2016: A Year of Accepting

Last year was my year of acceptance.

It started out with my accepting that I might have an unhealthy relationship with my body. And it grew and grew.

It went from throwing away diets and exercise purging habits to accepting my physical appearance. It made its way to accepting my anxiety and my feelings and emotions no matter how ugly or uncomfortable. And now, as this new year dawns, I’m working on accepting all things more easily – relinquishing control.

Every time I see my therapist I leave a little bit teary and a lotta bit in shock of repeating patterns. I tend, like most people, to be self-centered, to see conflict mostly from my perspective, to forget that other people are living their own stories, dealing with their own conflicts.

I tend, like many people, to try to control anything and everything. For years that control was focused on calories – both in and out – and my apperance. When that was gone, I watched, filled with both humor and anguish, as that controlling part of me tried to latch its talons into other areas of my life.

Letting go is hard, it’s scary, but it is something I am going to try to embrace this year. Sometimes you have to accept the things you cannot change. It’s funny that trying to control things gives us a sense of security. It’s kind of ironic really, because it seems like every time I try to control something, it inevitably goes another way, shows me its uncontrollable nature. There was a time when this would have brought me to tears. But today, in some zen fortitude, I was more able to accept. I allowed my frustrations to have their moment in my mind, I acknowledged them, validated them, and then I walked away because there was nothing left to do. The need to go back and try to regain control of the situation wasn’t there. And peace came in its stead.

It’s weird, with things like sadness, anger, jealousy, depression, anxiety, to just be able to accept them. To acknowledge them. Not just acknowledge them, but do so without judgement. Not just that, but to validate them. To say, yes you are hurt and sad, and those are valid feelings to have at the moment. And then let them be. Not stress about them. Not try to solve them. Not try to change those around you that cause them. It’s weird, and I know I will not do it perfectly.

Today when I told my friends that I feel like I can allow things to happen as they happen instead of controlling them, one said “Snag that sense of comfort with not controlling things in life.” And I laughed and responded “I will probably drop that sense 1000 times this week alone.”

Writing this, I feel like I sound truly enlightened. But I’m sure tomorrow will bring a new set of challenges (and not only because I’ll be going back to work), because tomorrow is a new day. But just because I will not be doing things perfectly, or correctly, right away, or all the time, or maybe possibly ever, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t strive. Doesn’t mean I cannot hold on to this peace for now, understand I will probably lose it along the way, and hope that some day I return to it.

A few days ago my sister pulled an angel card for me, it said forgiveness on it. I don’t know if I immediately jumped to this conclusion or if it took me a minute, but I have returned to it many times since: I need to forgive myself for not doing things “right” or “correctly” or perfectly all the time. I need to accept that I am human.

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