The art of acceptance

The art of acceptance

There is a law in physics stating that energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be transformed from one form to another. I think this law also applies to life’s most difficult moments. We always want the bad stuff to just disappear but like the law says, energy cannot be undone, it can only move somewhere else.

Lately, I’ve been having a difficult time. I would say that most often life seems to go the way that I want. However, sometimes it feels as though one bad moment turns into a domino effect of other bad moments. I end up secluding myself for days trying to comprehend what’s going on.

I know that I am not alone in this. We all have dark days which sometimes turn into dark months or even dark years. There are situations that occur because of our own poor decisions, but what we often have a harder time with is situations that have nothing to do with our own choices. We often know how to react when we’ve screwed up - when I started this article I wanted to write about acceptance through taking responsibility for our own mistakes. However, as I started writing I realized that my current frustration comes from somewhere else.  

People who know me would say that I am good at confrontation. When there’s a problem I am fully confident in facing it and working towards a resolution - this is my nature. Particularly when it comes to my friends or family I’m not afraid of conflict and I’m not afraid to be the voice for someone who may not be able to express themselves.

Recently, I confronted the man who had sexually assaulted my friend. I felt that it was my place to be her voice as she coped with the aftershocks of the trauma. I wanted to be strong for her because I know first-hand how devastating sexual assault is.

Effortlessly, I found the words that expressed the pain that he had caused. My words were forged by all the things I never said to the man who had hurt me. I was now able to transfer the energy created by my past trauma. Over a year after I had been sexually assaulted, I was able to shift my broken pieces into bringing hers back together. I finally felt free.  

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While I was experiencing empowerment and closure, I also realized that no matter what I did to help my friend, it would not change what had happened to her. This was going to be a painful journey for her just like it had been for me. I could do everything to support and fight for her, but the injustice and betrayal would still reside. There is no going backwards in life.

I am struggling with acceptance. I wish I had answers for people who are also struggling but I know that sometimes there is no solution. Things that we have no control over and that we don’t deserve happen to us all the time. Trying to find answers to this unfairness distracts us from acknowledging our genuine pain.

I am learning to accept. I now understand that there are many battles we can’t win. Sometimes conflict has no resolution. It doesn't mean that we are okay with what happened. Just because you feel powerless or weak doesn’t mean that you are.

There is a law in physics that states energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be transformed from one form to another. When we are faced with adversity we are tested on how we transform this energy. Bad things will happen. We can’t always protect ourselves or the people we love.

If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.
— Marcus Aurelius

We get to decide how we move on even without closure or resolution. We can forgive because we know our freedom is more important than our resentment. We may have scars, but they also make our story. One day our story might help someone else with their own scars.

We accept, we learn, we grow.