Some people wish to be something that they cannot be, like tall (if short) or straight (if gay) or whatever number of years of age that one identifies as young (when they are now older than that). Some hate that they are hard of hearing, have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, bipolar disorder, or whatever other not-like-the-others thing they are experiencing. Others want different parents or spouses or histories, and still others have invested much time, energy, and money studying something that they’ve now realized they don’t want to do for a living.
So many of us are resistant to aging, which is almost as ridiculous as being pissed off that you have to breathe oxygen for survival. We are all aging and I can’t understand how getting older is anything short of fabulous news, as the alternative is death. How can waking up tomorrow, a day older than we went to sleep the night before, be anything but a miracle? Aging is nothing but the passing of time. Fighting against it, as with all of these other things, is an extraordinary waste of time, energy, and often money. Who among us has such an excess of any of those precious resources to justify wasting them in this way?
Women have come through here stuck in all kinds of battles with what is — infertility, addiction, food allergies, abusive relationships (with partners and others), and chronic pain, just to name a few. I’ve even done it myself, with my health, and money and codependency, too. I held myself in these patterns for years before learning how and choosing to be more loving with myself. The reality is that the battle against what is never changes it.
Resistance is futile. Acceptance is the path to your freedom.
To be clear, I am not suggesting that the reality you are experiencing today must remain unchanged. If you’re 400 pounds overweight, or 40 for that matter, acceptance does not mean that you are agreeing to live out the rest of your days in a body that hurts and is unhealthy. Acceptance means getting on the scale to see the truth about today. It means asking for help. It means choosing to take action that will carry you home to your true self. Acceptance is the key to freedom. It is the exact state that makes it possible for your life to bloom into something beautiful.
Naturally, there are many of these experiences that are not going to change. You cannot not be gay anymore. You can certainly stop acting gay (which I personally do not recommend because a commitment like that opens a black hole of self-loathing hell, and everyone is worth living a better life than that) but you can’t turn back the clock of your own existence and make yourself a different person.
While there are certainly exceptions, most people who are told they will be in a wheelchair forever continue to be in need of that kind of support. Most people with mental illness aren’t cured. But being free isn’t about being free of these experiences.
Freedom is about being free to be you.
Self-acceptance is a choice. It means looking into the eyes of the one in the mirror and saying, I choose you. I choose to be you. I choose to love being you. I choose to treat you as you deserve to be treated. I will protect you at all cost. I choose you.
A client asked me for something she could do to assist her journey toward self-acceptance. I reminded her that it’s not a journey, it’s a choice. This is a moment in time where you decide that you are no longer willing to treat yourself violently, rejecting yourself for something that cannot be achieved even through the most hard-won battle.
Right now, in this very moment, if you are not celebrating being exactly this one… a life is passing unloved. Nothing so sacred should be wasted like that.