Life is a great teacher!
We all know this but do you ever find yourself asking why all the best lessons have to be so hard?
If you’re reading this and find yourself struggling through one of those lessons right now ( the painful, scary, frustrating and overwhelming lessons ), it’s so important to understand that pushing against the experience (in hope that it will go away) actually makes things so much worse for you.
Instead, why not try ‘allowing’ the experience (including of course those strong emotions that are part and parcel of being human) to come and simply pass through you.
To understand how to go about practicing this effectively, invest just a few moments and take a listen to what Oprah and author Mark Nepo have to say in this short video:
During any struggle it’s challenging to accept what is.
Why? Because you don’t want it and so choose to reject it.
The accompanying feelings to struggle obviously don’t feel good. You don’t want to this experience.
You never signed up for this experience and so you push and push and try to drive it away.
But like Oprah says:
“You have to be able to acknowledge and accept where you are before you can figure out how to get out from where you are.”
Acceptance gives you a chance to step back from your emotions and lets your brain get to work on a solution.
In other words, in accepting the situation, it allows you the opportunity to choose to stop stressing, worrying or crying about the problem and start thinking clearly and productively.
So how do you know when you should accept a situation and when you should surrender to it in order to find the easiest and best solution?
“Surrender is like a fish finding the current and going with it.”
Acceptance, on the other hand, is floating along and being stopped mid-flow by a piece of driftwood/rock or finding yourself washed ashore.
When you accept the situation instead of screaming, “No, no, not again! It’s not supposed to be like this!” then you can benefit from the experience.
Oprah adds, that there are no experiences without value and that it’s impossible to see the value without having first accepted the situation.
Mark says something very profound in that we hold on to our ambitions, beliefs, and relationships; they are like cocoons (familiar and safe) and when the cocoon starts to break or fall away because of some event, we are upset and conflicted.
Adversity challenges our cocoons. And so instead of hanging on desperately and trying to keep things as they were, we can choose to become like a butterfly and let the experience spread our wings.
Adversity helps us emerge from our cocoon (of beliefs and perceptions) and grow and develop so that we can become open to new perceptions, experiences, relationships and beliefs.
So when you’re next in a tough situation:
First, remember, it all begins with acceptance. Just accept it, “this is what it is, this is what I’m dealing with right now.”
Second, don’t resist the feelings you find yourself having about it. Experience them, let them pass through you. And then, surrender to the newness of it.
Embrace the uncertainty, look forward with optimism, and allow yourself to learn and grow.