Common Clients’ Stories
I hear this from a lot of clients. With voices full of incredulity, they say to me:
Client: Why in the world would I accept what is so unacceptable to me?
Client: If I accept what has been done to me, doesn’t that mean the situation will continue? Doesn’t that mean that things won’t change for me?
Client: If I accept what has been done to me, this means that I’m condoning what happened. And there is no way on earth that I’m going to condone what has happened to me.
Client: How in the world can I accept what has been done to me when what was done was so awful? How can I accept what has happened to me when I have been wronged? I am the injured party here.
These are valid concerns so let’s address them. Acceptance of a situation is not the same as condoning a situation. When you accept “What Is,” you are saying, “I see the situation for what it is. And I accept what is at this moment.”
But you are not saying, “I am completely okay with the situation as it is and with what happened to me.” When you accept a situation/circumstance/person for what it is, you are letting go of any resistance to it and clearing a path to move forward. Juan had to accept his situation: his company’s performance management policy meant he could never win.
Condoning a situation means you are giving your approval for the situation. I want to be clear here; acceptance is not the same as condoning, nor does it imply condoning.
Accepting the unacceptable with peace and grace is one of the hardest things we do in this life. But the act of Acceptance brings a level of healing that we could not experience without it.
Key points for Acceptance:
- I know this is a lot of “food for thought.” Most of us struggle with Acceptance. If you need to sit with this concept for a while before doing this step, give yourself the time you need to become comfortable with it. A good question to ask yourself is how much longer do you want to be held prisoner by your past. When you are ready and willing to accept your “What Is”, follow the instructions below.
- In this step, we want to focus on situations/circumstances/persons that have damaged our relationship with work. You can use items listed in your Forgiveness template. I also encourage you to hunt for places of anger and pain that you might have suppressed. This is your chance to get it all out on the table.
- As with the Forgiveness step, you will know you are successful with the Acceptance stage when you no longer feel an emotional charge when you think about the situation/circumstance/person.
- It might take you several dedicated hours to complete this step. Give yourself the freedom to stop if you need to and pick the step up again at a later date.
- For the Acceptance step, we are going to be utilizing a template again. I have provided sample templates to help jumpstart your thinking/feeling for this process. Feel free to utilize them if they help you.
- There is no right or wrong way to complete this process. Do what feels right for you.