Accept-Then Act

I’m sure when you think of the word acceptance perhaps there are some negative associations as in being passive and let whatever happens to you become a way of life. Acceptance is acknowledging the facts of a matter are true and it’s letting go of a fight with reality. When you choose to accept reality as it is, it is NOT a resignation, just a realization that there has to be a way through it and/or cope. We have a CHOICE every day regarding the ATTITUDE we will embrace for the day. We cannot change the PAST…. Or the fact that other people will act a certain way out of fear, etc. The ONLY thing we can do is CHOOSE the attitude we have for each day. The first step towards change is acceptance. Once you accept yourself, as a person who has depression and/or disorder, you open the door to change. Simple. It’s not something you do, it’s something you allow. We all understand emotions get in the way i.e. unbearable sadness; anger at the person or group whose caused the painful event; overwhelming shame about who you are; guilt about your own behavior and so on. When you choose to hold on to the bitterness and fight against reality, it will only cause more suffering in the long run. Life is worth living even with painful events in it. Knowing that you are diagnosed is not the end of the world, it is just the beginning. Practice willingness which is just a form of doing what is needed, focusing on effectiveness. This means taking on coping skills ( I will go more in detail in future posts) , seeking a mental health professional and/or reaching out to a close friend/family member that you trust. Do not let individuals with fear of the unknown make you feel inferior or hopeless. You’re NOT crazy, slow, or any of these horrible labels placed by cowards. Take a genuine interest in what you are dealing with so that you can make informed decisions. This can range from websites, books, audio/video on mental health. If you are not sure of who you are or what your feelings are, it will be difficult to feel successful in interpersonal interactions. If we don’t know what we are feeling than we will be unable to express our feelings in our relationships. Relationships are all-inclusive, romantic, business, friends/family. In addition, this feeling or uncertainty will lead you to feel as if you don’t know how to ask for help or say NO to unwanted requests. Relationships will be out of balance, meaning we may feel that we give more than we get in our relationships. Learning to accept and identify your feelings in reference to the depression/disorder can be beneficial. It is a skill that takes some time but once you master this, you can go on to the next steps like Core Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Interpersonal Effectiveness and Emotion Regulation.(Adapted from Skills Training Manual, Dr. Marsha Linehan)  Eckhart Tolle -“Accept then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it..this will miraculously transform your whole life”white