Showing posts with label Acceptance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Acceptance. Show all posts

Monday, January 27, 2014

How Quickly Do You Get to a Place of Acceptance?

On the first day of 2014, my husband and I had a terrific fall/winter garden in place, with rows of healthy vegetables like kale (3 varieties), collards and broccoli growing nicely. But then the bitterly cold weather hit a few weeks later, with temperatures in the single-digits.

And all those lovely veggies got decimated overnight.

I allowed myself a few minutes of feeling frustrated and disappointed. We’d invested a lot of time in sowing and caring for all those plants…and then they were gone in less than a day.

But I quickly realized there was nothing I could do to change the outcome, and now we’re focused on plans for our spring garden.

When it comes to Mother Nature, I reach a level of acceptance rather quickly. I recognize that what happens with the weather is totally out of my control, and I don’t expend a lot of energy wishing for a different outcome.

But in situations involving human beings, accepting reality can be trickier.

One reason: We think we have the power to influence another person’s behavior.

And of course, sometimes you can.

But the fact is, for many situations, you have absolutely no control over people’s actions. Just a few examples…
  • A family member drinks too much, eats unhealthy foods, smokes or has some other bad habit that concerns you.

  • A potential client indicates she’s eager to work with you or buy your product, and another decision-maker in her organization shoots down the idea so the deal is dead.

  • A friend promises to help you with an important activity but has to cancel at the last minute. This is not the first time he has failed to come through for you.
When you find yourself in circumstances like these, you have a choice about your response.

You can stew and fuss about what the other person did or did not do. This expends precious emotional and mental energy by focusing on the negative.

You can replay individual scenes repeatedly in your mind, thinking about what happened and what you wish had occurred instead. This rehash of the past is futile. You cannot change what has already transpired.

You can accept the reality of what happened or is happening and move on.

This last one is tough, because you may not want to stare the truth in the face. Or you prefer to make excuses. Or blame the person, your bad luck or some other external event.

But facing the truth is the only option that can bring you to a place of calm and peace.

Acceptance is all about seeing and acknowledging what IS.

As psychologist Nathaniel Branden brilliantly observed: "Accepting does not necessarily mean 'liking,' 'enjoying,' or 'condoning.' I can accept what is—and be determined to evolve from there. It is not acceptance but denial that leaves me stuck."

Next time something happens to you – or someone does something – that elicits a negative reaction from you, monitor your thoughts and self-talk.

The faster you can recognize the reality of the situation, the faster you'll be able to  make positive, healthy choices about your next step.

“Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.” - Virginia Satir, American psychologist (1916-1988)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Patience and Waiting for the Right Time

"Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience." 
Ralph Waldo Emerson, American philosopher (1803-1882)

My husband Lee and I recently planted a fall garden. We want to eat fresh, healthy, organic food, so what better way than growing our own vegetables? With broccoli, kale, Swiss chard, spinach, beets, carrots and peas coming up, we're looking forward to a bounty of nutritious food in the months to come.

Before planting them, we soaked the seeds in water overnight, which accelerates the germination time. Still, it took days before the little sprouts broke through the surface of the ground. And checking on them daily, I was able to discern only the tiniest amount of growth.

For the plants to develop the vegetables we eventually want to harvest, the right balance of sun and moisture are required. But another key ingredient is also needed: TIME.

No amount of rushing around, pushing or fretting will cause these vegetables to grow faster. No, the process of gardening, like many other endeavors in life, requires PATIENCE.

In these times of instant gratification, where you can order what you want with the click of a button, we've become a society of impatient people who don't want to have to wait...for anything.

The desire to move fast and have something NOW is seen everywhere…

- The driver behind you at the stoplight, who expects you to accelerate the instant the light turns green, and honks at you if you don’t

- The person in a check-out line who’s constantly switching lines and glancing around to see if another line is moving faster

- The colleague teaching you to use a piece of equipment, software, or other tool and getting annoyed when you don’t master it as quickly as he or she did

- The parents who have a young child they're pushing to walk, talk or learn some other skill earlier than the children of their friends

The art of waiting for good things to come seems to be disappearing in place of a demand for immediate results.

I'm all in favor of taking initiative and making things happen.

But there are times when you’ve done everything you can, and you simply have to wait for time to work its magic.

You CAN'T do any more, and in fact, you can cause problems if you continue to push or try to take control of the situation.

If you find yourself getting upset because things aren’t going the way you’d hoped, take a moment to pause and ask yourself this important question:

“Is there anything I can do right now to move things forward?” 

If the answer is yes, then do it. But if it’s no, then you need to get to a place of acceptance as quickly as possible. You may in fact need to take action, but not NOW. Waiting for the right time is a critical aspect of patience.

You’ll save yourself a lot of frustration and disappointment if you learn to manage your expectations. When you adjust your perspective, you’ll be more serene in the face of circumstances that are beyond your control.

“Some things arrive on their own mysterious hour, on their own terms and not yours, to be seized or relinquished forever.” - Gail Godwin, American novelist (1937- )

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

ACCEPTANCE - Face the reality of your situation

When something unwanted happens, it’s tempting to wish it weren’t true. But only when you acknowledge the reality of the situation can you begin to deal with it.

How quickly do you arrive at a place of acceptance when you face situations beyond your control? What helps you get to acceptance?
"Accepting does not necessarily mean 'liking,' 'enjoying,' or 'condoning.' I can accept what is—and be determined to evolve from there. It is not acceptance but denial that leaves me stuck." - Nathaniel Branden, American psychologist 
“Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see reality.” - Nikos Kazantzakis, Greek novelist  
“It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.” - Carl Sagan, American astronomer 
“Men stumble over the truth from time to time, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened.” - Winston Churchill, British prime minister

Friday, October 29, 2010

Patience - Manage Your Expectations of People and Events

When you’re trying to make things happen, you can get frustrated if people or situations slow you down. You achieve peace of mind by recognizing what you can and cannot change.

What types of people and situations “try” your patience? How can you adjust your attitude and expectations so they don’t bother you as much?
"Give wind and tide a chance to change." - Richard Byrd, American explorer

“Patience is a necessary ingredient of genius.” - Benjamin Disraeli, British statesman

"No great thing is created suddenly.” - Epictetus, Greek philosopher

"The twin killers of success are impatience and greed." - Jim Rohn, American author
“God give us the grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed; courage to change the things that should be changed; and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.” - Reinhold Niehbuhr, American theologian