Week 39 – 18 June 2012
In one of my very early posts I wrote about how the ending of my marriage threw me into a grief process with particular stages or feelings – shock – pain – anger – depression – and being totally overwhelmed. I clung onto the hope of the last supposed stage of grief – hope and “acceptance” as a place I would eventually reach. I thought over and over that that is where I would like to be. I told myself if I could get to a point of “acceptance” then perhaps I could turn my situation around with positive responses and a hope for the future – a positive future.
Now at week 39 I wondered exactly what was meant by ‘acceptance’ and – if I had to get to a state of ‘acceptance’ in order to move on – what exactly was it that I supposed to accept?
Let me first get the dictionary out and explore the meaning of ‘acceptance’ and other related words.
Acceptance – the action of consenting to receive or undertake something.
Admit – accept as true, allow
Acknowledge – recognize as fact
Adjust – modify or make suitable to changed conditions
Adapt – make something suitable for a new purpose, alter for a new use
Allow – permit, take into account
Action – process of doing something
Accomplish – achieve or complete something
Achieve – reach or attain a desired objective by effort, skill or courage
Being left suddenly through no choice is akin to surviving a hurricane. Everything in your prior life has been totally destroyed and swept away and you are left alone amongst the rubble. You face feelings of abandonment, betrayal, a lost past, a stolen future, a changed family unit, the loss of a significant other and coupledom, as well as facing a future alone with a significant loss of financial security.
I do not think that I have or perhaps ever will accept by consent the hurt, the betrayal, the lost trust and of being abandoned. I cannot accept or consent to the lack of respect shown to me in not being given any choice or discussion on the ending of our 40 year partnership. I cannot yet accept that this was done to me by the one who I had cared for all my adult life, my friend and soul-mate.
However, I can indeed now acknowledge all this as fact. I can admit that this has happened. There has been a lot of pain associated with getting to that point. It was easier in the beginning to simply block it all out. It has been much much harder to face and admit the facts, and acknowledge them as true. This I have now done. That far I have progressed.
I have managed to go one step further in some aspects.
I have adjusted to the strange twilight world of today and have enjoyed living in the moment that each day brings. I have adapted to not having a significant other and of needing to face the future alone. I have allowed solitude to enter my life as my best companion and in fact I have embraced it.
While still hard at times the children and I have all adjusted to our changed family unit. In particular, I acknowledge that it will be me that will always be there for my children to see them through their triumphs and tragedies and to share in their everyday lives. I have adapted to being there for them on my own. I always have been and always will be there for them. I admit that my home is too large for me as a single person and I will take action to ensure its maintenance. It is my choice at the moment to keep the family home as a sanctuary for myself and the children for the preservation of their childhood memories.
I admit that it will be a difficult year to sort out all the legal, accounting and structural changes required for the split; and I acknowledge that it will be me that will have to do most of this technical work. I have adjusted to this turbulent period and have sought professional assistance where required. I admit it will be a challenge to get myself back on track to financial security. This will require a defined action plan, a strict budget and a delayed retirement.
Finally I admit that I have been hurt and that I am still in a degree of pain and that I need time to heal. I will allow myself that time. Until I have healed I admit that I will feel overwhelmed if I have visitors or when I travel as it is taking me away from my cocoon, my protective shell of solitude. Eventually, when I emerge from my cocoon it will not bother me. I admit that I am not there yet and i will give myself more time.
So, even though I have not quite reached acceptance, I do not feel that i do in order to move on away from ‘we’ and on to ‘me’. I have acknowledged what has happened, I have adjusted my thoughts and adapted to my changed circumstances. I am taking the actions required to move myself forward. …. step by step.
It is for that reason that I know that I will in time move on to my own accomplishments and achievements before advancing through many other phases (B, C, D, ….) before finally reaching the zenith of my life.
Zenith – the peak, the highest point.
This entry is so beautifully written and so very accurate. Thank you so much for sharing this.
Thank you for your comments. It is encouraging to know that my words mean something to someone else.
I agree, and wonder whether letting go is healthier than acceptance; or whether you must first accept and then let go. Acknowledgment might be a better substitute for acceptance, which suggests a resignation of sorts. When you’re hurt by someone else’s actions, your ego goes through all sorts of reactionary phases to try and heal itself. So I think, bottom line, the letting go – which suggests freeing yourself – puts you back on the path toward liberation and more happiness. That’s something I’ve tentatively concluded anyway.
You are right. the letting go is so important . It took me some time, however, to grasp that one has to let go of ALL aspects, even the bits that initially you keep buried in order to survive. But keeping them buried means they are still there. So one has to bring them to the surface, face them, acknowledge them as fact, and THEN let go. That is truly painful yet, as you say, so liberating. Thanks for your words of support.
You are very clever with words Elizabeth. For me, acceptance means acknowledging that all relationships in our life are there to teach us something whether they be short or long. Some of those will cause us pain which is usually the time when personal growth is at it’s peak if one is strong enough to work through it, and that you are. I love this quote “some people come into our lives and quickly go, while others stay awhile, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same.” Teresa 🙂
Thank you for these comments. You are wise and inspirational. You are correct that the obstacles that cause us the greatest pain also provide us with the best periods for personal growth …. although sometimes it is hard to see it at the time.
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