People everywhere enjoy talking about the weather, but it has certainly become a focus of conversation lately. I’ve heard it said that if you were born after 1965 you won’t remember a winter that was ever this cold for this long. Most everyone has had some activity or another cancelled due to the recent weather, or has had to really consider if it was safe to go out. How often do we see this dilemma in our own life experiences: do I accept it, do I push through, or how do I figure out what to do?
The “Serenity Prayer” comes to mind: “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
People in our area of the world tend to pride themselves on their resilience to difficult winters, but sometimes in winter, and in the cold dark times in our lives, it’s good to cultivate the practice of acceptance. But, how do we practice acceptance?
Psychologist Marsha Linehan offers a model of Radical Acceptance. She says, “Radical acceptance just means that you acknowledge reality for what it is. If you accept the reality of the situation, you can stop dwelling on situations you have no control over (and even those you do) and move [forward] with your life.”
Blogger “RaisingMyBoyChick” says, “Radical acceptance is not about “looking on the bright side” or “staying positive” — it’s seeing exactly what is, even all the [hard stuff], and just… accepting the fact of its existence.
It’s not about defeat or avoiding change, either, but rather makes the changes we’re trying to implement SO much more effective, because we’re not wasting energy denying what is, or making it out to be something it’s not.”
Your challenge for March is to give Radical Acceptance a try. Notice when you are not happy with things or people as they are. Take a moment before charging forward to fix or react. Breathe. Accept or allow the person or situation to be as they are right now. Observe without judgment.
In what ways do you see Acceptance or Radical Acceptance as a spiritual practice in your life?
–Keep the conversation going: As you find or think of songs, books, TED talks, etc. that relate to this topic let me know! I’ll post it on our bulletin board, facebook page, or in next month’s newsletter.
Yours in Faith, Michelle