by Kasandra, guest blogger
So many of my clients visit me when they feel their life is at a crossroads, either having to make a difficult decision about a relationship/marriage, work etc, losing a loved one, losing a job, relocating, issues with low self esteem, wanting to know when love will come, kids and family issues, etc.
It made me think of does fear of the new, of the unknown is causing a “freeze” (staying in self-inflicted prison) which prevents a person to move on.
I therefore decided to write about how to accept change in order to give you, my dear friend, tools to do the transit as easily, positively and as productively as possible.
I will start with defining acceptance, a word which is sometimes translated in a negative way, such as: accepting failure, accepting a bad relationship etc. Acceptance is first of all acknowledging the way things are — without judgment, without negativity, criticism, blame or anger.
For example, let’s say that your sink is full of dishes. In order to clean it, you first have to accept and admit that it is full of dishes. From that observation, you then decide to clean it (or not). In order for things to change, one must first accept, or acknowledge them as they are.
The first stage is just to accept the situation you are in. What does that mean? Does it mean accepting the way things are? Well, yes it does, but it doesn’t stop there. The secret is plain and simple: once you accept – you are able to own it, it’s yours and you can do with it (your life, your emotions, your family, your friends, your lover) whatever you want.
We have a tendency to attach emotions to our observations, for example: I acknowledge that my house is dirty bringing out these thoughts: “I’m such a slob”, “I just can’t seem to keep this house clean”.
Such statements are charged with judgment and criticism. Acceptance on the other hand means to just make an observation: the house is dirty what I can do about it?Yet, so many times, we get angry when we notice certain behaviors that we have, or that others have. Noticing in itself is impartial — we simply notice, we are aware of something.
But the next step is the one that gets us in trouble — the part where we attach a judgment to the observation. We look at something and then start criticizing it, blaming someone, heaping anger upon it. We get caught up in focusing on “the problem” and noticing all the things we don’t like about it, everything that is “wrong with it”.
Acceptance, or non-judgment, also notices these things but without the added charge of anger, blame, self-righteousness, etc. Acceptance sees what is, and then goes on to ask if there is anything that can be done. If the answer is yes, then we can move forward. The choice in the direction or attitude comes immediately after noticing something — that’s when we have a choice. We can launch into criticism, anger, etc., or we can say, I can do something about this.
To get back to the example of the dirty house. Once I observe that the house is dirty, I can choose the self-recriminating path (bad girl, blaming someone else, etc.) or I can say: what can I do about it now? Maybe I can only take a very small step now — like deciding that I will pick up one thing now and put it away, I can make a decision to do that each time I walk through the room, or I can “make an appointment” with myself to clean it up after work, or I can stop and clean it up now. Whatever decision you make is irrelevant. The important thing is to make a decision to move forward and change the situation — a decision that is not based on blame, criticism, anger, blame, etc.
We ignore (or criticize) things that we really need to accept (or be aware of), so that we can then go on and make a change. If we are unhappy in our job, we first need to accept that (acknowledge it), then we can ask ourselves what we can do about it. If we feel stressed, we must first notice the stress, and then we can see what should be done.
Without self-examination, or self-observation, we do not see the way out. Yet, many times, we are afraid to look closely, because we fear that there is no solution. Yet, there is always a solution, there is always an alternative.
If at first the solution or the alternative seems undoable, then you have choices. You can keep looking for another alternative, you can examine the one that you see and decide which part is workable and which part is not, or of course, you can choose to do nothing about it at the moment. This is what is called free will.
The important part of any decision we make is to accept the choice we are making, and realize that we can always make a different choice later on. For example, let’s say that we are dealing with an addiction (substance abuse, relationship addiction, behavior or habit, etc.). First we acknowledge (accept) that there is an addiction. Then we ask ourselves if we want to change this behavior. If the answer is yes, then we go from there. If the answer is no, then we need to accept the choice we have made — which doesn’t mean we can’t make a different choice later. We always have another chance to make another decision.
There are many things that we can look at and judge, criticize and seek to blame. However, where does that get us? Simply deeper in the mire of judgment, negativity, and anger. If we apply the concept of acceptance, we accept what is — in other words we notice it, we become aware of it without getting all worked up about it. We notice the corruption in business, in government, in human behavior. We notice the problems in our educational system. We notice that the environment has been polluted, and damaged. We notice these things without getting into a rage about them. We accept that these things are currently a reality.
However, accepting that they are a reality doesn’t mean lying down and “taking it”. In other words, seeing that “something is” doesn’t mean that we can’t change it. Once we notice these things (whether in ourselves or in the outside world), the next step is to ask ourselves what we can do about it. There is always something we can do — usually there are many things we can do. This is where our choices lay — we can see the ways things are and ignore them; we can see the way things are and get angry and rant and rave and do nothing constructive; or we can see the way things are and choose to make a difference.
The only way our world will change (our personal interior world and the world outside) is for us to take action, in whichever way we feel appropriate. However, it forces us to realize that acting from acceptance means letting go of the energies of anger, blame, criticism, revenge, self-pity, etc. We can efficiently affect change by doing so with an impartial energy — one that seeks to improve, to heal, to “make better” — rather than one that wants to prove the “other behavior” wrong.
Whether we focus on cleaning our living room, or the planet itself, we will get much better results if we do so from love instead of anger and impatience. We can decide to make a difference because we want to live in harmony, beauty, and peace. We can decide to make changes in our lives because we desire to live in a more harmonious and loving environment. We can decide to make a difference in the world because we have a vision of a better world.
We first accept that changes are needed, and then we take the steps to create those changes. It is our life, it is our energy, and it is our world. We can choose to live in heaven on earth, or in hell on earth. It is our choice because we decide which direction we go from here… each and every moment of our day. If not us, then who?
Breaking the “Self-Inflicted Prison” by Not Fearing Change
Kasandra is a certified psychotherapist, reiki healer, color therapist, palm-therapist, and certified teacher.
She feels that readings are intended to tell you more about yourself as you are now, rather than what will happen in the future. The real value lies in helping you understand yourself, your current situation, and the problems you might be experiencing.
She provides vital information to aid you in making informed decisions. She sees tarot readings and psychic consultations as opportunities to look at your problem or question in a totally new light and to help you find creative solutions.
Kasandra is available for private consultations via phone, chat or Skype in 30- and 60- minute increments. Please contact her to arrange a session.
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