I have been thinking a lot about “Acceptance” recently. What it means, where it belongs, and how to truly manifest it. I have come to a point in my life where I am ready to be strong with where I choose to put my thoughts and energy. Circumstances that drain my positive energy, serve no purpose to my mission, its greater good and distract me, need to be clipped and discarded.
Very few people know my whole story, even fewer actually understand it. Living in a world that often feels so small can be lonely and isolating. My entire life I have struggled with physical pain and limitations, never knowing the reason and often being told “that’s just how you are,” or being made to feel it was just in my head. Appearing healthy from the outside often just brought judgement from others. Thankfully in my mid-twenties I was provided an answer.. Ehlers-Danlos-Syndrome or EDS. I have a severe hypermobility syndrome where to put it simply, my collagen is not normal. This results in an increased risk of dislocations (I have had more than I can count), significantly more difficult and longer healing times, chronic pain that lingers and cardiovascular issues. This combined with my Celiac Disease and many food allergies made me often feel like a mess, it has been a lot to comprehend.
Now why am I bringing this up? Because it ties back to that word stuck in my head, Acceptance.
Tara Brach is an author and teacher that has spoke a lot about this topic. She wrote a wonderful book called “Radical Acceptance.” I love this quote ““Radical Acceptance is the willingness to experience ourselves and our lives as it is.”
Experience our lives as it is. You do not have control over everything, as much as I would like, I can not control those conditions that I struggle with. However, I can control how I ACT, THINK, and SPEAK. Notice I did not say “feel”? You can not always control how you feel, I often get frustrated, sad, angry even. The key is to feel those emotions, take note of them, and then move on. Not allowing them to affect how I act, think, and speak. Suppressing those feelings will only bring them on stronger until I take the time to notice them, or if that doesn’t happen I might have a meltdown. Noticing the feelings will allow you to get rid of the negative self-talk, and have even more control over what you actually can have an affect on.. the person you are and the way you act and treat others.
“Acceptance simply means the recognition that the moment is as it is. That’s it. It is not a value judgment. Accepting something is true in this moment doesn’t mean that we endorse it or approve of it. It just means we recognize it is in this particular moment.Nor does acceptance mean anything about the future. If we accept something is true in this moment, that doesn’t mean we can’t work towards changing it in the future – in the very next moment. Acceptance transcends hope or despair, future or past. It’s simply seeing reality as it is.“ – Chris Kresser
Through my lifelong struggle with food allergies, handfuls of surgeries and more time in slings, casts and on crunches than the average person spends in their entire life, I have had a lot of time to think and feel. I have been in dark, hopeless places but have managed to keep chugging away, to keep that perseverance and continue to better myself because I know in my heart I have these struggles not because I am different, but because I am the SAME as so many people out there. Our struggles may not all look or feel the same, one's struggle with weight may be another person’s struggle with poverty, a person’s struggle with physical pain may be another's struggle with mental pain. I am meant to do work and ministry in my life to heal and help others with the gifts and experience I have. The same goes with each of you.
Like Chris Kresser stated, just because I accept these parts of my reality, it doesn’t change that I work extremely hard, I do all I can to build a better future. By accepting, I have given myself an immense amount of time back to work hard to better myself, love, and help to heal others. I encourage you to do the same if you have been holding onto something that has been keeping you back.
to read more about me and my story please visit my blog at www.zen-eats.com