Do not stay in your greatest pain.

“Do not stay in your greatest pain.” – Joel Osteen The words awareness, acceptance and accountability are powerful. These words can give us a road map to inner peace and to the healing of the wounds we carry. Awareness is crucial because the more aware we are, the more in tune we are with whatever the reality of the moment is. When we are in awareness of this moment we are not lamenting about past hurts, slights, or even failures. We are not letting our mind vividly conjure up future catastrophes. We are not dithering about inconsequential choices as if the choice we make will be a matter of life and death. You see when we are truly able to be aware, we are honest. The best choice for us in the moment becomes apparent, not convoluted. When we are honest we are not in denial. Denial is a defensive shade over our eyes which prevents us from seeing what is. If we are in denial we cannot handle what is before us to manage it well, if at all.

Even if in this moment if you are experiencing the loss of a loved one, you grieve with an honest cleansing grief. You allow your tears to flow as these tears honor your deep feelings of the love in your heart for this person who is passing. Few moments are of this magnitude, but when they do come we walk through them. Our full awareness which brings presence to ourselves and those around us serves us best. I do believe at our deepest level we know we have the strength to handle this one moment we are living in with clarity of mind.

Acceptance can be a tough one to wrestle with at times. I love the old phrase: “Acceptance is the paradox of change.” As we accept the reality of the moment, be it a feeling, an event, or another person’s opinion or attitude, or even ourselves, warts and all, a strange freedom appears on our doorstep. As we practice acceptance of what is our clarity of mind increases. We develop an uncanny ability to shed the unreasonable fears and life-sucking frustrations which have held us hostage. We become less likely to jump forward into fearing what the future might bring and we are far less likely to rile against what we don’t like. When we do not practice acceptance, too often fear freezes us. When we do not practice acceptance, too often anger and resentment catapults us into destructive behaviors. These negative habits of reacting can be well-worn paths we need to overcome in part, yes by being aware, but also by being accepting of what is. Practicing and practicing acceptance is an essential pathway to achieve the peace and healing we deserve. Acceptance is NOT resignation! Acceptance takes letting go of our need to control reality in order to make it into what we want it to be. Acceptance is freedom. When we accept what is, our spirit soars.

“The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.” - Nathaniel Brandon. And I believe what will bring us all the way home to the change we seek is accountability.

Accountability is our third important step forward. So here we are, being in this moment through awareness; experiencing freedom by practicing acceptance, and; now we are faced with the third powerful component to successful living and healing: accountability. Accountability is our action step. We hold ourselves accountable to shed our old destructive ways of engaging in negative reactions like grudges, resentment and acts of revenge. We hold our selves accountable for releasing our unrealistic and destructive fears by confronting and throwing out that old habit of imagining catastrophes and holding on to them as if absolute truth. When we practice being accountable we can see what is ours to do, like facing and changing the distortions which cause emotional angst. Note well, hopelessness is ALWAYS a distortion. Accountability is an important and often a left out piece of what it takes to have the structure we need to move forward in our lives. Accountability is the step which requires us to finish growing up.

As we develop with practice our spiritual and mental muscles of awareness, acceptance and accountability we improve the quality of our lives significantly, and that is very good.

            -Mary Seyuin, M.A. LLP