This week has been a week of learning to lean into acceptance for me. Acceptance that things are what they are and acceptance that I can never achieve as much in a day as I think I need to!
Acceptance is a tricky subject. I talked about it in my Wellbeing Live on Friday morning.
I related it back to babies and sleep. Always an exhausting subject!
Neither of my girls truly slept though until they were over 1. Looking back, I don’t know how I made it through the exhaustion and worked at the same time. I went back to work, full-time, when Grace was a little over four months old and she still woke 3/4 times a night. I really just zombied my way through it all!
Whilst in the midst of it all, I can’t remember whether I read something or someone offered me some wise words, but I realised that accepting the situation for what it was made me feel a whole lot better and far less resentful of my life. There really was very little I could do to persuade either of them to sleep. I simply had to accept that they would when they were ready and embrace what I was given.
This took a whole heap of pressure off my shoulders.
I stopped making it my job to ‘fix’ the sleep situation. I stopped worrying that they were never, ever going to sleep through and I even enjoyed those quiet middle of the night times because I knew that they wouldn’t last forever. Now, Captain Hindsight is a great thing and this is not something I was able to do when Grace was very little, so please don’t go beating yourself up if you are completely exhausted and as frustrated as hell because your baby simply will not settle before 2am.
Note to self: everything is a phase and this too shall pass.
BUT acceptance, stops you getting lost in the exhaustion and helps you to move on. Acceptance stops you searching for answers that usually aren’t there and acceptance stops you from blaming yourself. How many times have you thought ‘If only I hadn’t done this then I’m sure she’d be sleeping better’? Stop going into blame.
This doesn’t only apply to sleep. Think of our pandemic situation. You can’t fight lockdown and you can’t control it either. That’s for Boris! You can accept and make peace with the fact that it is what it is and enjoy being in control of certain aspects of your life; which other person you do meet up with, when you do go to the supermarket, what you watch on telly, who you call, what you read, the games you play with your children, how often you cuddle your baby.
There are two ways out of a problem or a predicament: accept what’s happening, see the positive and choose a peaceful state of mind; or fight against it, be miserable and struggle against the universe. Life is challenging. The world is challenging. Practising acceptance prepares you for this and make you strong. It’s like having your own pair of wings that you can wrap around yourself for protection when you need them.
Somethings we simply cannot change. Accepting them for what they are is your way back to where you want to be.