Accept and Release
It’s like catch and release in fishing, only better. Acceptance is the thing that allows us to stop arguing with the event or experience we feel pained by and release it. Acceptance is the fishing rod that allows you to catch the fish so that you can release it. If you never catch a fish you have nothing to release. If you never accept the event, you can’t release the pain.
All we do when we hold on to pain is argue with the experience. We don’t like it therefore we don’t want to accept it so we fight with it instead. Imagine arguing with your fishing rod and blaming it for not catching fish. It’s not the rod’s fault you’re not catching fish. It’s not the experience that keeps you unhappy 20 years later either. The experience isn’t happening now. It’s your thinking about and the lack of acceptance of the experience that keeps you unhappy 20 years later.
So what do we do? It doesn’t make sense to fight with your fishing rod. It doesn’t make sense to argue with your brain either. But we can get a grip on our thinking about past experiences. We don’t have to allow the mind to keep bringing this back up so that we can stay in pain. This is the mind’s way of keeping us stuck. It reminds us that this thing happened and that we’re not good enough because of that thing and therefore we should just stay in bed. None of this is true.
The mind only knows what it has experienced, which means anything new in the future is scary and it will try and protect you from it. One of the strategies the mind uses to do that is to continually remind you of old pain, the time you got hurt, and the last time it didn’t work out. Remember, the past is not a predictor of the future. Just because it didn’t work out before doesn’t mean it won’t work out now.
This is where we have to do these bits of mental gymnastics that I talk about sometimes. This is where we have to convince the brain that the old experience does not predict the future. We can even look for evidence of that in our own lives. Maybe we learned to ride a bike and we kept falling off. Then one day we didn’t fall off anymore. The past falling down did not predict the future of staying on the bike. The last time you went fishing and didn’t catch anything does not automatically mean you won’t catch anything this time. When you do catch something the next time you go, the past will not have been a predictor of the future. We all have many stories like this in our lives.
When you bring that up the brain goes, “yeah, but”. Once again, we have to remind ourselves the brain is simply afraid. So, have that conversation with yourself. What are you afraid of? What is stopping you? If you listen. If you actually just sit for a second and let your brain answer you, it’ll tell what the problem is. It’ll tell you it doesn’t feel good enough or it’s afraid of something else happening, or whatever. It’s going to give you a reason. Now you have the power to deal with the underlying reason why the brain is stopping you.
You can rationalize with yourself. You can get your brain on board. It doesn’t have to be this big thing. We don’t have to spend years crying over things. We can just let things go by accepting them. The mind doesn’t want to accept them because it would rather be wounded by them. That keeps you stuck which is a good thing for the mind. It would rather have you feel victimized, again that’s good for the mind. Stepping out of victimization and being wounded means the mind has no ground to stand on anymore. Suddenly the mind isn’t in control.
It’s from that space that you can simply accept the what was of your experience. It was. It happened. It hurt when it happened. I learned all of these different things from that experience. Look where I got to and who I am now. Look how strong that made me. Thank you for that experience. I wouldn’t be who I am without it. I needed that experience to learn those lessons. I accept the version of myself that lived through that experience. The experience was and I’m okay with it. It doesn’t mean I have to like it. I just don’t have to argue with it anymore.
I don’t have to like that fishing rod but I can use it and I don’t have to argue with it. It will work. The fishing rod will do the job, even if I don’t like it. Acceptance works, even if I don’t like the experience I’m accepting. Accepting something is different than liking something. We can accept where we are but not actually like where we are. We can use that to create change. But if we’re arguing with where we are, we can’t create change from there. Our power is in the argument instead of in the manifestation of something new.
The question is, where is your power? Is it in the argument with what is or what was or is it in the power of acceptance of what was or the manifestation of what will be? When we’re using our power to our advantage we’re in present and manifesting the future. When we’re using our power to sabotage ourselves, we’re in the past and in pain.
The magic of acceptance can be seen in the shifts in my work recently. That is what acceptance creates. When I was in pain, when I was stuck, I was holding on to things because I thought I had to and I was afraid of what would happen if I didn’t. The more I simply accept and use my power to my advantage, the courage I gain in making these changes, the more sure of myself I become, and the easier it is for me to share with you and do this work.
I’m sharing with you only things that I do for myself all the time. I’ve used these strategies to get myself out of all kinds of crap. It does work. If you’ve been with me for any length of time, you’ll see that for yourself.
Accept and release. It will change your life.
Love to all.