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We all know that self-acceptance is a key to Living Happier. I have talked about it, we have read about it. We KNOW the concept. We also know that knowing and living are 2 very different things. This holiday I was very intentional about practicing the idea of just accepting what comes up for me. Catching myself when I tell myself I am ‘too controlling’ or ‘too rigid’ or ‘too much of an introvert’ and lovingly remind myself I am ok just as I am. (WAY easier said than done)
Over the holidays, my relatives (aunt and uncle and cousins and their families) flew to visit with us. Unfortunately, due to plane cancellations they had a challenging time getting back home and ended up staying at our house for an extra couple of days (on blow up mattresses, floors and couches). Just to be clear, these are some of my favorite people in the world. I LOVE them so much. Mostly because they know me, they accept me and they have taught me a ton about myself and my family. AND 9 people in a house is A LOT of people. I struggled. My introvert struggled. It was hard.
The ironic part was the more I struggled, the more my inner critic came out to tell me how weak and pathetic I was. How I SHOULD be able to handle this situation without getting stressed.
“Look at your aunt and cousin they are doing just fine with the situation they aren’t stressed at all.”
“At least you get to sleep in your own bed, they are sleeping on the floor!!”
“Just goes to show how controlling and rigid you are you can’t be out of sync for even a couple ofdays.”
Finally, after a WAY too much of this attacking, I took a break from the madness and reminded myself that I was trying the idea of acceptance. I said to myself, “Bottom line, this is hard for you, this is challenging, and it doesn’t matter if 1000 other people (including your aunt and cousins) think this is an easy situation…YOU don’t. Have some love for yourself.”
Immediately I felt a sense of relief.
I could rejoin the group knowing that I love them AND I was struggling with hostessing.
Shortly, after a different aunt posted the above photo on Facebook. It was such a simple yet amazing concept…
“Appreciating things just the way they are.”
When I do that…when I practice appreciating things just as they are things relax. Having people in my personal space is hard for me. Being a hostess for 5 days straight is challenging for me. The more I rail against those truths the harder I make my life.
‘Appreciating things the way they are’ doesn’t mean we can’t grow or change. ‘Appreciating things as they are’ means we start with what is. We start with the truth of who we are without shame or judgement. Only then can we make real change. When we truly see and appreciate our imperfections, defense mechanisms, and unhealthy patterns can we begin to grow and change.
What can you grow to appreciate in your own self?