Acceptance is Taking the Focus Away From Pain

What is Acceptance? Condoning bad behavior? Embracing a horrible event and telling yourself it’s ok? No, not at all. Acceptance is coming to terms with a hurtful or tragic event. It’s a process where the first step is to take the focus off or away from the pain.

Supposing your loved one has died. It happens. It’s heart-breaking, gut-wrenching, unthinkable. It’s part of life that we violently detest and don’t want to acknowledge. “He or she’ll be back soon. It’s all a dream. They are away temporarily on a long voyage”.

Wrapping your head around the concept of death, something you didn’t ask for and don’t want to experience in your lifetime feels like being sucked into a swamp or engulfed in a tidal wave. There is no turning around. You cannot bring that person back nor change the situation. At some point you have a choice to make. Either continue to suffer (oh and it hurts!) or you choose to Accept that your loved one is really and truly gone from your life.

How do you do this?

How do you do this? It’s not as if you have to accept the loss of being kicked out of your place of employment. That’s stressful. Frightening. But, you can choose to get back on your feet and look for work elsewhere. Or start your own business, something completely brand new. There are options. The only option for understanding the cruel black emptiness that death brings is to Accept the finality of it.

This doesn’t mean you enjoy the experience, pretend that everything is just fine or blow it off by saying to yourself,  “don’t sweat the small stuff”. It’s not small stuff. It’s shocking. And it’s final.

What I learned

I learned that by taking the focus off that never-ending, excruciating  pain was a start. The first step. It dawned on me one day that I had stopped obsessing over the loss, the absence of that warm and wonderful being that was my husband. As my 80-year-old grandmother once said “Wendy, your Grandpa is gone and I just have to accept it”. Wow, this was only months after he died. I was in awe of her courageous spirit.

It also dawned on me that I could put this energy into something that brought me joy, instead of hugging Comfort like a security blanket. Comfort has its place. It’s necessary – particularly in the fresh raw stages of grief. But gradually Comfort needs to give way to some kind of action. A moving forward in life. After all Time does not stop, nor flow backwards. Our lives are always moving, always evolving. Are we going to flow with Life? Or stagnate in pools of worry and pain.

Grieving takes time

There is no one size fits all. Nobody “should” be over the death of a loved one in a certain amount of time. Relationships differ, Love has many forms, people are multifaceted; they’re made up of  genetics, emotions, past experiences, and more.

When you choose to Accept that which can never be changed, you come to a place of Peace. Peace in your mind and in your heart. The loss cannot be reversed. You cannot bring that person back to life. Once you acknowledge with your mind and Accept with your heart, you begin the process of healing. Of moving forward into a new life as a stronger, wiser and hopefully more courageous individual.

Interested in learning more?

I wrote about the grieving process in my book Silver Butterfly Wings


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