Reaching out for support can be a difficult first step. It indicates something has taken place within you to say to yourself ‘I’m not OK… but I will be”. That’s a courageous thing to do and it confirms the development of self-awareness and attempts to make shifts in your life to create desired change. When you aspire for improved and lasting change, it requires you to  accept your story of struggle; scars and all.

For many embarking on desired change or transformation, a pivotal process is often missed, which is acceptance. Self-motivated individuals tend to leap forward straight to action to create change, but if ‘acceptance’ is avoided, the mind and body hasn’t had sufficient time to process why there’s a need to change. This can lead to energy being exerted in scattered, forceful or unproductive directions.

Let’s not confuse ‘acceptance’ with ‘tolerance’. Acceptance doesn’t involve tolerating a negative or uncomfortable person or situation, but rather your assent to the reality of a situation. It involves the process of coming to terms with what’s done is done (in the context of past), or it is what it is (the present). It involves letting go of the need to control the behaviours of others and accept them in their entirety. Respect the person or experience for what it is by establishing healthy boundaries for yourself.

David Richo, author of ‘The Five Things We Cannot Change’ identifies and encourages us to accept five qualities of life as a way to experience less suffering. The reason to accept them is to prevent the shock or surprise factor when it shows up in your life. These are:

  1. Everything changes and ends.
  2. Things do not always go according to plan.
  3. Pain is part of life.
  4. People are not loving and loyal all the time.

We’ll all inevitably feel emotions associated with these ‘things’; but knowing this helps to process the experience.

Acceptance is a process to help you befriend your reality, for it is essential to your personal development. It involves acknowledging the difficulties that come with life and addressing them in healthy ways rather than avoiding them. If you bypass acceptance and leap straight into action, your commitment to change may be challenged as you’ll still be holding on to spiteful feelings toward your initial discomfort.

Non-acceptance also leads to resistance. Every time you resist, your problem is energised more and may present itself as sensations in the body such as pain, hot flashes, migraine, itching. etc.

An effective technique to support you in completely and unconditionally accepting whatever situation you find yourself in, is through ‘Emotional Freedom Techniques’ – EFT.

EFT is often referred to as ‘psychological acupressure’ and works by releasing blockages within the energy system, which are the source of emotional intensity and discomfort. An EFT treatment involves the use of fingertips rather than needles to tap on the end points of energy meridians situated just beneath the surface of the skin.

Check out this video for more info and if the technique resonates for you, try this setup statement:

“Even though ______(state the problem or feeling)__________, I completely and unconditionally accept myself and this situation.”

To accept your story it may help to apply the Zen saying, “This being the case, how shall I proceed?”

Through acceptance the transition to change has more momentum. You may be left with scars tattooed on your heart, but when you honour the scars with love and kindness, your stories become the trigger for self empowerment.

AFFIRM: In the process of desired change, I completely and unconditionally accept all that was and all that is.