Self-Acceptance and Freedom to Be Yourself

Dr. Purushothaman
August 23, 2013

Acceptance is the Answer to All our Problems

Acceptance is something we must come to in order to survive a painful job loss indeed, any type of painful loss. How does one find acceptance amidst the humiliation, shame, despair, fear, grief and uncertainty job loss can invoke?

How do we accept financial insecurity threatening our lives and our family? Many people today have lost jobs after decades of service; many others suffer within jobs they can see no way out of.

Rarely, can we skip over our painful feelings, wave a wand and create new employment in short order. Often, we want difficult life situations to be some other way.

Yet, if we resist accepting the situation and our mixed bag of feelings we inevitably end up fighting ourselves and the world.
Acceptance is the Path to Peace

As they say in the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous, "Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today... I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is suppose to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God's world by mistake."

We cannot force ourselves into peaceful acceptance. Coming to acceptance is often a volatile emotional journey occurring over time.

To begin the journey toward acceptance try letting go of analyzing or attempting to "figure out" the "why's" of the situation and seek trust. Realizing every life experience has a purpose – even if beyond our knowing – helps pave the way to acceptance.

Just holding what we cannot resolve or understand within our hearts moves us closer to acceptance. As we aspire toward acceptance of life’s challenges, grace gifts us with a measure of comfort and solace.

“My life is but a weaving between my Lord and me.
I cannot choose the colors He worketh steadily.
Oftimes He weaveth sorrow, and I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper and I, the underside.
Not till the loom is silent and the shuttles cease to fly
Shall God unroll the canvas and explain the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful in the Weaver's skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver in the pattern He has planned.”Author Unknown

The Blessing of Job Loss

One day, world-renowned psychologist, Carl Jung, had a friend arrive at his door wholly distraught from losing his job that very day. Carl Jung, invited his friend into his home and said, (with my paraphrasing), "Come. I'll open a bottle of fine Champagne and we'll celebrate as surely, some great good will come about from this job loss."

Losing a job is likely a blessing in disguise although in the moment the loss or the fear may seem insurmountable. When I lost my two retail stores after ten years, my $100,000., my marriage and my self esteem I thought this was one of the worst things that could happen to me in this lifetime and thought I would never find acceptance.

Now, with the clarity of hindsight, I see losing my stores was Divine Intervention. By losing everything I thought I valued, I discovered what was really important to me. I lost every thing but found myself.

"Three earthly losses
which bring gain to the soul:
loss of a friend,
loss of health and
loss of riches."

"A Compilation of Triads," Volume I John F. Wright

Acceptance Opens Life’s Door

In their book, "Life Lessons," Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler write, "change...usually begins with a door closing, an ending, a completion, a loss, a death. Then we enter an uncomfortable period, mourning this completion and living in the uncertainty of what is next. This period is hard.

But just when we feel we can't take it anymore, something new emerges: a reintegration, a reinvestment, a new beginning. A door opens. If you fight change, you will be fighting your whole life. That's why we need to find a way to embrace change, or at least to accept it.

Through aspiring to accept life on life's terms we begin to move from feeling like a victim and blaming the world around us.

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