I’m excited to post this entry. I just had a bubble explode in my head and decided it was important to write it down!
For… I don’t know… 25 years or so I think I’ve been confused about the word “acceptance” and what it means. Growing up in the “Gay is ALMOST okay” era, it’s a time where people are throwing around the word “acceptance” all of the time, especially myself, and I think I’d come to the conclusion sometime a long time ago that acceptance means that everyone must agree with me, my choices, and my behavior. And to some degree, not only agree, but endorse with a wavy flag in the air. This belief made it virtually impossible to include a compassionate “me” in this equation. Essentially, the kind of “acceptance” I did, under this internal definition, was one of accepting my “beliefs” and not of any sort of reality information out there. What the hell does that mean?
Remember, in my video I sent out earlier this week, when I said that after a year of my accident and gaining weight, I had just sort of stopped realizing that I was fat and I made my fat problem not a problem? This is how I do it. I “accept” my beliefs. Essentially, it’s a whole framework of permission I give myself to not even LOOK at a standard set of reality data to measure against. Awesome!
So, I was reading a website article from High Existance. The article is called “The Dark Side of Self Improvement.” It speaks of people’s motivations for self-improvement: from an “I’m broken” standpoint or a “Let’s see how far we can go” standpoint. Most of the world comes from a view that somehow they are not good enough or that they aren’t perfect. So the 10.3 billion dollar self-improvement industry is attempting to free people of the perception that perfection is some standard outside of yourself. This delusion that somehow, I can be exactly what I perceive to be is perfect in someone else. Not only is that short-sighted, because even the most perfect person probably has their own flavor of imperfection they deal with, but it is also setting yourself up for a harsh failure or for defiance; Which is what I spent many years doing. My step father had his ideal of what perfect meant for me. I tried to live to that standard but no matter how skinny I was, he didn’t seem phased with his predetermined ideals about me. So, I decided “to hell with him” and “accepted” myself and decided not to grow, not to change… not to improve, because I had “accepted” myself.
While I was reading that article, that’s when it totally just hit me. As Mr. Smee would say in the old movie, Hook, “I just ‘ad an aprostophe…. Lighting ‘as just struck my brain.” Acceptance is like looking at the reality and gathering the information of that reality in order to make an informed decision of which path to take. I could accept that I am fat and not do anything about it– OR I could accept that I am fat and decide to do something about it. It’s about reality. Not about beliefs. Beliefs != Reality. I can accept both, but only one will actually expose something for me and help me make change. The other will merely help me cover up the areas I can improve upon.
That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t have beliefs. After-all, we DO have beliefs. I’m just speaking of “accepting” them instead of investigating reality outside of the beliefs.
Is that the understanding you have? Read the article I linked and let me know.
On that note, tonight is my first appointment with my personal trainer, Lesa Devol from Living Lifestyle Changes. Looking forward to the first meeting!