When you face an old life script, that proverbial baggage you’ve been lugging around your whole life, how do you REALLY let it go. I know you’ve been trying, as have I, to wrestle those nasty thoughts you have packed away in your luggage for your whole life. You put the suitcase down, and without even realizing it, it’s back in your hands, weighing you down, slowing you down, and you’re just plain tired and bored of the whole thing.
I know this seems counterintuitive, but I have come to see why acceptance is so critical. The answer lies in the fact that acceptance means stopping the struggle. It means no longer being mad at yourself when you pick up the suitcase. Instead, acceptance simply says, “OK, I picked it up again.” The fact without the judgment, the acknowledgement without the backlash, the neutrality without the drama. When there is no negative energy, it is much easier to let something go. When I have not created a negative runaway train because of self-criticism, it is possible to turn the train around before further damage is done.
When a baby is learning to walk, there are numerous attempts to get it right. Numerous falls and plops. Some tears and perhaps a lot of frustration. But no one chastises that baby when she falters; no one calls him a klutz or a dummy. No, we encourage that baby to keep trying. We soothe the frustration. We accept that falling is part of the process of learning to walk. We don’t expect a baby to go from crawling to walking without a lot of trial and error. If we treated ourselves the way we treat that baby, I suspect we’d all be a lot happier, not to mention a whole lot more successful.
Let’s give ourselves a break. It is time to drop that old life script. But first, let’s learn to be kind to ourselves as we work on changing that lifetime habit.