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Acknowledge – Accept – Let Go

Listen to this episode of the Focus with Marlene Podcast:

Get caught up with all episodes in the Developing a New Focus series.

This is part 5 in my series, “Focus on Your Responses to Life.”
Part 1: Is Your First Response to Problems Reactive or Proactive?
Part 2: 5 Constructive Ways to Respond When Your Anger is Triggered
Part 3: Acknowledge and Affirm Your Positive and Negative Sides
Part 4: Reframe and Make the Changes Needed


To make and meet our goals, we need a willingness to go beyond what we are currently doing. Here are three things to consider: acknowledge – accept – let go.

Acknowledge

If we don’t acknowledge what has happened or is happening, we will unconsciously keep repeating what isn’t working. Until we recognize how our responses to problems are helping or hurting us, we will be unable to make the best decisions moving forward.

  • Acknowledge your depth of pain.
  • Acknowledge your vulnerability.
  • Acknowledge your feelings of insecurity, anger, or fear.
  • Face your emotions and work with them.

Accept

Acceptance gives us permission to stop fighting with the reality that…

…My marriage is over.

…My child has died.

…My teen was arrested.

…My job is ending.

…My finances have run out.

…My life savings have been wiped away.

…I might have to give up my home.

…I might never walk again.

…I will have to live with this chronic illness for the rest of my life.

No more denials or resistance. It is a painful place, often full of unanswered questions, confusion, and doubts, but when we are ready to accept what’s happening, we can turn our frustration and anger into something productive.

If we run from pain, we remain stuck in an ongoing cycle of anger, resentment, or depression.

What acceptance does NOT mean

  • Acceptance does not mean giving up.
  • Acceptance does not mean becoming a passive participant in life.
  • Acceptance does not mean saying that what happened was unimportant.

What acceptance DOES mean

Acceptance is a way of thinking that can be applied to any circumstance.

It means acknowledging reality so we can evaluate new options.

It is where we stop fighting the inevitable and instead use our mind, intellect, and energy productively. We work with life by altering our attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs, allowing our energy to help us explore options.

Acceptance allows us to gain wisdom from our past. It is a pivotal point that takes us from what we can’t do to possibilities, options, and choices. It is where problem-solving begins.

Let Go

With acceptance, we can better define the problems we face. We don’t have to have all the answers or have it all together.

Letting go allows us to explore and determine what we really want.

eagle soaring

After the death of my husband, I wrote a piece titled, On Eagle’s Wings – Let Go and Soar! Here is part of what I wrote.

“Let go. Many times, I have watched eagles from my deck, their powerful outstretched wings riding the thermal air currents, soaring upward until they were mere specks in the sky. How incredible it would be to be an eagle – serenely floating above my world and circumstances. But I can’t soar if I hang on to what I had. I can’t soar unless I let go.”

“Let go and soar. They say eagles mate for life; so did my husband and I. Like the pairs of eagles around my home, we worked and played together. Now, I’m left to fly alone. To get through this sorrow, I need to believe my grief will end.”

“In order to fly you have to let go of your fear and free fall, spreading your arms to catch the wind.”

It was something I had written in my journals months earlier as I was coming to terms with death, hoping for a reprieve. Hope seemed like a two-edged sword cutting me to pieces. Yet without hope there is no purpose – no reason to believe in a future.

“In order to fly, you must have hope. Hope can energize me. Hope is the wings that will let me fly.”

I reclaim those words today.

“I close my eyes and become an eagle. As I let go of the branches of past security and comfort, I feel my wings spreading, catching the invisible air currents of God’s thermals. Rising higher and higher, I feel the ache in my heart and spirit melt away.”

Acknowledge where you are, accept the circumstances you will be required to work in, and let go of your fears and hesitation.


Author’s note: This was not a copy of the hymn and music by Michael Jancao, titled, “On Eagles Wings” but was inspired completely by the many eagles that fly around my home and community.

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