If you believe the fluffy type of posts you see on Pinterest, accepting yourself is the key to all salvation. Or something. If you accept who you are, you will be happy. If you accept that you can’t change others, that you can’t stop the sun from spinning etc… happy. Right?
The Acceptance Myth
For the last few months I’ve been hammered by injury & illness non stop. From one to another. It has been shit. Exhausting. Painful. (Expensive!)
I’ve had to give up things and phone them in. A lot of phoning in & being half-assed, in fact.
Pretty much the only blog posts that have gone out here and on Bloggers and Bacon have been posts I already had scheduled. I had to admit I wasn’t coping with uni. I went to the doctor & got a medical certificate for extensions. I kept getting sick even after the extension though, so I still had to phone in just writing the assignments. I had to keep taking days off work. I ran out of sick leave & have dug pretty deeply into my annual leave too.
I have accepted all of this. It was happening. No amount of denial fixes how sick I was.
Did acceptance fix it all?
In fact as I kept getting sicker I had to keep finding more things to give up. I had to reach out to friends for ideas of what else I could give up. I kept finding things I could give up. It wasn’t easy but there are always more things you can drop.
- I was (am) still stressed by the things I dropped.
- I am worried my assignments were so bad I failed.
- I’ve had to put off some big behind the scenes changes on my blogs & I started having feverish dreams about them.
- I wondered what would happen at work without me there.
- I haven’t caught up on my lectures & Blackboard “participation”; made worse when I got an email “reminding” me that it’s worth 20% of my grade.
Accepting I wasn’t able to do those things didn’t eliminate the “I’m tired. I’m failing. The world is awful.” thoughts when I hadn’t rested enough.
Let me say that again: acceptance doesn’t eliminate the feeling that you’re not doing what you “should”.
Even acceptance combined with full medical care, extensions, sick and annual leave… a full strategy; didn’t stop the feeling that you’re not happy, because you’ve reneged on obligations.
There is no happy-glossy-shiny-unicorn-induced state of being when you’ve had to give up all the things.
Look for the bright spots
Even in this frustrating time, I’ve had a couple of really good things happen. Just an odd email that has brightened my day. Thanking me for this. Inviting me to that. Small things, and sometimes the thought of replying to an email has been overwhelming, but they were good things.
None of this to say you shouldn’t be accepting of your limitations, situations or anything like that. But accepting the wisdom of a quote on Pinterest is one thing. Expecting it to reflect the nitty gritty of reality is another thing entirely.
How do you view acceptance? Do you find that there is a difference between the life-coachey type of soundbites and how it applies in reality?