Friday, January 20, 2012

International Day of Acceptance

Today, January 20th is International Day of Acceptance.

Words can seem so harmless....but they can also be very powerful....inspirational....and full of importance. Today...I will reflect on just this one word - Acceptance.

It's morning right now and I plan on writing this blog throughout the day...because my emotions and thoughts change drastically from moment to moment.

So. This morning, I awoke to a challenge... I over slept my alarm by 20 minutes, and it messed up my morning program..(I don't want to get into detail, but because of the loss of my bowel and bladder control, I have to stick to a schedule!!) Rather than laying there and feeling victimized by this occasional occurence, I asked my emotional self how she was feeling. She answered quite loudly to me, "Well, this sucks! Who wants to wake up to this? Why can't I be normal!? I feel sad, mad, frustrated, and overwhelmed!" Then I noticed my mind stepping in to calm her down...saying "You are still healing, you are always changing, and it's going to be ok even if it happens again. You have support from your family, it is ok to receive help, you aren't alone, it's going to be ok, you're alright, you're still you....on and on blah blah." Wow I am pretty darn good at mothering my inner emotional self. I have rarely ever noticed the conversation that occurs inside me, but I have been working on listening more and these are just some of the observations I've become awake and aware to. Acceptance is a big word today, right now. It means to me that even though I have my ups and downs, I can still say this word and remind myself that I am alive. Truthfully, I am more alive now because of this word.

Prior to my injury, I felt a strong urge to heal. Heal what? My past, my relationships, my body, my thoughts, my spiritual connection. I was feeling broken even before my body physically broke. The difference now between these two selves is that today I see how every part of me has a story to tell....I was trying to heal by getting rid of those stories...trying to push them away, detox them out, shower them with affirmations. This wasn't working for me because I wasn't allowing myself to sit still and listen to them. Each hurt, each pain, each broken promise, each un-met expectation, each tear, each regret, guilt, shame, and fear wanted me to listen - not push it away or stuff it down or powerhose it with detoxing. These stories each have a life of their own with loud and passionate stories. The time now has come to listen because I feel that at the core...every life wants to be heard, loved, and accepted for who or whatever they are.

In the 7 months since my injury, I have slowly learned how to listen and it is a practice I am committed to for the rest of my life. Not just listening to myself and the stories within my mind...but opening my ears and heart to my intuition, my environment, my friends and family, my art, my music, and my body...especially the parts of me that no longer move. I recognize how being closed off to listening is also being closed off to acceptance....receiving...and allowing. I am learning how to be more accepting of myself now...and it is opening doors that I was afraid to open before. It's shaking up old beliefs that were more comfortable being stuck in their ways. It's creating more of the life I have always wanted for myself, but was afraid to own. Why is it that we spend so much time not accepting ourselves? Is this because if we accept who we are then we have to take responsibility for our flaws? In my case, yes. I have wanted to keep my flaws hidden...I thought if I accepted myself that meant I accepted never walking again...this will continue to be the hardest part of that word...that's the fifty pound weight on my shoulders. Well to that old pattern I want to say "farewell!" I want to lift you up and toss you back out into the dark night sky because I know that I am a whole and beautiful being.....I am aware of my limitations and of my strengths...and I accept every part of me that has never been allowed to hear that word before. That, I accept.


Now, before I go to bed, I am returning to this blog. Overall, this was a very interesting day. I knew that I wanted to honor it as a I would a give it respect and truly ponder what this accept. I asked my family if we could talk about it during our dinner. From our conversation together I am now reminded that when I became injured, it began a very deep and personal journey. Yes, this is where I am now and why I am working every day with my new practice of acceptance. But what I was also reminded of was that this didn't only happen to happened to my family, my friends, my community....and if you are reading this blog right happened to you too. My journey is my own, but it has also become a part of your personal journey. I know that somehow the lessons I learn and the challenges I face are also teaching others....touching others. Each member of my family fell with me and had to face a new life. Each one of you has experienced something as a result of this...we really are so connected.

While I am on that topic...I have never been so grateful for technology...for the network of the internet. I have felt so supported and loved by this community. I have met new friends who have become a huge part of my my comrades...and as open doors to new opportunities. I have reconciled old friendships, created new artwork, and found new ways to connect and get my needs met without having to leave my home. Thank you.

I could probably write on and on about the inner quarrels of finding acceptance with what has happened to me. The truth will stand....that acceptance is something I work on every day. It's not a good thing or a bad just is what it is. I have free will to choose the words that tag on behind that heavy one ~ like accepting my life, accepting my body, accepting my emotions...on and on it can go. There will be resistance and there will be ease and that is the natural way.

I ask you....have you counted your blessings? Have you considered what it would take for you to finally accept yourself? What is holding you back? Are you scared that no one will love you...that you will not be a worthy human being if others don't accept you? So many questions! What does acceptance mean to you?

And so for now my mantra is this. I accept my Journey.

Namaste ~ Rise Up Every Day

-Laurie Elizabeth