Acceptance is one of the most challenging things to attain because learning how to let go requires every ounce of strength to overcome. As you may have noticed, I missed my true day 7 post yesterday, because I had a day of dealing with this lesson again. It is still one I am working through and yesterday was a challenging day.
Some people are able to practice acceptance much faster than others because they have learned how to let go in a healthy way that they were perhaps fortunate enough to learn before adulthood came along to test their development. They don’t have some knowledge that the rest of us are lacking, they just know how to self-regulate, but they are falling apart inside, which is just as bad.
No matter what you go through, life will eventually put you face to face with a situation that you will have to learn not only how to let go, but how to practice acceptance. Whether you are struggling with this today or not, it can never hurt to be prepared.
The Plan: How To Let Go, The Art of Acceptance
The first step in learning how to let go and practice acceptance is to figure out what is blocking you from achieving this goal. In order to take action and learn how to let go, let’s do a quick journal entry.
Take out your journal or open a blank text file on your computer.
- Write the date at the top
- Write the quote I am sharing below
- Write down a situation you are struggling to learn how to let go of and practice acceptance
- Over the past three days, how have you felt when you thought about this situation?
- Make two columns titled: What will happen if I let go | What will happen if I don’t let go
- In each column write out what you “think” will happen if you let go and if you don’t (Note: Get very DETAILED!!)
- Write down the biggest fear you have in learning how to let go of this situation, person, or feeling. (e.g., fear I will be lonely, fear I will never regain my strength, fear I will never love again, fear I will regret it, etc.)
- Now let’s make a Mantra to repeat whenever you start to feel yourself holding on too tight to the situation, person, or feeling. Fill in the blanks or create your own unique mantra: “I am choosing to let go of [insert the person’s name, situation, or feeling here] so I can go back to living my life to the fullest. I forgive myself and what has happened, and I no longer wish to be a prisoner in this situation anymore. I vow to learn from this and be [insert a word. e.g., stronger, wiser, more careful, more cautious, etc.] if I find myself in a similar situation in the future. I will turn to [insert a healthy coping strategy here. e.g., journaling, going out more, writing more, allowing myself to feel and let go, turn to my higher power, etc.] in order to resolve this conflict and move forward without being trapped. I am grateful for [insert all that you are grateful for. e.g., my friends, my family, my higher power, my blessings, my strength, my resilience, my ability to create healthier situations, etc.]. Today, and for the rest of my life, I choose to learn how to let go and practice acceptance.”
For reference, my mantra says:
“I am choosing to let go of the pain of rejection so I can go back to living my life to the fullest. I forgive myself and what has happened, and I no longer wish to be a prisoner in this situation anymore. I vow to learn from this and be more self-aware and careful with myself and the love I give to others if I should find myself in a similar situation again. I will turn to prayer, meditation, and my intuition in order to resolve this conflict and move forward without being trapped. I am grateful for all the people who love me and value me, my children, my ability to be resilient, my strength, my delicate heart, my loyalty, and my confidence that everything will always work out. Today, and for the rest of my life, I choose to learn how to let go and practice acceptance.”– Mantra for Niki Maria on learning how to let go and practice acceptance
Quote for the Day
Today’s quote comes from the craziest source, Ann Landers. Ann Landers is the pen name for a Chicago Sun-Times advice columnist whose identity started with a woman named Ruth Crowley and was taken over by a woman named Esther Pauline “Eppie” Lederer. This quote is credited to Ann Landers as per GoodReads.com, but the person who wrote it is a bit of a mystery. My quick research shows it might have been Eppie who wrote this little droplet of golden truth.
After writing the quote and all the pieces of the journal entry for today, write how you can use this quote in your quest to learn how to let go and practice acceptance.
An Extra Resource for Learning How to Truly Let Go and Accept
I highly, HIGHLY, recommend this very heartwarming, adorable, and deeply authentic TedTalk by Jill Sherer Murray entitled, “The Unstoppable Power of Letting Go.” In this incredible TedTalk, Murray shares how a comfortable and familiar relationship of 12 years, that had no “serious” issues, ended when she learned to let go. She had been stuck allowing Hector to dictate when, where, how, why and what they would do; abandoning all her hopes for marriage, buying a home, being truly valued and appreciated, etc. In addition, she shares 5 fabulous tips for letting go.
I also want to share this poem I saw on Smartliving365.com while I was reading some extra resources for learning how to let go.
Comes the Dawn
After a while, you learn the subtle differenceVeronica A. Shoftstall
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t mean security,
And you begin to understand that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises.
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head held high and your eyes open,
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.
You learn to build your roads
On today because tomorrow’s ground
Is too uncertain for plans, and futures have
A way of falling down in midflight.
After a while, you learn that even sunshine
Burns if you get too much.
So you plant your own garden and decorate
Your own soul, instead of waiting
For someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you can really endure,
That you really are strong
And you really do have worth
And you learn and learn … and you learn
With every goodbye, you learn.
My Story of Letting Go and Accepting
I have literally struggled with letting go and acceptance for as long as I can remember. In fact, I still struggle with it today. I have an incredibly big personality and a huge desire to love and be loved. My personality is magnetic to some, and exhausting to others; so I have felt the deepest passion you can feel followed by the most painful moments of rejection and abandonment, and sometimes I wish and pray to be capable of the simplest kind of love. You know, the kind of love where you just feel satiated even without contact or desire or passion?
Unfortunately for some, but fortunately for me, that just isn’t going to happen. I was created to love in a way that defies human logic and eventually I will meet my other half who is capable of this kind of love that is big, magnificient, and utterly breathtaking. I may not be ready yet, but it’ll happen one day.
When I was about 15-16 years old, my first love committed suicide. This tragedy stayed in my heart, clouded my judgment, and created a cycle of bad relationships for, are you ready?, 17 YEARS of my life. No joke, I spent 17 years convincing myself that anyone I tried to love would leave me or die, that anyone I cared for would be unhappy because my first love was so unhappy he ended his life. I took responsibility for his happiness, and his pain and I allowed it to beat me down and wreak havoc on every relationship I have had for 17 YEARS!!
As I matured, as I learned, as I grew into my strength and power, I could no longer ignore the false narratives I had about love and loss. I literally had no idea where to begin, or if I could truly do anything about it, but I knew it was time.
From about 2012 to 2019, I spent countless hours in therapy, at in-patient facilities, at yoga retreats, and with holistic healers looking for the magical potion that would remove my false narrative. I remember in 2018, I met a man who sat with me for over an hour. The first ten minutes of the session, he looked at me, lines of worry across his forehead followed by glimmers of excitement and awe as he quietly observed how I sat, what I did with my hands, where my eyes went, and what my soul was screaming from within. After the ten minutes of silence, that seemed to last for a year, he spoke softly and said, “I can see, I can hear, I can feel your pain as if it belongs to me. I can also sense your strength, your love, your passion, your purpose, and all that you are. I am eager to know more.”
In this profound moment, I stared at him wondering what voodoo trick he did to sense all of that in a short ten-minute silent observation. I felt compelled to cry or sigh or call him a liar or leave. There were 1,000 different impulses to escape this gentle person because his ability to see me fully scared the absolute SHIT out of me. I finally said, “how can you see all that?”
He said (and thankfully I wrote it down in my journal directly after meeting him), “In my training, I try to look beyond the armor, the facade, to the spiritual level of a person and their energy in order to fully understand what they are concealing from the world. Your energy is so bright and bold and dare I say beautiful. It’s full of these cords of colors from almost every hue of color ever seen. The colors are entwined in perfect symmetry, but they are even a bit chaotic too. I needed time to appreciate it and learn from it because this is something I have never seen before, and I almost felt captured by it, lost in it, and felt excited to dive into it.”
I felt myself lost between calm and uncomfortable. I initially thought he was coming on to me, then I realized he wasn’t, he was simply sharing that my energy was a fortress he felt safe near. I don’t really remember the rest of the conversation, but I remember that he helped me let go of my first love. He showed me the grace of letting go, broke down the process, and showed me how to not just continue surviving the pain, but to appreciate what it did to my energy, my aura, and my inner strength. We tied up two clothes and we burned one while keeping the other with me. He instructed me to let it go when the opportunity arose in my life to remove it.
At the end of 2018, right around the day that I lost my first love, I spoke to his brother on the phone after more than a decade had passed. He told me the story and the circumstances around his brother’s suicide, and I felt the world of weight I had been carrying, lift away from me. It wasn’t my fault. I knew now that I had nothing to do with it at all, nor could I have stopped him. Additionally, I learned that he had kept a lot of things hidden from me, and I felt like I barely knew him despite how close we were as teenagers in love.
Sometimes letting go feels impossible, and believe me, I completely and wholeheartedly understand that, but in learning how to let go, we set ourselves up for peace, for joy, for a life worth living. I still have a lot of learning to do, but I know that letting go is no longer scarier than the alternative of living the life I never wanted or blaming myself for something I have zero control over.
Quick Exercise for Learning Acceptance
Here is an excellent Kirtan yoga chant for letting go and acceptance. You are encouraged to sing along, but if you don’t feel comfortable, just simply close your eyes and feel the sound wash over your body.
The mantra in this chant is:
Moh mohiā jānai ḏūr hai.
Kaho Nānak saḏā haḏūr hai.
The meaning of this mantra is:
Infatuated with emotional attachment, we think that it’s a very long journey towards enlightenment, towards being one with oneself, towards living in the moment. Says Nanak, it is here, now, available to all of us.
- How to Really Let Go – Ekhart Yoga
- Quotes to Inspire Courage, Hope, and Hanging in There – Smartliving365.com
- Letting Go Quotes – GoodReads
- 11 Letting Go Journal Prompts To Create A Breakthrough In Your Life – Ade Aprilia
- KNOW WHEN IT’S TIME FOR ACTION: INVITING IN EPIPHANY – Jill Sherer Murray
- Day 6: Learning How to Trust Yourself – Niki Maria