Change Versus Acceptance

Change versus acceptance. When working on ourselves or our partnerships, often the question arises “is this something that I need to change or learn how to accept”? This is a powerful question that I often ask of myself when I’m exploring what is contributing to my suffering. I use the question with my clients too when we are exploring change and/or acceptance because getting clear on what we have the power to change and what we do not have the power to change is helpful.

Here are come examples:

Things we can influence:

Our mindset. Often, the facts of a situation are neutral. It is the meaning that we make of the facts that influence how much joy or pain we experience from a situation in our life.

Our willingness. Lazy is a pejorative term. I prefer to explore the term motivation instead. When we explore why you are or aren’t motivated to make specific changes, we move to a more empowered perspective on our challenges.

Our communication with ourselves and others. Language matters; both the language that we use with ourselves in our internal monologue and with others. This is one of the most important areas of growth and possibility for couples in therapy.

Things we do not have control of:

Other people. We can’t control other people’s mindset, life satisfaction, or worldview.

The past. We can draw different conclusions about the meaning of past events, but sadly, we can’t change the facts.

The families we were born into. This is often the most painful thing that we cannot change or control. When my clients are struggling with their family, I often say “if it was meant to be any other way, it would be.” Often parents create messes in us by not meeting some core needs and it’s our responsibility to clean up those messes, and that’s not fair.

If you are interested in exploring what you can change in your life, or you are looking for acceptance around things you cannot change, therapy is a wonderful place to explore these topics.