Acceptance is about bringing myself out of the shadows and being open about myself. Awareness has brought all the issues up and helped me to see what is going on, but that is not enough! Now it is time to absorb what I have discovered and make it mine.
I have three areas of acceptance to deal with: accepting my limitations, accepting my shadow, accepting that I am amazing. It is important that I absorb all three into my self equally. It is important that I do no just focus on what is easy and leave the rest until later. It is important that I have a balance between all three areas.
The first area is the easiest one to accept, I think this is probably true for many people. Accept my limitations.
On this journey I have talked about my limitations, such as my club foot. the physical limitations are difficult to ignore, they stick in my face. This does not automatically mean I accept them, but it does make it difficult for me not to.
I have found that the process of drawing them into my life means I can work beyond them. Once I accept their reality they cease to be limitations. They become guideposts for moving forward in my life.
My club foot is a limitation that could easily get in the way of my love of walking. It does not, it ensures that I organise it properly. I need to spend time choosing shoes and working out a plan of growth. If I do not do this it jumps up and cries limitation!
Accepting my shadow is more tricky. Shadows, by their very nature, tend to lurk just out of sight, pretending they do not exist. They jump out and project themselves onto other people I deal with. They put on a guise of being their problems.
There is clearly an issue of awareness here, but even with that sorted out the shadow tries to continue pretending not to exist. It takes a superhuman effort on my part to fully absorb my shadow and not project it any more on others.
“In trying to express only those aspects of ourselves that we believe will guarantee us the acceptance of others, we suppress some of our most valuable and interesting features and sentence ourselves to a life of reenacting the same outworn scripts. Reclaiming the parts of ourselves that we have relegated to the shadow is the most reliable path to actualizing all of our human potential. Once befriended, our shadow becomes a divine map that—when properly read and followed—reconnects us to the life we were meant to live and the people we were meant to be.”Debbie Ford
I have hinted earlier that the most difficult area to integrate is the area of my brilliance. I am happy for other people to tell me how brilliant I am—and I believe them, at the time—I am just not sure I totally believe it myself.
Several years ago I produced an online course called ‘How To Love A Woman’. I wrote it, video’d it and marketed it. When I first made it available online I made just a few sales. I immediately crashed into a depression, trelling myself that it was no good and that people did not want it. It took some serious talk from Urmila for me to see how great the course was and that what was not working was simply marketing.
I immediately jumped into knocking myself down, thinking that I am not good enough rather than that I am brilliant but need to work on the details.
When I was a lighting designer I was totally happy with my skill as a designer, I knew I was great, but I always needed to work hard on the details to make the design great.
Thinking I am great is dangerous, though, it can lead to arrogance—but surely that is just a limitation…
- Have you happily accepted your limitations?
- Do you project your shadow onto others?
- What are you brilliant at, do you accept it?