We’ve all been there: recipients of unpleasant news or decisions by others that would negatively impact our lives and our feeling of peace. Job loss (or the threat of it); changes to importance relationships through divorce, death, or breaches of trust. Stress is a part of life. Our emotions (negative and positive) are a part of being human. However, sometimes we may find ourselves getting stuck in our stress, unable to move past our difficult circumstances. Sometimes chronic anxiety and depression may ensue. Sometimes people develop stress-related medical conditions. However, it is important to remember that we still have power and choices we can make.
It All Boils Down to Three Simple Choices. We can:
- Continue suffering.
- Try to change the situation or how we feel about the situation.
- Radically accept what has happened.
When we “radically” accept, we are accepting completely, wholly. For most people, acceptance is a process. We don’t just wake up and decide, “Today I will accept ‘xyz’ situation” and not continue to experience stress related to the event. Inevitably, a thought, memory, encounter will trigger the emotions preventing us from accepting, and then we simply must begin the process of accepting again.
Acceptance doesn’t mean that you agree with what has happened, but that you accept that a certain set of facts/events have taken place. It involves letting go of fear and anger. To radically accept, we might have to “let go” over and over. When we move into acceptance, we can take back our power and begin to take the necessary steps to improve our circumstances and rebuild our lives.
If you need help with accepting and letting go, you might benefit from individual and confidential counseling or psychotherapy. Another alternative is taking a stress-reduction course that helps you become calm and grounded within yourself.