I want to talk about acceptance and what does acceptance mean? I hear a lot of people say, “I can never accept what’s happened. No, I’m not accepting it. I can’t. I cannot accept, it’s not okay that my partner died.”
So, acceptance, I think we have emotions attached to certain words. We have meanings attached to words, and we all have different meanings for different words.
And one of those is the word acceptance. We hear very often about acceptance and that we must learn to accept the fact that our partner has died. And many of us say, “no, I can’t do it. It’s not okay. I can’t accept that this person’s gone.” So what I think is good to do is to just define what we mean by acceptance?
What I do not mean by acceptance is saying, “well, it’s okay. I don’t mind that they’ve gone, it’s all okay. “That to me is not acceptance. It’s not okay. I am never going to be okay with the fact that Claire is dead, and I’m sure many of you are never going to be okay and that’s fine.
That is not what acceptance is for me, and I find this helpful. Acceptance is stopping the fight with wanting her back. It’s stopping the fight with those mixed emotions. “I’m so desperately sad, but I so love them.” or ” I so want her back.” or ” I’m so happy for the years I’m so desperately sad.”
Acceptance is stopping the fight. It’s acknowledging that that person has gone and saying:
“I feel crap. Terrible, awful. , and that’s a feeling. Well done, Mark. Well done. You’ve noticed that feeling, well done. It’s a feeling. Just sit with it for a moment. Be with it for a moment and let the feeling pass, because another feeling will turn up later.It may be the same one. It may be a different one. It may be a feeling about something else, but it’s just a feeling.”
My therapist described it to me like farts. She said, it’s just a fart, just let it go. Fart the feeling and let it go. And I think to me, that is acceptance. It’s still having those feelings but we’re not fighting them. We’re not fighting saying, “oh, it’s horrible. I don’t wanna feel like this.” We’re not saying, “oh, this person’s gone. They should be here.” We’re just saying “they’ve gone, it’s shit. I feel crap. Well done. That’s a feeling. Let it go and another feeling comes along”
… that is acceptance.
So I wonder can you get to a place of giving up the fight for wanting something different?
For feeling something different. And to live with the feeling as it is, to stop fighting and to use that as a definition of acceptance. Let me know, I’d love to hear from you.