No Guilt, No Shame, No Regrets! That’s a tough one!
Letting go of upsetting life events is often a tough cookie to swallow. Acceptance is earnestly acquiescing to what is happening or has happened without judging, negotiating, bargaining, blaming, denying, redefining, stomping our feet or trying to alter the reality of the experience. We may not always welcome the experiences we have and we can certainly choose to obsess over them, close our eyes, click our ruby slippers and wish really, really hard for a different outcome, live in regret with tons of draining negative emotions or accept it as an event that has occurred and one that does not define who we are and is not required to rule over our emotions or destiny. Acceptance is an understanding that we may/will have good and bad experiences on an almost daily basis. We frequently do not have control over when and where bad things or even good things will occur and often cannot comprehend why they happen. We can have some control over the attitude we carry forward and the actions we take following these experiences.
I believe when you are faced with an emotionally unsettling event you will be infinitely more satisfied when you focus on what you have control over in that moment, what action you can take to affect your emotions and life in a positive manner and what might be gained; not what has been lost or what should have been or the always popular, Why Me.
There is no charge for feeling good, so why not take advantage of this blue plate special as often as possible?
If attitude is truly the key to happiness as some experts suggest then I say get that attitude cranked up as high as it will go. Attitude often determines our state of being. Thus a positive attitude would be expected to lead us towards greater acceptance and tolerance of our experiences. And yes, I am aware that at times, this is easier said then done.
I believe the battle cry should always be What Action Can I Take Now.
I’ll give you a hint about effective life management during challenging or painful experiences. It seldom occurs when we are caught in a web of negative thinking. Most of us get trapped in it at various times. You know, thoughts of blame, regret, guilt, self-doubt or shame. Some of us do it way too often and can’t find our way out from under it.
Good luck trying to create an attitude of acceptance or positivity when these negative thoughts take over!
What can you do when you find yourself trapped in negative thinking?
- The first key is awareness, always awareness. You have to know when you are mired in negative muck and be able to claim the benefits of leaving it as quickly as possible.
- It is helpful to have a success plan once this awareness arrives. It is important to find your way into objective thinking and positive action. We are seldom objective when we are trapped in negativity.
- Know what works for you. It might be a chat with a supportive family member or loved one. Time spent dining and laughing with friends, a walk with your pooch or immersion in a favorite hobby or book, sitting by a creek listening to the flow of the water and feeling the warmth of the sun beaming down upon you, a ride on a roller coaster, a weekend excursion to a favorite haunt whistling a happy tune (not Mozart’s Requiem) always lifts my spirits.
- Perhaps getting physically active. Journaling past successes or current plans. Do something that is fun and energizing; unless, that involves a shopping spree resulting in the purchase of a Ferrari and you are still struggling to pay off your Ford Fiesta.
There are so many choices.
How we feel can be a choice and may be determined by our mindset, the words we use and our actions.
The cost for feeling good is a bargain compared to the price we pay when we sit with an unhappy, defeated or angry attitude for too long.
Acceptance allows our journey to continue with fewer obstacles.
Commit to smiling everyday. If nothing else you will help the folks around you to feel better.