Accepting the unacceptable

From Dr. Gail Brenner, Psychologist, who we highly recommend here at the Christian Healing Blog

If you don’t like the way you’re feeling, you try to ignore the pain.

​If you feel badly about yourself, you try to find all the reasons why you should love yourself instead. All of these efforts seem to make sense. If you don’t like the way things are, then why not try to change, control, fix, or eliminate them? However...this strategy is fundamentally flawed, and here’s why.​ It is a complete denial of our present moment experience.

  • It makes us believe that something is wrong with this moment that needs to be fixed or changed.

  • It reinforces the belief that right now is not okay. It makes us feel like we’re lacking, inadequate, and missing what we need to be happy.

  • And it makes us hope for happiness at some future time, which keeps us searching endlessly to fix ourselves.

This belief that there’s something wrong with our present moment experience is good for business. People spend literally billions of dollars a year on books, retreats, workshops, and programs to learn to fix what we’ve been led to believe is broken about ourselves.

But here's the amazing news: there is a better way, a radical way, and it's available to you now—and in every moment. You don't have to spend a single penny to know what it is.

You can give up all the effort to change, control, and try to get rid of your troublesome thoughts and feelings. You don’t have to wait one more second hoping you’ll find your way out of the suffering.

What you can do is turn toward yourself and form a friendly relationship with your inner experience.

Think of it like this. Whatever is arising in you—a story, any types of thoughts or emotions—these are like friends knocking on your door that want to come in for a visit. So the question for you is: how do you meet them?

Do you slam the door in their face wanting them to go away? Do you reject them and ask for better friends instead?

These are harsh reactions to these innocent visitors that create an inner war. And this old way of meeting them actually gives them energy that makes them stick.

And what do they do? They keep showing up to try to get your welcoming and acceptance.

Do you feel stuck in a recurring pattern? Then there's something you're rejecting.

But here’s the alternative—and it's simple. Be okay with these visitors. Let them stay for a while. Let them just be here without resisting them or trying to figure them out or rejecting them. Then they begin to lose their power.

Your thoughts and feelings make up your inner experience. What they really want is just to be—and not to be rejected. When you relate to them with friendliness, being okay with them, they begin to quiet down.

It's a paradox, but it's true. Accept what you feel is unacceptable, and you start to feel better.

See how there’s nothing to fix, control, or change? See how you don’t have to wait for things to shift on their own?

Simply be the welcoming presence for whatever experiences visit you—without trying to control them. Oh, this is this...

Now there's space for the free flow of whatever thoughts or emotions arise in you… And there's harmony, peace, and the end of inner conflict.