I often say these words to myself after I do a piece of constellation work. When I am a part of the constellation, I see glimpses of truth, I see the hidden revealed just for the moment, I see family dynamics at play, – as they are and not, what I would like them to be. I understand that it takes courage to see things as they are, to accept them as they are and and yet connect with the other on a baser level of love.
Acceptance of what is, is a self care routine I have started following for myself. In current times, life can be overwhelming and sometimes stressful. In a world of deadlines, self care somehow gets relegated to the back bench. Just accepting things without the urge to change them to fit our reality, can be liberating.
What I constantly keep forgetting and relearning is that self care is most required in moments of complete chaos so I can ground myself and operate from a space of “I am in charge” instead of a space where “I will control it at whatever expense”. Acceptance does not demand that we resign ourselves to a troubling situation, but it does require a refusal to deny how things actually are. In seeing things as they happen to be, we can allow ourselves to feel compassion towards the other and at the same time allow the same level of compassion to ourselves as we would accord to others.
It is in the struggle of making things “right” the way we think it to be right, that we create stress within ourselves. I have seen this many times that when the struggle is within me, I am bound to see a reflection of the same outside of me. In the book “when the body says no”, Gabor Mate mentions that the three factors that lead to stress are uncertainty, lack of information, and loss of control. We need emotional competence if we are to protect ourselves from these hidden stresses. I know I have the emotional competence when:
- I can feel my emotions. This way I know when I am experiencing stress.
- I have expressed my emotions effectively. Effective expression means doing an internal check to see if I have really asserted my needs without crossing healthy boundaries.
- Have I repressed my needs to gain acceptance or approval of others.
- Are my current reactions relevant to the present situation or are they a residue from the past. In other words, is what I am asking for based on unconscious, unsatisfied needs of childhood. If that is the case then my need is never going to be satisfied.
For me self care is giving myself the space to be in touch with how I am feeling in my body and to honor what I am feeling. It is in this honoring that we gain the serenity to accept all that lies before us and we garner the strength to carry us forward with grace and dignity.