Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional, the saying goes. To opt out of suffering, we must accept.

Accept it. It happened…that’s happen with an -ed. Those final two letters are critical as they signal past tense. Our suffering persists when we confuse -ed for -ing and keep past pain alive as present suffering. The past can only be happening if we allow it into our mind-space as a recurring nightmare. By recognizing the -ed, we can erase the hurt, the sting, the bitterness…and move past it….before “it” takes root and transforms into resentment, apathy, or tolerance.

Resentment is anger. Apathy is numbness. Tolerance invites abuse. None of the above are acceptable!

Acceptance, on the other hand, breeds happiness. So, accept the very thing that riles you up. That gets your blood boiling. That saddens your heart. That causes you to toss and turn at night. Accept it. Why? Because it’s holding you back. It’s keeping you stuck where you never intended to be.

I didn’t know you were going through that at that time. You looked so happy.”

I smiled to myself at the comment and thought back…yes, I was happy…happy 181057_10200180787515396_826412518_nin spite of the seeming turmoil around me. Happy because it was my first taste of freedom…and freedom always tastes good no matter how much it costs, no matter how restricted your diet is…or that you decided at the last minute to travel alone…or that your cooler got stuck at the airport causing you to arrive at your venue city without food for the final 48 hours of a 12-week contest prep…

You see, once you accept an unexpected reality, you start to notice the unexpected blessings of the predicament. When you let go of how things were “supposed to” go, you see them without shades of judgment or emotional attachment to a specific outcome. With clarity of consciousness, you find beauty everywhere and invite peace into your soul.

As if I had taken an eraser to the scenario I had been visualizing and released it into the ether, everything appeared differently through the lens of acceptance. Chatting with the local servers and patrons, I forgot about my pre-show depletion and fatigue. Eating freshly-prepared tilapia off of fine china with real silverware, I savored my meals more than usual. Perhaps I had grown too accustomed to peeling off the fish jelly from cold tilapia and eating soggy veggies from Ziploc bags in my hotel room…

Creating distance to Vegas, I could accept my personal reality, too. He is who he is…and I am…who I am. Complete on my own and ready for stage. Ready to live. With or without him. Because the only person I needed to stop being unfaithful to was myself.

Accept yourself. There is nothing more comforting to your soul than this. Your true self. The self you are when no one is looking. The self you are when you stop judging yourself as incomplete. The self that shouts hurray when you decide to do something bold and defiant to realign yourself to your purpose and innermost desires.

So, let’s accept what happened and dissolve happenings into something that happened…in the past…ridding our bodies of unneeded baggage, toxins, and internal conflict.

  1. ACCEPT a poor test result, outcome, illness, or letdown…as an opportunity to re-frame a belief, to reposition or to otherwise strengthen yourself.
  2. ACCEPT a traffic jam, a delay, a snowstorm…or any other natural or man-made obstruction as a reminder to slow down.
  3. ACCEPT your age…as an achievement rather than a disappointment.
  4. ACCEPT what resonates in you as a clue from your soul to pursue or explore.
  5. ACCEPT silence into the mind so the heart can be felt. When the mind is dominant, all emotion stems from thoughts and the day-to-day whims of your outside world.
  6. ACCEPT an offer of help…you are not meant to struggle alone or sacrifice your well-being.
  7. ACCEPT people for who they are…not who you would like them to be…and navigate accordingly!
  8. ACCEPT a new role, job or position that takes you closer to a life-changing dream, goal, or passion.
  9. ACCEPT love…especially love from yourself.
  10. ACCEPT the freedom to move, think, and feel for yourself without the coloring of other people’s perspectives or past experiences. What is true for someone else doesn’t have to be true for you…unless you ACCEPT that.

Do you want to explore ACCEPT further? Click here for quotes, mantras and our willPower dedicated weekly exercise!

Sarah Ingmanson

Sarah Ingmanson

Sarah is a studio owner, fitness instructor and competitor. She is a former investment banker and equity research analyst with her MBA from the Wharton School and her MA in International Affairs from the Lauder Institute of the University of Pennsylvania. Sarah is fluent in Japanese and consults with Japanese companies on corporate governance, finance, and investor relations. Sarah's interest in Japan stemmed from her first tour with Disney On Ice as a professional figure skater. For more info on Sarah and her studio, visit www.starslocker.com.