How to not sweat the small stuff: acceptance
Acceptance. Obviously an important realization and its meaning through my life has changed. When I was little, “acceptance” was a dirty word that meant I was settling. When I was gaining independence it was accepting that you win some, and you lose some… But more recently, it has morphed into a way of life. Please note, this is NOT an endorsement for complacency.
I think, and have been told, that acceptance also exists on a spiritual level. When one has goals, hopes, expectations, and the like, and they have faith that today may not equal those lofty goals. However, at the right time and place those ideals will be accepted and embraced as a way of life, THAT is true acceptance. Acceptance of today, the promise of tomorrow, and the ability to control it all with ONE small decision at a time.
When the taxi driver was insanely slow, or someone bumped me walking on the street, I used to get offended, as if it was a personal attack on ME. When there were grades or results or life decisions pending I would work myself into a constant anxious state that would be like a 500 lb weight on my shoulders. This was a heavy way of life. And it made me summarize my life in a win or lose methodology. But who is this arbiter of life winning or losing? That is the problem, I didn’t realize my reflections and stressors were hindering my ability to embrace the world in front of me. The world may not always be pretty, but I can be committed to seeing it with love and understanding. This makes not sweating the small stuff, fairly easy.
The spiritual concept of fate may sound cheesy, but I’m starting to believe. The hardest moments of my life thus far, the undoubtedly WORST moments of my character and judgement have led me to the most clarity and understanding I’ve ever had. So maybe accepting my mistakes and understanding that as much I have learned I will not repeat THOSE mistakes again; the path ahead of me is filled with highs and lows- both of which, when accepted, can breed true happiness and sustained self love.
I’ve grown so much in the past few months- partly because of my son, partly because of the challenges I’ve faced (and the wonderful therapy I’ve embraced), and my unique experience as Mom. Not ideal. But it has made me so grateful for every moment, for every second, and for everything around me. This gratitude leads to happiness.
Acceptance is not easily done, and don’t get me wrong- I am far from where I want to be- but I know my path will be filled with moments I want to cherish. I had to stop rushing to the finish line only to start a new race- THERE WILL ALWAYS BE A NEW RACE- enjoy the one you are on. And if, like me, you are dealing with some very challenging life issues- then all the more reason to love the beautiful moments in your days.
And there are SOME! The moment my son collapses in my arms, and tries to grab a fistful of my hair (even when it’s tied back), the joy I get from writing these posts, or the moment I come home and find my furniture has been moved to the correct place by my lovely guy. They may scale differently on importance, but they all make me smile and remember that today- I am happy to be here. I ACCEPT being here.
I ACCEPT my future will be full of all I’ve ever wanted, but it might not look how I expected.
I ACCEPT that every day can be something new and wonderful, and I am always in control of how I use that time.
So the small stuff, the fifteen minutes I was late to dinner, or the inability to complete a task exactly how I thought, or the conventional success story no longer pertaining to my self image- all seems SMALL, when I realize that true love for myself and the world around me (and my son)- makes my sun come up every morning. And with tomorrow comes the opportunity to do better, and with the future comes anything I can imagine, as long as I am committed to breaking it down to one small decision at a time.
So sweating those details, hating myself for not being perfect- well, there is just not room in my life for that anymore. I’d rather accept myself today, and shoot to be just a little better tomorrow, than try to reach a level of perfection that’s dictated by anonymous. Because FUCK anonymous and the scale to which they play- I don’t want life to be a game, I want it to be a journey. I’m making up for lost time, one second at a time.