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Acceptance vs. Surrender: What to do when you don't get what you want.

There have been many times in my life when I didn’t get what I wanted; things I was desperate to have.

Some were jobs I was certain I was perfect for, others were homes, and one was a son.

Let me explain that last one- since some of you may know that I'm a mom to 2 wonderful little girls; not boys.

I always thought my children would be boys. I thought I was unequipped to handle the challenge of raising strong, smart, independent girls; so, I prayed that my first born would be a boy. I assumed boys would be easier- less complicated somehow. When I was told we were having a girl, I cried. While on the ultrasound table, I told my husband, Ryan, they were tears of joy only because I didn’t want him to panic and try and find some way to "fix” something that was totally out of our control.

They weren’t happy tears though- they were tears of terror. In my mind, I immediately fast forwarded thru this unborn child's life and envisioned her somehow fucked-up…by me. After all the possible doomsday scenarios were played out in my head- of how I could pass along all of my shit to this baby- I surrendered. I surrendered and then accepted what was to come.

Now when I look back on that time in my life I realize that I wasted a heck of a lot of energy on the wrong thing. There was something that knew what was best for me, which was facing my fear of raising girls. Now, I can’t imagine my life without my daughters and realize that God gave me girls because she knew I would make it my priority to raise them to become women that would add something to this world and change it along the way.

I’m not saying that I still don’t resist some of the unwanted or unrecognized blessings that come into my life these days- but I do try to consciously first surrender to what is, and then accept what is.

"Learn to ask for what you need- only so that you can practice accepting what we are given”

- Marc Nepo- Philosopher and spiritual teacher

A book that changed my life is The Book of Awakening by Marc Nepo. I highly recommend picking it up.

He teaches us that Surrender is like when a fish goes with the current of the river and Acceptance is when the fish is in that flow, runs into a stone, accepts it, and accepts the larger situation.

He says we must acknowledge and accept where we are before we can start to figure out how to get out of that place. Hardships are there to get us to grow again and again.

I agree with him that no experience is ever wasted because I’ve learned that the space between the points in our lives is the journey and where true growth happens.

So, don’t rush to get out of the muck- just take comfort that God is there with you in easy times and hard.

"The fear and avoidance of pain are often greater than the actual pain."

The better action is to Surrender and let go.

"To be broken is no reason to see all things as broken.”

Your spirit has the opportunity to grow stronger in your darkest hours- when you feel truly broken. Trust that your spirit can always navigate it.

Lately, this has especially rung true for me. I still struggle with almost constant self-doubt and "imposter syndrome.”

The greatest hits on heavy rotation in my brain are: Who do you think you are? You’re not a writer! You’re not a coach! Who do you think you’re fooling? Give up now and spare yourself some embarrassment.

I’ll tell you- the only thing that keeps me going some days is the comfort that even though I can’t see the what’s coming down the road, I don’t need to- my Spirit has got me.

God, the Universe- someone is watching the GPS and will make sure I don’t run off the road. I just need to keep my foot on the gas and inch forward each day.

I had to drop the label of what I thought I should’ve been, so I could be lead to what it was that brings me to life. Selling stuff wasn’t my passion; it was fun and paid the bills, but my passion has always been to feel like I’m helping others in some way.

This blog may only be seen by some of my friends and family right now, but the hope is that it will find its way to others that may be feeling a little restless, a little bit of dis-ease in their lives right now.

Maybe you're someone who's beginning to question aspects of your life that don’t seem to be working for you any longer (e.g. that shitty job, being a people pleaser, giving away your power to people who don't deserve it).

You may be turning into a butterfly that no longer needs the cocoon. Its served its purpose and now it’s time for you to fly away.

"We have to put down what doesn’t work after a while in order to stay close to what is sacred- what matters.”

I used to tell myself I’d be happy when… (fill in the blank with some future event).

But joy isn’t in the future, it’s got to be now.

What is sacred to YOU? Ask the question and listen for the answer.

“Every single being has an amazing, unfathomable gift that only meeting life head-on will reveal.

We are born with only one obligation- to be completely who we are.”

Spoiler Alert: We can’t do it alone. We need each other to discover our gift, believe in the gift, and to learn how to use it. Speak your truth to people close to you, and maybe even explore getting a coach, strategist, or life consultant to help draw it out of you and help bring it to life.

Maybe how you thought your life was supposed to look- isn’t good enough anymore.

Maybe something out there has a better idea.

Maybe next time you don’t get what you want- you can give Spirit some time and space to show you why you didn’t need it and say, "I told you so”.

Being proven wrong can feel really good.

  • This post is for you Dad- only 3 curse words. Hey, I tried.

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