It is what it is
Acceptance is a funny old thing. It doesn’t announce itself with pomp and splendour. There’s no metaphoric big band. Grand entrance. Profound moment where you realise you’ve embraced acceptance and as a result you feel a huge weight lifted off your shoulders.
It’s not like those other big emotions you’ve likely experienced in the aftermath of a monumental life event, like anger, shock or sadness. They consume you, bang down your door until you let them in, and obstinately refuse to leave when you’ve enough. There’s no mistaking their presence.
But acceptance does its own thing. It creeps up on you. Takes a seat beside you and waits patiently until your next trigger and that’s when you notice its presence. It gently let’s you know it’s there and it’s got you. And most importantly, you’ve got through the worst of it all. And you’re alright. It’s alright. The storm clouds are finally parting once and for all.
I didn’t realise I’d embraced acceptance until Father’s Day. I noticed a number of single mums I follow posting about how difficult the day was for them. I totally got it. The last two Father’s Days have been filled with immense sadness. A longing to still be a part of the family every fibre in my body pined for So much so, I would disappear in nature for the day, or eat way too much food, or get way too drunk the night before, anything to distract myself from the pain in my heart. This sentimental Hallmark day I used to dream about didn’t involve me anymore. And that hurt.
But this time around, something incredible happened. And I didn’t even realise how profound it was until I went to bed that night. I was… fine. More than fine. And that’s what I mean, acceptance just sneaks up on you, and you don’t even realise how far you’ve come and how much a situation that used to have so much power over you, no longer controls you.
Father’s Day fell on my weekend. So, my ex and I agreed we’d both take our son to soccer. Then, they’d go off and spend some time together doing as they please.
And here’s the thing, I wasn’t phased when my son went off with his dad for a few hours. I kissed him goodbye and I was thankful to have that time to run a few errands before lunch with my own dad. Then when it was time to drop Ollie back, there was no grief. Usually, that would’ve killed me. We were supposed to be doing this as a family, I’d tell him with tears welling in my eyes. My heart heavy as I watch him walk away. Except this time, I felt… at peace. Well, to be completely honest, I felt my stomach rumbling because we’d been placed at the shitty table the yum cha cart seemed to keep missing. But mainly, I felt acceptance of the situation. I was no longer fighting it, wishing it were different, or wondering why I didn’t get the same ending as everyone else. Instead I had gratitude my own dad could see his grandson on Father’s Day too. For the beautiful weather. For the delicious dumplings I was eating (or begrudgingly watching get wheeled past). For my ex and I getting to this place. He thanked me for the present I helped Ollie make him, and I genuinely smiled back and said no worries! Have a great Father’s Day! Then walked back inside the restaurant and continued on with my day. And that was it. It wasn’t exceptional. I didn’t feel different or lighter or happier. I just felt like me. But a more content version who’s accepted everything that’s happened, why it happened, and how much stronger, wiser, happier I am as a result.
I put it down to the intense self work I’ve done this year to be at a stage where acceptance can float into my life, and it feels so in alignment with who I am right now, I don’t even notice it. Somewhere between the life coaching, the acupuncture, the psychologist, the meditation, the exercise, the oils, the yoga, the nourishing food I’ve been eating, the affirmations, the teas, the journalling, the herbs… I found myself again. I accepted myself. And ultimately, I accepted my past. And I’m truly thankful for it, because I wouldn’t be half the person I am today if it hadn’t happened the way it did.
So, for anyone out there, still battling the rollercoaster of emotions I’ve lined up to ride way too many times, I hear you. I see you. I feel you. But, I promise you, just keep on going. Keep pushing. And one day you’ll wake up and you’ll feel so much better… you won’t even notice.