For a number of weeks my household have had to daily live with hardship. We are working our way through as best we can living with a measure of daily hardship, all due most unfortunately, to a sewerage system failure on our rural property.
It is over a year since this particular unfortunate drama first entered our lives, and the related story unfolding is proving to be quite complicated, as well as long.
We have had to work our way through a diverse range of resulting consequences, as well as a diverse range of related thoughts and emotions. The literal practical impact this hardship has caused and played out each and every day, for some time, has been hard and plain challenging.
Hard times are just plain hard. Horribly hard. Hard times are a huge distraction from usual routines and activities. Hard and challenging circumstances are downright unpleasant, often disheartening and also sources of considerable frustration.
Let's be honest: hard times are just horribly, revoltingly yuck and a poo of a mess to deal with (literally, in our case). There are a range of unpleasant emotions and consuming thoughts that also often kick in.
Feeling and dealing with frustration is one resulting consequence that is a real doozie. Frustration really can become very consuming.
To not have the control that you normally prefer and like. To not have in place any longer that which you want, need or require, as part of your normal healthy routine and daily life..... it is very hard to journey with and through the strength of emotion that can result.
The particular responding emotion that manifests as a result, and which we name "Frustration," truly can be a real doozie on the energy and time sapping front.
Anger is another emotion that can really suck your usual calm demeanour down and under, into a deep, dark rabbit hole. Anger can settle over you, in you, and become like a hard stone deep in the pit of your gut....it is not a fun emotion in any true measure at all.
Anger can become consuming. It can become time consuming, energy consuming. It can lead to some additional dysfunctional pathways being drawn up and set in place if unwise, rational care is not taken.
There are other emotions also, that can totally swamp and affect where one's mindset is at, when circumstances are hard and awfully challenging.
It becomes a battle for one's mind when these often quite valid emotions become intensely overwhelming in response to circumstances not being what they should, could or would be at, if you had any true and real choice in the matter.
Radical Acceptance. The ability to accept reality. The ability to accept situations beyond your control. The ability to choose to not get overwhelmed and disempowered by a strong, overwhelming emotional response to your current awfully hard place reality. This is called and deemed to be practising radical acceptance.
Radical acceptance in no measure is about condoning what is occurring. It is not about lying back and pretending you're not experiencing emotions or actual hardship in your present reality. Radical acceptance instead is about guarding your thoughts, guarding your emotions, and therefore guarding and monitoring your responses.
Getting caught up in an emotional rollercoaster, because you cannot control what you cannot control, is not helpful or healthy. We've all at times been there, or been close to being there, as part of our human existence and experience.
An unaudited emotional rollercoaster, if we let it responsively habitually kick in, will prove to be energy and time consuming, and yet it simply does not constructively change anything in reality that is occurring one little bit.
Radical acceptance is about tooling up. It is about digging into your inner toolbox. It is about accepting your current external reality for what it is, and not getting caught up in an overly emotional reaction to it.
Radical acceptance is about tooling up and refusing to jump on an emotional rollercoaster ride in response to that very hard, yucky reality we may not currently feel at all good about.
Radical acceptance is about knowing what is within your circle of influence. It is about keeping your head, keeping your health, and being wise and kind to yourself on (and in) so many good, positive constructive levels.
Being unable to fix things. Being unable to change situations. Being unable to personally right what is unfair or wrong. It can over a prolonged time create suffering that can, unfortunately, become significantly greater suffering if we are not wise, rational and therefore careful.
We are not called to agree with what is or has happened by practising radical acceptance. That is not what radical acceptance entails at all.
Radical acceptance instead offers us and allows us to see reality for what it is. It keeps us functioning, within a circle of wisdom and good health, within that very challenging reality.
We get to live within the hard, challenging reality afforded to us at the time, and we get a better opportunity afforded to us, at the very same time, in order to function at our very level best while we walk the walk of the journey before us.
We see reality for what it is, when we practise radical acceptance.
We see with greater clarity and greater objectivity what we cannot change and what indeed we can change.
Radical acceptance allows us to retain absolute control over our thoughts, our actions and our words, as we interact with the current reality we are in fact caught in.
Letting our thoughts run wild unfortunately only ever causes additional pain and more suffering.
Letting our emotions run wild only ever causes more pain and more suffering.
Radical acceptance is about retaining control over that which is within our circle of influence, whilst still remaining, and being very present, in the realness of the reality we are in fact in.
Radical acceptance is practical and active.
Radical acceptance is a conscious choice to audit your emotions and reactions, in the very moment at hand.
Radical acceptance is about offering the best self care and kindness to yourself.
You are your own very best advocate in trying and hard circumstances. Radical acceptance is about practising the ultimate form of self care, as best you can, in your present reality; even though there is hardship, injustice and unfairness still at hand.
Auditing your emotions helps keep things in check and healthy. It is in your very best interest to practise the art of keeping your emotions from running away from you. Radical acceptance keeps you emotionally in control, in a moment of time, when that around you may not at all be the way they should be.
Radical acceptance involves you actively choosing to respond and react in the current reality with great thoughtfulness.
Let us be very clear once again, acceptance is not at all the same as agreement.
When you choose to embrace radical acceptance, you are in no measure condoning the unfair, the unjust, or the hard, in the reality about you or contained in that which you are experiencing.
Radical acceptance is about consciously choosing to practise calmness in the present time, regardless of what else is in the present time.
It is about choosing to keep yourself practising rational, logical choice making and calmness regardless. When it comes to your thoughts, words and actions, you are choosing to remain in absolute sound control of those very things. Repeatedly. Steadily. Always.
Breathe. Choose to breathe and focus on retaining calm control of your breathing. Choose to monitor how well you are literally breathing, while being on the journey in your current hard and challenging experience.
Calm, deep, well paced breathing helps us keep our oxygen levels within good, healthy safe limits. It literally helps us when it comes to providing clarity of mind because we are providing the brain with the literal chemicals and elements it needs to function best. Good, calm sound breathing also affords us the ability to deal better with pain, be it literally physically present or present emotionally.
Guard your thoughts. Watch that they do not start to spiral and go down a dark rabbit hole. Our thoughts can take us on a journey that can prove to be very dark, very negative and not helpful to keeping us functioning well in and through the reality of our day. Guard your thoughts, to keep yourself reality based and able to carry out daily tasks with sound awareness and appropriate attention to their details.
Let go of what could have been. We can grieve what could have been and this can cause additional extra pain and suffering. We need to see reality as it stands. We need to accept reality, even though we may not agree with things being what they are. We simply cannot fight reality. It is what it is. We have to be real about what is real, and therefore be rational in all our reactions and responses.
Stay present in the present. Living in the past is unhealthy. Living in a state of wishful thinking is unhealthy. Judgment and blame also rob us of precious time and precious energy. Why waste any more of those very valuable things by being caught up spinning within a cycle of unhealthy judgment and blame?
Radical acceptance allows us to be in the present moment in a much healthier fashion.
Radical acceptance enables us to be more rational, more objective. Radical acceptance allows us to pull things together, within our actual circle of influence, in order to work out how to best move forward.
Radical acceptance allows us to make and take up doing right actions.
Radical acceptance enables us to respond with wisdom. It is a tool available in our toolbox to help us tool up constructively and positively, in order to make the changes necessary to go forward.
Radical acceptance is a choice to practise wise, healthy, helpful self care, all the while doing what needs to be, and can be done, within your own circle of influence.
Radical acceptance is a tool to hold onto, whilst journeying (however slowly) towards the light at the end of the current tunnel of hardship being experienced.
Radical acceptance is a tool, to help gain the clarity to see that you do in fact have options. Rather than getting swept along by only continually seeing all consuming unfairness and injustice, your time and energy can, and will, remain instead focused on serving you truly best.
Radical acceptance takes and keeps the intensity of emotion in check. It keeps emotions and thoughts rationally in check and therefore helpful, rather than unhelpful.
Radical acceptance keeps you goal focused. Radical acceptance keeps you balanced and in a position of wise, healthy equilibrium, rather than swinging on a pendulum.
Radical acceptance is not about denying emotions or circumstances. Instead, it is about being very real about them.
When we are able to be very real, and also rational and slightly more objective, we hold the best key for going forward towards the very best of outcomes and solutions we require and desire.
For those of us who are people of faith, practising radical acceptance is also in fact actually very biblical. To be real about one's challenging circumstances and their hardship, yet retain self control and practise the Fruit of the Spirit as best we can, is deemed the better spiritual pathway and most Christlike stance to take.
There is indeed, very sound, diverse and great benefits and value in practising radical acceptance in hard times that are just awfully plain hard.
I personally highly recommend picking up and embracing the tool of radical acceptance, as best you can, and as soon as you can.
Why you may ask? Because sometimes reality does indeed, both literally and figuratively, contain a rather large "poo of a mess" and you need to have wise and health giving "tools" present to help within your personal toolbox, whilst on the very challenging life journey at hand.
It is my sincere hope that this message will encourage someone who perhaps needed to be encouraged today, because their life journey contains a measure of challenging circumstances or hardship unfortunately currently. May the practical tips in this blogpost prove helpful. Happy homemaking, Everyone.