REFLECTIONS on ACCEPTANCE from a TRAUMA LIFE COACH
A new year has begun! Acceptance of where you find yourself at this moment may be the first step to action. Are you satisfied with your life as is? What areas do you want to change? Are there segments of your life’s situation that cannot be changed? What does that mean to you?
“Acceptance does not mean we are giving our approval.” Melody Beattie wrote that statement in a Hazelden Thought of the Day. (I could only find a link to the entire short article on this site:
Acceptance does not mean approval continues to resonate within me. When Megan and I were going through the injustices of the court systems and other institutions, the last thing I wanted to do was accept the situation. That has also been true during other periods of my life.
As a recovering alcoholic, I knew of the necessity of seeing life as it truly was. I had to move out of denial and accept that I could not drink alcohol. Until I accepted that fact, I would not and could not take the actions needed to lead a sober life.
Acceptance of my horrendous past of abuse was a foundation for my healing. I cannot change the past decades of my life. I can and have changed my reactions and actions.
The serenity prayer also includes the concept of acceptance and change.
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
– Reinhold Niebuhr
When I was awaiting trial and very worried about Megan, acceptance was extremely difficult. Life is not fair. The justice system does not work. Those statements are true in many cases including ours. I learned to accept life on life’s terms. I did not approve of most of it!
Thomas More once stated:
“You must not abandon the ship in a storm because you cannot control the winds … What you cannot turn into good, you must at least make as little bad as you can.”
I took More’s words to heart during the worse years. Although I found acceptance necessary, I knew I must choose to make the best of an awful situation. Acceptance did not mean resignation and no action on my part. Acceptance freed energy within me to concentrate on what I could do, such as finding an attorney, researching, connecting with my Higher Power, and more. That choice led me to continue day after day – slowly and painfully to make progress on my healing journey and in my life situation.
Looking back, I see the value of acceptance. I no longer spend energy and time asking why did this happen to me? One of the most important things is what you do after accepting the occurrence(s) of your past and/or present.
What can you do?
How do you change your reactions and actions?
How do you choose to move forward?
My past of as a survivor of incest, clergy abuse, human trafficking, domestic violence, and extreme abuse (including ritual abuse, torture and torture-porn) is not the focus of my life any more. In fact, I am mostly at peace with my past. I speak and write of the abuse and trauma to help others and to bring awareness to the subject. The excitement of life is in the present moment and with the anticipation of a better future!
I, as a life coach, welcome you to contact me. Accept your life as it is now; and, take action to move forward!! Life is short. A new year signifies a new beginning. Make one for yourself! You are worthy of a life filled with freedom, peace and joy!