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.
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. ❤ ❤