- I can choose different feelings based on my interpretation, beliefs and thoughts
- I take responsibility for my life
- I cannot be responsible for another person's choices or life
When you focus on what you want to have happen instead of dwelling on things you cannot change, your emotional response will change. Ask yourself the following:
- What can I accept right now?
- What am I hanging onto, fighting, resisting, or refusing to accept? Why?
- What do I want to have happen? Create a vision of that.
- What choices can I make to create this? What action will I need to take? What is within my realm of ability to do? What isn't?
Write down all your answers. Become aware of the words you use, such as "I can't, it will never happen, what's the use, I always fail, etc.". Words are powerful symbols that you brain and mind act upon and can keep you from acceptance and making new choices.
When our focus is on changing someone or something, we end up using force or manipulation to achieve our goal, resulting in anger and escalation of the problem. When we stop trying to force or change events, people or ourselves, we can begin to explore ways to achieve positive goals.
We can't change people or events. We can only choose to respond in a different, more productive way. Acceptance allows you to look at what you really want and find ways to accomplish that. As we explore options we can also examine the consequences of those options giving us more discretion over our choices and ways to evaluate their success.
Marlene Anderson, MA, LMHC, NCC