April 9, 2014

Why Acceptance and Grief Come Before Happiness

Do you give yourself permission to live authentically, and allow yourself to feel whatever it is you are feeling? Not shutting off certain emotions or judging them as ‘negative’? Not beating yourself up for not ‘being more positive’? Not seeing it as a weakness when you feel sad or down?

Life is too complex and unpredictable to be ‘happy’ all the time. We shouldn’t be afraid of going into the less comfortable feelings and emotions that arise, because on the other side of the grittiness of unhappiness is freedom. But first we must first be willing to embrace our life with an attitude of acceptance.

By accepting ‘what is,’ we begin to free up the energy, focus, creative thinking, and resources we require to start re-building our happiness from where we are.
Acceptance is a conscious decision to acknowledge what is happening in our life, and to stop resisting it.
Unfortunately acceptance is not just a matter of waking up one morning and thinking, “Okay, life is as it is.” To fully accept our unhappiness we often have to grieve our losses, both current and past. It is my experience that without this step, happiness remains elusive.
When we acknowledge, accept, grieve, and release our unhappiness and pain, our lives begin to change…we find inner peace and we can move forward.
When we hold on tightly and resist our lives, the more happiness seems to slip out of our grasp. It is like trying to hold water in a clenched fist…it all seeps out. However, if we cup our hands we can hold the water easily. The shape we make when we cup our hands is an act of surrender…of acceptance. It is a symbol of receiving in openness the life we have, and the good things that are yet to come.

Handful_of_Water Photo Source: Biswarup Ganguly via Wikipedia Commons CC

I find the image of cupped hands holding water a beautiful reminder to move through life with acceptance rather than resistance. To find happiness through truthfulness and openness.

How can you start finding more happiness and freedom through acceptance today?

Start Today;

Ask Yourself:
1. What do I need to accept is happening, or has happened, in my life that is keeping me stuck and unhappy?
2. What is the most difficult or painful part about accepting this reality?
3. What do I need to grieve in order to accept my life as it is?

This process is difficult and sometimes makes us anxious. If you’re struggling with anxiety, these following techniques may be useful:
Breathing Exercise

This exercise is useful in slowing down a racing mind and bringing peace and calm to the body. 

Breath in and out and count, ‘1’. Breathe in and out and count, ‘2’. Continue to 10 then repeat, starting at 1 again. 

If your mind wanders and you forget what number you are on, start at 1 again. If it is too hard to stay focused on your breathing for 10 counts, start at 2, 5, or whatever is comfortable for you. 

Repeat this exercise until you feel calmer, being conscious to relax your shoulders and jaw as you do this exercise.

Mantra Exercise
This mantra is a great one to use at night if you struggle to fall asleep from an overly anxious and active mind. Repeat the phase until you feel more peaceful and calm. 

“May I be well, may I be at peace, may I be free from suffering.” 

Or alternatively you can repeat; 

“I am well, I am at peace, I am free from suffering.”
Did you find this post helpful? Leave a comment below, send this link to a friend, or sign up to be part of the hope inspired community. I look forward to hearing from you.
xxx Jess xxx

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