Una's Blog


Una’s little world 2. Accepting the Unacceptable

by Una Hearne.

‘IT’S NOT FAIR!’ ‘IT SHOULDN’T BE HAPPENING TO ME!!’  You wouldn’t blame me for thinking this since I am currently obliged to spend 20 hours a day lying down and I can only do a fraction of the things I want to. I wouldn’t blame you for thinking the same about problems you might be facing: money, work, health or relationships (‘THEY SHOULDN’T BE TREATING ME THIS WAY!’) Understandable thoughts and feelings. Unfortunately, this is called resistance. Resistance to the reality you find yourself in. It’s the opposite of acceptance.

The problem with resistance is it uses an awful lot of energy. And it tends to keep you stuck in the situation rather than moving forward. (Ok, the two problems with resistance are… :-)). Coming to acceptance is a process. We go through, or rather, swing back and forward between stages of denial, anger, bargaining and depression before we get to acceptance and can move forward. And it takes as long as it takes.

Acceptance does not mean giving in or giving up. It simply means accepting what is. And your feelings about it. All of them. There is a marvellous sense of peace and freedom when you do accept whatever situation you are in.

I’d love to report that as soon as I realised I was in ME/CFS relapse I accepted it and faced my new circumstances with poise and grace. Ha! It has taken me fully two years and it is still a daily practise. I SO did not want it to be true that I did a sort of semi-denial thing, along with a fair bit of railing against the universe and some depression.

Two key realisations helped me get to acceptance. The first was: ‘Why me? Well, why not me?’ I know none of you are sailing through life without facing challenges. I haven’t been singled out unfairly, it’s just life happening.

The second was the day I realised my life is not passing me by – which it very much felt like it was – in fact what’s happening is my life, and I need to get on with living it.

Yes, wisdom comes to me in great lumpy wallops!

Acceptance allows a more positive attitude. Now, I’m not a happy clappy coach, or person, I never advocate ‘trying’ to be positive and pretending everything is wonderful when it’s not. I’m Irish, I can’t be doing with horseshit. I come from the school of ‘Fair enough, it’s shite – but sure we might as well make the best of it.’ With acceptance there is room in my head for thoughts like: ‘What can I do for myself to feel better, right now?’ ‘What choices will move me towards what I want in future?’ This makes me feel more in control and gives me a better quality of life right now.

Accepting difficult circumstances is not easy. But my goodness it’s a peaceful place to get to. Definitely worth the effort.



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