And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation – some fact of my life – unacceptable to me. I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. — The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous
My definition of love is acceptance. If you don’t accept your partner, your family, your friends just as they are — you don’t love them. If you don’t accept yourself just as you are — you don’t love yourself.
My heavy backpack
I look at all the people and things I don’t accept in my life as the big heart hump I carry around in my upper back. It’s like a backpack I’ve stuffed with haters, child molesters, abusive people, mean people, polluters — my list could go on.
The problem with not accepting everything and everybody as they are — is non-acceptance only hurts me. My backpack of non-acceptance grows heavier and heavier until I’m weighed down and hunched over. My heart, neck, and shoulders in pain.
I learned a long, long time ago not to borrow trouble so I don’t listen to the news. I have enough in my backpack to release and unpack.
I was shown unconditional acceptance as a child by my beautiful angel of a Grandmother. She loved and accepted everyone she ever met. She didn’t carry a backpack of non-acceptance and was the happiest person I’ve ever known.
Love lessons from my Grandmother
Sit down and allow people to come to you – My Grandmother’s lap was always open to anyone that needed comfort. In order to crawl into her lap — she stopped what she was doing, sat down, and became fully present to whoever needed her.
Give without attachment – My Grandmother was cooking, baking, or canning most every day. She prepared food to feed her family, her neighbors, members of her church, and strangers that come to her door hungry.
Find the positive in every situation – I never heard my Grandmother say anything, negative about anyone. She’d say a positive comment about everyone she ever introduced me to. When she struggled with the loss of a loved one she’d talk about what she loved about that person through laughter and tears. When some tragedy was displayed on the TV or radio, Grandma would pat her heart, rock gently and say, “Oh dear.”
Love those that struggle the most – My little brother, Duff was a hellion and my Grandmother would say, “He needs more love than most.”
Smile and laugh a lot – My Grandmother wore a smile on her face and a laugh on her lips. Even in hard times, Grandma found something to smile about and laugh at. When my Grandpa died she rubbed the back of my head (it had swollen up with hard knots from crying) and told me funny stories about Grandpa. We were both giggling in no time. I was twenty-two-years-old by the way!
Tell people you love them – My Grandmother told me over and over again that she loved me. She’d say it and give me a big loving hug. I knew with every fiber of my being that she loved me and always would.
Be consistent – My Grandmother always showed up for all holidays, birthdays, special events, and whenever she was needed.
Accept everyone – Grandma treated everyone with respect and kindness. Again, she never spoke an unkind word about anyone.
Acceptance is a practice
A movement practice to accept all is like my Grandmother did is something I work on daily. Sometimes several times a day depending on what I hear or run into in my world. I wasn’t born an angel like my Grandmother.
When my heart hump hurts it’s best for me to do a supported heart-opening practice. I give you one in this week’s Open your Heart with Support Ageless Movement Practice. Here’s one of the movements I use to release my backpack of non-acceptance. It works like a charm!
Noodle Ball in your heart with your legs up the wall
Come to a wall with your mat and noodle ball (use a swimming pool noodle if the noodle ball is too hard). Take your mat up to the wall and run it lengthwise away from the wall. Bring your hip into the wall and place your Noodle Ball about two feet away from your hips on your mat.
Swing your legs up the wall and stay up on your elbows until you have your Noodle Ball situated right above your wingtips. Release your heart over the Noodle ball and bring your arms overhead with the elbows on the floor. Hold and breathe as long as you are comfortable.
As you come off the Noodle ball. Feel the love flowing into your heart. Remember this feeling, keep your heart open and take your love out into the world.
Please share how you accept the people and situations in your life in the comments section below. I’d love to hear from you.