Last week, we talked about the Power of Awareness. Once you become aware of something, the next step is Acceptance. This week let’s explore the Power of Acceptance.
I think word acceptance is scary for most of us. This is especially true for women with Fibromyalgia. We think, “If I accept this, then I will never get rid of it. The only way I can get rid of it is to reject it or fight it.” You even might think, “How can I possibly accept something this horrible!” I get it. I was there.
Acceptance is the door to the path of moving beyond any experience
For years, I fought my fibromyalgia.
I thought I could push myself through and beyond it. I didn’t fully accept my limitations. After several years of this, my fibromyalgia got so bad that the pain was worse than ever. I ACCEPTED that what I was doing wasn’t working and was not sustainable.
I had to accept that what I could do was limited and if I pushed myself trying to keep up with a life that I once had or a life that I wanted, I was only making things worse. Out of that acceptance, I was able to truthfully reassess my choices. I had to accept that I could only work a certain number of hours a day. I had to accept that if I pushed myself physically, I would be in severe pain for the next few days. I had to accept that I never knew what I would feel like in the morning and that I had to adjust my day based on how I felt when I woke up. Some days, I felt pretty good and could get a lot done. Some days, I felt awful and needed to move more slowly. Somedays, I had brain fog and had to adjust to accommodate that; sometimes just knowing the same amount of mental work would take longer.
Only by accepting my limitations, I could make better choices
As I accepted and respected my limitations, I could make better choices. Here are some examples:
- I began to be notice when I started getting tired and if I pushed myself past the fatigue, the pain would kick in. By accepting that, and stopping when I got tired, I experienced less pain.
- I began to notice what physical activities would heighten the pain. By accepting that, I would avoid them when possible or do them on a day, where I could rest the following day.
- I began to be aware of food choices that made me feel worse. By accepting that, I could make different food choices. And honestly, I fought that one for a long time . . and paid the price.
- I accepted that most medical doctors didn’t have solutions for fibromyalgia that were acceptable or workable for me, so I made different choices. I researched and discovered different options and found those that worked for me.
I began to accept that I had fibromyalgia and it limited me . . .
and if I wanted to move beyond it, I had to accept those limitations.
Here is a non-fibromyalgia example.
I was in a relationship with a person who was emotionally abusive. I accepted that as the truth of the situation. I also had to accept that I couldn’t change him and that it was unlikely that he would change. I also realized that I stayed in the relationship out of a deep desire to be loved and was afraid if I left the relationship, I would be alone. Out of these realizations, I took steps to widen out my circle of friends. I began to realize that I was more content alone that when I was with the other person. I had to make some hard decisions and ask the man to leave and then stand with my decision. I am so glad that I did. I am in a much better place as a result of these choices. I feel strong in myself and less needy of others.
Accepting ‘what is’, gives you the power to make different choices.
Resisting ‘what is’, drains your energy and keeps you stuck.
Awareness turns the light on ‘what is’.
Accepting ‘what is’ gives you the power find solutions.
Self-Inquiry for this week:
- Take an honest evaluation of yourself and your relationship with fibromyalgia. Are you fighting is or accepting it? If you accepted it, what changes could you make? What options might open up for you?
- What other areas in your life do you resist? What would it mean if you accepted the reality of the situation? What changes might that inspire you to take?
May you embrace the Power of Acceptance and allow it to transform your life,