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Acceptance is messy

Focus on what you have. Stop wishing for what you don’t. Be grateful for friends to laugh with, children to be proud of, and a partner to love. Accentuate the positive. Breathe in gratitude. Breathe out compassion.

IMG_0192Accept what IS. Release all expectations.

But today is grey. Today is heavy. Today is a wool sock, and sweatpants wrapped in an old quilt kind of day.

Today is sixty-four degrees and cloudy. Today I don’t have the energy to be a happy person, grateful and optimistic. Today my glass feels half empty and the trees are obscuring my view of the forest.

I’ve made my share of lemonade from life’s lemons and I mastered turning my frowns upside down at an early age. I was taught to dry my eyes, fix my make-up and show up with a smile.

I know how to look past stiff hugs, cold shoulders, dismissive comments, criticism disguised as humor, and long periods of silence. I can make excuses for others and believe the best even when their worst smacks me square in the face.

But I don’t know how to do hopeless. Hopeless is the toughest place to be for an optimist. I don’t do ‘give up’ very well.

For me, hopeless is Hell, a spiritual realm of suffering, allowing someone else’s action or lack of action to affect your wellbeing and peace. This is wanting desperately for someone to love you the way you want to be loved but knowing they never will. This is realizing that family is not synonymous with unconditional love, but loving them anyway. This is facing the fact that some people are okay without you in their lives and nothing you do or say will change that but showing up anyway. It’s finally learning that you can’t love enough for both sides no matter how hard you try but trying anyway. This is someone misunderstanding your heart but opening it wider anyway. It’s realizing that this has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.

Resisting the feeling of hopelessness gives power to the feeling. What you resist will persist. Sometimes sinking into it, allowing the heart to grieve, the Soul to cry, and the body to curl up for a day is necessary to move through the Hell to the other side.

Perhaps peace comes not only from accepting the situation as it IS, but from also acknowledging that acceptance doesn’t always feel good. Sometimes acceptance hurts. Forgiveness can be lonely and peace can feel empty.

Acceptance is walking through the Hell authentically and it can look unshowered, unshaven, and messy. Acceptance isn’t always pretty and strong, but you are God’s highest form of creation and you are okay.

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