We are all in a place of unknown, confusion and chaos right now. But fighting against all of our feelings, or shoving them down tends to increase our pain. I wrote this several years ago, but it still applies today. While this is my story, I hope you find it encouraging and that you can say the same things to yourself…to reach a place of radical acceptance and, ultimately, healing.
“I radically accept myself for all that I am and all I am going through. With the Lord’s strength in me, I offer myself compassion, understanding and continued acceptance. I accept that I am undergoing continued stress and change whether always noticeable and understood or not.
I accept the thoughts I have about food and eating and do not condemn myself for them but realize they are the result of many, many years of dealing with food/health-related struggles. I fully accept myself as someone who depends on food, caffeine, alcohol and other chemicals to cope or am even comforted by the thoughts that I’m not trapped because these things will help me in the future. I don’t shun myself for these thoughts but instead welcome myself as someone brave in sharing and admitting these dependencies and as one who would like to change in this area of her life.
I accept the thoughts I have about my health and my resistance to change. I recognize and accept my longing for the past and who I have been with my depression. I accept that I have used depression as a crutch to lean on and give my life worth and meaning. While my illness has added depth to my life, I recognize my struggle to both hang on to the precious lessons I learned from depression and to let go of the pain and limitations and bondage of depression. I realize and accept the sanctity of my emotions, the depths of my emotions and the closeness to God I felt during my many years of severe and moderate depression. It is understandable that I would fear never having these feelings or getting to these places again if I let go of depression. I also realize and wholeheartedly accept the thoughts of irritation that want to move on-the judging critical thoughts toward my clinging nostalgic self. I am embracing also the third set of thoughts that have to do with giving up the fight altogether because it seems I can’t have what I want-both the past and the present. I accept the stuckness I feel and am emboldened to move forward with a new way of thinking.
I accept my conflicted thoughts about marriage. I do not condemn myself but lovingly accept these as just thoughts: “I wonder if I would have been better off alone; then I wouldn’t have hurt him so badly. I wouldn’t have to feel compelled to share everything and the pain of being misunderstood wouldn’t be there.” “I am frustrated that I can’t get the sacredness that was my private single life back. I am so sick of the guilt of always doing something wrong and being able to relax the way I used to. I miss holding my thoughts and feelings as precious in my journals.” “I am annoyed that I even have these thoughts when all I’ve ever wanted was to be married.” “I know it is better for me to be married and that God knew what He was doing when He brought us together.” “I am so grateful to never be alone and to always have that special someone who is always fighting for me.” “I will continue to learn how to protect the sacredness that was my former self while also moving forward in marriage in the here and now.” “I have hope that marriage will become even more joy-filled and meaningful with every passing day.”
Finally, I lovingly accept my thoughts about my current condition. I may not always feel amazing, but I know how to accept these mental, emotional, spiritual and physical states and not label them as “bad.” Instead, I will say, “This is a feeling which will not last forever. What can I learn from it? Because soon it will be gone.” Now I am free from the pain of always trying to push away the pain. Instead, I can just rest and know that I am learning from each and every moment of life. This has helped me once again realize the sacredness and beauty of my life. Right now.