated, until I get through enough repetitions that it no longer actively bleeds, but creates a hollowing in my heart.

That’s the thing about someone who has lived in darkness. They are comfortable there, and often choose a dark road to healing.

A friend of mine suggested positive affirmations, and I do those too. But the truth is, I want to feel every bit of what our relationship means to me, the depth of the hollow inspires me to work on a friendship, to keep him in my life. I could seal that over, a permanent emptiness. I could cut off all contact forever, but that void would always be there, weighing me down.

I accept that we will try to be friends, and that I will learn how to navigate that. I accept that it feels like shit right now, and coupled with the rest of the chaos going on at work and my personal life, it is almost more than I can handle. I accept that today I am overwhelmed and very, very exhausted.

I also accept that this state is temporary and all I have to do is keep going. One small step at a time.

Transformation is messy. It’s painful and ugly and requires effort and energy. But just as a caterpillar turns into a butterfly I know that I am safe in my cocoon, I am supported and protected and loved. I can turn to mush and goo and re-emerge more beautiful than before. And so can you. ❤ ❤

Day 54: Letting Go

Two simple words. Let. Go. Open your hands, your heart, your mind and let the energy flow. In and out, up and down. Letting go means not trying to dictate scenarios. It means trusting that things will work out. It means setting something down and walking away knowing that you gave it the right amount of soil and water and sun needed for growth.

Letting go can be really fucking hard. The more you want it, the more elusive it will be. The more you resist the pain and anger and energy, the more it will hold on. One has only to step back, create some space from the thoughts and emotions and let them be. Process them in the time that it takes, and only then will there be freedom.

Nature is amazing at letting go. A tree blooms in summer’s glory and as fall approaches and the leaves wither and die they are released easily into the wind. The tree goes dormant for the winter all the while preparing itself for the next cycle. We, as humans, struggle so much with the expiration, the detachment, the trusting that life will restore itself.

Letting go can be very, very scary. Especially when talking about a relationship or another person. It requires trusting that there is enough soil there for the flower to bloom again. It is trusting that that person loves you enough to come back, because words are just meaningless capsules filled in with context. Letting go requires walking into an abyss where steps are not lit and there’s no way to know what lies at your feet. Letting go means trusting that there is something worthwhile once you have traversed the darkness of the unknown.

It doesn’t seem like it should be hard to let go. Everything that has happened in my life, the things I have let go of, have all worked out. I haven’t regretted those decisions and the people that were meant to be in my life are in it. All of the lessons learned have brought me to the place I am today which is an elevation from where I started so there has been a continual upward trend. Letting go of the one person who opened your heart, who showed you it was okay to just be you, who loved you with all he was capable at the time, that… that is not easy.

But…. the situation is out of my control. Playing back all of the past conversations does me no good and only serves to confuse my heart and my mind even more. Letting go is releasing what you hoped so hard that the outcome would be. It is creating space for a new beginning.

Letting go can’t be rushed, and the words alone aren’t enough. One has to actually feel as though they have let go before the space can be created for something else.

Letting go means choosing perspectives that are beneficial to us. It means accepting that things won’t always work out as desired but knowing that they will work out. Letting go means processing energy and not letting it stagnate. It means ending the cycle of wishing and wanting and just learning to accept what is. Letting go is forgiving all parties, including yourself and wrapping yourself in so much love that there is no choice but to be okay and keep moving.

What does this all mean in practical steps?

Letting go is moving your body. It’s journaling or crying or boxing or running. It’s sitting with you and allowing your thoughts to come and correcting the ones that are trying to tell you your self worth is tied to that person or that situation. It means accepting that you alone are enough. It means taking care of yourself and gently ushering yourself through the stages of grief. It is remembering all of the good and putting that love in your heart for later use. Letting go means to keep moving, especially when all you want to do is curl up in the dirt and hibernate for the rest of eternity. Letting go is knowing that every storm runs out of rain. Letting go is focusing on the moment you are in, and then the next and then the next, even if it is just a second at a time. It is staying present when you want to run back to the past. It is being in your body and mind and loving all of you. It means knowing you showed up the best that you knew how and now that you know better you can show up differently.

Letting go means walking away and knowing the flower will bloom if it is meant to. ❤ ❤

Image by Wow Phochiangrak from Pixabay