A lively conversation in my early twenties returns to me now with fresh meaning. We were discussing people’s capacity for change. I held that people can change; for me life was about growth and evolution. In contrast, my boyfriend at the time, believed you have to accept who you are. We agreed to disagree.
What I see now?
We were both right.
Another one of the beautiful paradoxes of being human is that only through radical acceptance of our moment to moment experience can profound change happen.
Earlier this week coming out of a ‘funk’, as I call it, where I felt blue, I saw something new.
And the subtle, slippery thing I saw seems like a tiny detail I have missed even though I have heard so many people point at this.
I recognised that until I radically accept and give permission or right of passage for ALL thoughts and feelings to come through, I am going to get caught up doing battle with those I decree are unacceptable (and my list is still pretty big). And the irony is by doing battle with them, I hold the insecure feelings in place, innocently feeding them so they get bigger and more uncomfortable.
Now this radical acceptance is the exact opposite of sitting, dwelling in negative thoughts and feelings. It is knowing insecure thoughts are going to pop in our heads from time to time and make us feel uncomfortable in the moment. There’s no escaping that. And that there is no need to worry about those uncomfortable feelings. You just have to…. well….. feel them (for a moment) and realise they are transitory and meaningless.
Sounds too simple?
Don’t take my word for it. Try it. Take down the barricades and let the thoughts and feelings flow. And see what happens.
Once your thoughts and feelings have arrived it’s too late to fix, change or try to stop them.They’re already out the bag. Instead try and leave them be and look to what new thoughts might be coming next.
When we see that having insecure thoughts and feelings is not the problem. Worrying about them is the problem. That having them is part of being human. Then, we can relax, feel the unpleasant feeling, see it for what it is, a transitory state of mind and then paradoxically those feelings lose their grip on us and our experience changes. It feels like some trick of the mind that we can’t see or feel until we do.
What do you see or hear in this? I’d love to hear your thoughts.