In today’s post, we are going to dig a little deeper into exploring the meaning of acceptance. It focuses primarily on the first question shared in The Spirit of Acceptance #spiritchat held back on May 25, 2014.
If you participated in the chat and have been following this series of posts, WELCOME BACK! If you didn’t make it to the #spiritchat on acceptance, you can still catch up by reading my last post, which includes a link to the preliminary post I wrote prior to the #spiritchat, along with a list of all the questions shared during the chat.
In addition, I’ve also included the link to the Storify version of the actual chat, created by Kumud Ajmani – the founder of #spiritchat.
One more thing before we get started here. This post is going to be a little bit different then a regular ‘read it through once and carry on with your day’ kind of post. I want this one to be able to serve as a springboard for several mini sessions that you can come back to and complete at a pace that serves you and your lifestyle.
Allow yourself to keep an open heart and mind and set the intention that you are going to be more consciously aware of some of these things in your own life; perhaps for the very first time.
So without further ado! Let’s get started!
If you participated in the initial The Spirit of Acceptance #spiritchat, you’ve had over a month to consider what the topic brought up for you. Perhaps it conjured up something new for you. Or it may have helped you uncover some ways that you haven’t been accepting yourself and now realize it might be time to dig deeper and explore why. You may have even experienced a few A-HA moments over the past few weeks and following my last follow up post.
I want you to create some white space and have a journaling session. It can be as short or as long as you want and need. If you only have 5 minutes, write (or type) as much as you can for the entire 5 minutes. If you’ve ever read the book, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, then you should already be familiar with ‘The Morning Pages’. This is basically a brain dump of everything on your heart and mind. For this session though, I want you to basically write for as long as you need to on what acceptance means to you and what has come up for you since we first began this topic back in May.
If you feel like sharing anything that came up for you, feel free to add it in the comments section at the end of this post. However, please don’t feel obligated to do so if you wish to keep your journaling session private.
Q & A Review
Let’s review the first question we covered in #spiritchat! Bonus for people who tweeted more then one answer! : ) BEFORE you review what everyone shared, if you didn’t participate in the chat and this is your first time exploring this topic, please answer the following question before reading what everyone else shared. This isn’t a matter of right or wrong. I simply want you to know what YOU think about it before you are influenced by someone else’s answer.
How do you define acceptance? What feelings does it evoke in you?
For those of you that participated in the #spiritchat, here’s what you shared: (NOTE: I tried to capture most so please know that no one was left out intentionally)
- Internal ease and grace, minimal tension, feels light ~Christy Johnson @IntuitiveHeal
- Confidence with understanding mistakes are a lesson not a failure ~Tom Rhodes @tomj_rhodes
- Evokes self-forgiveness, presence, and awareness ~Alexis Daria @alexisdaria
- Honest acknowledgement and being at peace with all that you are. ~Nancy Smyth @njsmyth
- Joyful lack of jealousy ~Kate Nasser @Bonds4Success
- One part of overall unconditional love one has (hopefully) for self. ~Claire Crossley @ClaireSMBB
- Seeing me as I am with everything w/o judging or labeling as good or bad; evokes compassion, joy, lightness. ~Natalie Jovanic @NatalieJCoach
- I’m Ok. You’re Ok…and I have no interest in being you. ~Mark Billstrom @markbillstrom
- The essential element in mutual co-existence ~Kate Nasser @Bonds4Success
- Acceptance is not submission-it is acknowledgement of the facts of you- then deciding what you’re going to do about it. ~Maduoma @Emeka1968
- Loving all your mistakes and successes- evokes purity. ~Simon @SimonSaysLife
- Being friends with yourself ~ Andrea Sanchez @asanchez16
- Raises a vision of a calm morning lake which knows its depth. ~Kumud Ajmani @AjmaniK
- Self acceptance helps eliminate limitations. ~Brian Fanzo @iSocialFanz
- I am ME and you are YOU-hugs all around for everyone! ~Deborah Thomas @DTNetiquette
- Embracing who you are is self-acceptance, evokes feelings of belief . ~Jonathan Green @JblazeNYC
- Not trying to change yourself just to fit in @SignyTheSage
- Looking in the mirror and loving what you see, inside and out. ~Leia Cator @mscator
- True inner peace ~Kate Nasser @Bonds4Success
- Appreciation of each and every characteristic or quirk about yourself. It feels like the most intense love. ~Meredith Bouvier @merryb923
- Accepting the self was best framed by Rumi-that which you seek is seeking you ~Dr. Tanvi Gautam @tanvi_gautam
Whether this is a review for you or you are reading what people shared for the first time, explore what is coming up for you.
- Were you surprised by any of the responses? If so, why?
- What variations did you notice that were similar to your own?
- What new insights and perspectives did you glean from the answers that others shared?
- How do these new insights and perspectives impact your own personal meaning of acceptance?
- In what ways have you been finding difficulty in accepting yourself or some aspect of your life? i.e. weight, health, disfigurement, something in your past, a traumatic event, a specific loss, a past mistake/failure
- How accepting have you been towards others? Sometimes we might find that even though we may want acceptance for certain things, we may not be extending that same acceptance that we would want towards others. Without judging yourself, who have you not accepted in your life and why?
- What are the top 3 key areas of your life you would like to be able to accept and be at peace about?
- What do you think you need to do to find acceptance and peace in those areas?
- If you were to completely accept every part of yourself and your life just as it is at this moment, what does that feel like?
- If you can’t FEEL any amount of acceptance in you body right now, explore the blocks of resistance. What is coming up for you?
In this last session, I want to touch on the paradox of our human dilemma between ‘Being’ and ‘Doing’. So much of our world, especially here in America, places a greater emphasis on performance that many of us were taught and adopted beliefs that our worth is based entirely on what we ‘DO’. In reality, many things in life ARE entirely dependent on what we do (survival), yet, a vital component winds up missing altogether for many of us during our formative years. This missing puzzle piece revolves around the idea that our inherent worth and value isn’t dependent on our performance at all. It’s something we are born with.
Unfortunately, this message often gets lost. Without someone initially mirroring our worth and value, we may not get the message at all. It’s still THERE, residing in the very code of our internal being but without the mirroring of another to activate it, many don’t know or understand it! Instead, we learn to to achieve an artificial sense of worth by trying to live up to others expectations. We learn to jump through hoops in order to finally be ‘good enough’. We get all caught up in the doing, doing, doing that we completely lose touch with our capacity to tap into our inherent value that becomes the fuel that drives our actions. This is the basis of the teaching that our BEING precedes our DOING.
Instead, many of us learned and were taught to do the complete opposite. We learned to DO in hopes that it would finally make us somehow BE ‘worthy’. Only to find that no matter how much we DO in life, it’s never quite ….enough!
Recently, Joan C. King passed away. She was the subject for the short film title ‘More’ by my friend Nic Askew (creator of Soul Biography films). I”ve always loved this particular film, as I do many of them! However, having reviewed this one again upon learning of Joan’s passing made me realize it addresses this paradox in a similar fashion between being and doing. Yet the context used is slightly different.
For me, Joan’s film illustrates this idea that we are already ‘good enough’ as we are. And we can learn to be content with who we are, right where we are, while still wanting MORE all at the same time. This seems to be the nature of how we learn to balance the BEING of our inherent worth and value with our need to still do, achieve, and accomplish in the world.
Watch Joan’s film below and see how you can relate it to the idea of self-acceptance and our need to achieve. Feel free to share you thoughts in the comments section below.
(Film by Nic Askew. Creator of Soul Biographies. )
Here is the direct link to visit Joan’s film on Nic Askew’s website. It also includes his commentary, the full transcript of the film, and a short words piece written by Nic himself titled, ‘Fade Into Time’.
1. What did you experience while viewing Joans’ film?
2. In what ways can you relate with Joans’ story? Are you only living a piece of yourself?
3. Are you trying to be perfect so that you can finally prove you are somehow ‘good enough? How does this relate to lack of acceptance?
4. Are you able to believe that what you feel inside is true? At least for you?
5. Are you in denial of the way you feel inside? (Question pulled directly from the film. Authorship: Nic Askew)
6. Do you still feel unworthy even if people believe you to be successful based on external image?
7. Does what you do in the world still hold meaning for you? If not, are you willing to explore why so you can find a new direction?
8. When was the last time you allowed yourself to feel what you were feeling without trying to control it or deny it? What would happen if you allowed yourself to face and accept your true feelings?
9. In what ways do you cut off your feelings or channel them instead of opening yourself to them?
10. Might your soul have always walked by your side? (Question pulled directly from the film. Authorship: Nic Askew)
I hope you’ve enjoyed this exploration on the meaning of acceptance. Please give yourself permission to take your time with this.
I look forward to your comments and insights. Thank you to everyone who participated to help make the chat as meaningful as it was.
© Samantha S Hall 2014 All Rights Reserved
Additional Related Resources:
The Spirit of Acceptance Preliminary Post by Samantha Hall
The Spirit of Acceptance Follow Up Post by Samantha Hall
A Life Beyond by Nic Askew
The Hidden Messages of Family by Nic Askew
12 Steps to More Inner Peace by Louise Altman