What is the hardest thing to accept about a loved one today?
Perhaps it’s the situation they’ve gotten themselves into, how they act, things they do or don’t do, how they talk to you or don’t talk to you, or how they’ve changed — for what seems to be the worse.
Drop the rope: do something different
Trying to get a loved one to change is like metaphorically tying a rope around a brick wall that is symbolic of their circumstance, then pulling relentlessly on the rope. Attempting to change them or something about how they do things produces the same frustrating result: no movement. Instead, imagine just dropping the rope. You’ve been gripping so tightly, pulling without a budge. Now, shake your hands out. Exhale with brave, assertive surrender to what is as you visualize releasing your grip. This frees your hands up to do what you can; to have some control. You’ll likely think of and do something different. (See Huberman Lab podcast, with Dr. Elissa Epel)
Radical acceptance: A key to your happiness
To radically surrender in this way, make an inner commitment to stop fighting against walls you cannot move. Instead of focusing on how frustrating your loved one is to you, free yourself up to self-regulate, resetting into a place of temporarily accepting things as they are.
5 powerful constants
Five powerful constants which are always available to you are: your conscious breathing, the whole-being scan, your essence, returning to presence, and radical acceptance. These are 5 things you can always control! I’ve written about these in previous blogs here. We cannot practice self-regulation techniques just once for change to occur, however. These are tools we use repeatedly.
Your loved one won’t always be this way. True, they may get worse, but they’re not getting better through what you’ve been doing, right? It’s time to change something you can control. You can’t alter the person you care about, but you can move in a new direction. Maybe you’ll simply be more present with them as they are. Or, you’ll set a boundary for yourself, telling them with assertive kindness about what you will or won’t do.
“This is how it is, for now.”
You probably don’t want the circumstances to be this way, you may be fearful or even panicked for your loved one. Acknowledge your emotions with deep self-compassion. And, with empowering surrender, you can stop forcing what you can’t control by telling yourself: “This is how it is, for now.” Breathe consciously in and out with a huge exhalation, and say aloud: “This is how it is, for now.”
Radically accepting them and what’s happening may guide you into the capability to make an even bigger change or to alter your own path away from the chaos. You won’t know where you’ll be lead until you trust yourself and flow with this process enough to risk embracing change versus trying to fight it.
Imagine dropping the rope. What do you notice? Is there a shift in perspective?
Do you feel like you can accept this circumstance with even slightly greater ease?
Reset with awareness, commitment, and faith
Choosing to regulate rather than fighting or fleeing requires awareness, commitment, and faith that you will experience more deeply once you relax into what is happening in your own body and into the situation you’re presented with.
Notice how your days and nights change when you reset often. With radical acceptance, you can redefine your happiness as the capacity to self-regulate any time, any place. You’ll be able to meet what arrives in a way that feels powerful, greet all your feelings, honor your loved one with compassion, and make better choices under stress.
Your radical acceptance is a self-regulation practice that is key to your happiness.
Can you drop the rope?
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