I'm so thankful that I have clients and friends who often reflect back to me exactly what I need to hear and see so that I can recognize that I'm not alone. The fact is, right now a lot of people are struggling. I'm not certain if it's related to the moon phase we currently in or moving from, the start of Daylight Savings time, or because we're beginning a new season, but dozens of women I'm connected to are feeling a serious down shift in their mood causing indecision, profound discomfort, and lack of joy.
I don't know about you, but even hearing the word UNCOMFORTABLE makes me uncomfortable! You know, that pit in the stomach kinda feeling that comes on suddenly when something triggers you. Ugh! That prickly kind of feeling you want to promptly squelch and/or avoid as soon as you recognize it's invaded your personal space. Do you know the feeling that I'm referring to? In full transparency, I know it all too well!
In the past year, I noticed that my attempts to squelch and avoid discomfort were no longer effective. Yes, indeed, YIKES! What can be done when we realize that something we've doing to help us cope isn't "cutting" it anymore? I can think of at least two things we can do when this happens.
1) We can continue trying to resist the feelings hoping that we'll get lucky again and experience a different result (kinda like the definition of insanity - trying the same thing over and over and expecting a different result)
2) We can open our hearts and explore other possible ways that might be effective.
In my extensive studies on this topic, I discovered that the way to find peace with discomfort is through acceptance. Yes, you heard right, ACCEPTANCE. You know the popular AA/OA/NA phrase "What we resist persists", well, it is the truth. When we stop trying to resist/avoid/ignore the feelings, that's how we can actually relieve our discomfort.
As Karyn Hall Ph.D. says in her Psychology Today article, "Accepting reality is difficult when life is painful. No one wants to experience pain, disappointment, sadness, or loss. But those experiences are a part of life. When you attempt to avoid or resist those emotions, you add suffering to your pain. You may build the emotion bigger with your thoughts or create more misery by attempting to avoid the painful emotions. You can stop suffering by practicing acceptance."
My immediate thought to this theory was "NO WAY!" How could I accept something that makes me feel so awful? Wouldn't that be like giving up and losing control? But, the more books I read and listened to, the more I was faced with the fact that it was true. The way to discover peace was through acceptance.
Don't get me wrong, I'm still not BFFs with acceptance, but I now accept that acceptance is the answer that will help to alleviate my occasional suffering. Whether or not I'm able to cozy up to acceptance in the moment is another thing, but I know now that I always have that choice.
Lastly, it's important to understand that this is a PRACTICE and not a one and done solution. Becoming aware of the places in our lives where we may be resisting and not accepting is a life-long process with many peaks and valleys. So as always, sprinkling in more self-compassion and patience is a great idea. :-)
Reflective questions to consider:
Where in your life are you consistently suffering?
Are you willing to open your heart to being more accepting?
How does your lack of acceptance for X (your body, your eating, etc.) affect and detract from your life?
This message tumbled out of my heart and into this love note. I hope you can feel that and I pray it brings you some relief, especially if you're suffering today.
If you're tired of battling with your weight, fed up with the cycle of yo-yo dieting, and yearning to be free from your obsessive thinking about food and your body, schedule your complimentary Embrace Anti-Diet Living Connection Session.
We’ll get clear on where you are now, what you want instead, and what might be getting in the way of your success.
I’ll also share some powerful recommendations and resources to get you started on creating a peaceful relationship with your body and food.