It was just a feeling, but one I’ve had before. The feeling that life is too tight. Like a jacket, you wish to discard, only there’s nothing else to wear.
This stage used to scare me a lot until I understood a little bit more about the spiritual process of change.
Awareness happens first when you realize what’s on your plate today is no longer what you wish to be served.
With that realization can come feelings of victimization, self-pity, or bargaining- the false hope that if you just took some radical action now, the discomfort would end.
A part of you may feel you’re coming unglued from an old life you’ve known, but you don’t know what to do about it. Sadness, grief, or disappointment often weigh heavily inside.
Fear and anxiety then soon arise because something inside is stretching its limbs, and part of you is afraid of what that means and whether you’ll be okay.
There’s a great tendency, at this point, to want to escape the whole thing, to just forget. Welcome distraction!
Your drug of choice may be food, alcohol, television, social media, or just plain busyness. And for a moment, you don’t have to feel the fear.
You could stay here, but my guess is if you’re reading this, you’re on a spiritual path and won’t.
At some point, you’ll move into that grounded, somewhat less-than-thrilled, state of acceptance. Acceptance says, “I’m done striving. I’m done trying to make my way out of this box. I feel the tightness, the discomfort, and I don’t know exactly what to do next. But I’m done trying to force my way out. I’m done with the panic. I’m done with sadness. I get it. I’m here now. Fine, whatever You want.” Not exactly an eloquent prayer, but sincere.
When we reach acceptance, we become humble and ready to listen instead of lead.
There is a certain peace that permeates when we’ve really accepted the facts. Acceptance allows us to live our lives day to day. We discover, though it’s not exactly the life we’d imagined, it’s not so bad.
I remember standing in line at a SC teacher’s fair in 2005, ready to make the biggest change of my life – leave my cushy position in PA, along with family and friends, to move down to SC to be with my husband during our marital uncertainty.
As I stood there, waiting for the doors to open, I said, “God, I do not want to be here. But if this is where you want me, fine.” That was a turning point for a deeper, richer life to emerge, one I still consider miraculous.
We aren’t denying we want something different, we’re just no longer in turmoil over the fact our lives are what they are.
In fact, when you understand that this very acceptance is the spiritual porthole for a future you to rise, you get curious.
“To live in relationship verses separation is to accept all that is happening in the present as your present reality and as a call to be in relationship with it…Living in relationship is living in love. It is a complete reliance on the relationship itself rather than the mind.”
A Course of Love
No longer struggling against the current, we become “like little children”, trusting the river is beneficent. And oddly enough, it’s when we stop fighting, when we can just be with what we have, in peace and patient, the next step unfolds naturally.
Here’s a way to find some relief during uncertainty.
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