Well it is 2020 and after doing my End-of-Year Ritual, I am ready to go. I feel clearer than I have been in a while about the coming year and know in my heart I am ready to be here more. Yes, like a number of people 2019 was challenging, however I got through it with my toolkit. So this year, I have decided 2020 is my year of radical acceptance.
I Am Ready to Accept…
For me, the following poem articulates acceptance so well.
“This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honourably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.”
Shifting from Resistance to Acceptance
When I first heard the Guest House poem at the MBSR Course I did – I loved it! However, I didn’t appreciate it as much as I do today. I can see when I first started mindfulness, how much resistance I had to facing my challenges and discomfort within my experiences (especially my emotions). I love how Christopher Germer shares this as his five stages of acceptance.
The 5 Stages of Acceptance
In his book The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions, Germer shares his 5 stages of acceptance. The stages are –
- Aversion – avoiding or resisting what is going on,
- Curiosity – starting to turn to the discomfort with interest and curiosity,
- Tolerance – safely enduring,
- Allowing – letting the discomfort (feelings) come and go,
- Friendship – seeing the value of all experiences and befriending your experiences of life (i.e. sitting down with the guest and listening to what the guest has to say).
It is important to note, that this is not a linear process – it is dynamic. The stages are about learning to have a new relationship with life and the feelings/emotions and thoughts associated with it – moving from resistance to acceptance. As resistance creates suffering and acceptance alleviates it. So that is why, I have named 2020 – my year of acceptance 🙂
Over to You…
Do you have any questions in relation to acceptance? Remember, acceptance is not about tolerating disrespectful or inappropriate behaviour, it is about accepting what is happening emotionally and mentally in this moment. If you have any questions/comments, feel free to share them below in the comments section. I will be sharing more about 2020 – My Year of Radical Acceptance throughout the year as well.
What is your word for the year? If you don’t have one yet, you can see the process here. Ready to reconnect with your heart and start living a more connected and whole-hearted life? Then click here to receive the toolkit 🙂
“Accept, then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. Make it your friend and ally, not your enemy. This will miraculously transform your whole life.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
Germer, C. (2009). The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions. New York: Guilford Press.