Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Why do I feel so powerless? The difference between "acceptance" and "tolerance"

I used to think that I had to "accept" or "tolerate" bad behavior and being abused and mistreated by others because I could not change them - so I had to change myself in the hope that they would treat me better….

If I was ______ or did _______ or said _______ or had ________ or looked _____

THEN they would love, appreciate, see me as worthy and valuable to be loved. 

Then maybe they would _______________. 



Acceptance of "what is" does NOT mean accepting or tolerating being mistreated.  

In fact when I lived like this - I felt overwhelmed and overcome with feelings of hopelessness and powerlessness. 

This is where I was doing the "dance" of dysfunction as I tried to figure out the steps

What could I do to make things better? 

How could I be different so they would love me, so they would stop being hurtful to me?

This is where I also lived in chronic "depression" and would "zone out".

When I started realizing "depression" and zoning out aka "dissociation" were not a "disease" but a natural response to not knowing how to own my power to change my life?

That is when my life started to change. 

Change can be painful

Change can be painful but not as painful as staying in situations where I was not happy about the way others treated me and knowing there was nothing I could do to change them or the way they treated me.

Acceptance is peace not tolerance

Acceptance means living in peace with what is vs trying to control or change others or circumstances to change outcomes.

Acceptance does NOT mean tolerating things that are intolerable. 

This -  is where we feel helpless and powerless. 

That is where we lose hope.

I found my hope when I found my power. 

Acceptance - yes.

Tolerance - no.

We can make a plan and learn how to change our lives when circumstances are such that we can't change them.

In the meantime

When we know that we can create the change that can change our life and allow us to live in that place of peace….

We can learn and practice living in acceptance of what is until we can achieve what could be. 

Q: What is it in your life that feels overwhelming and intolerable that you have been "accepting" and leaves you feeling hopeless and helpless?

What would life look like for you if you were to change this? 

What do you need to learn to create this change?

Life skills? 

How to set and maintain healthy boundaries?

What the difference is between healthy and unhealthy dependence and relationships? 

Coping strategies for difficult moments?

Do you want to go to school so you can have the career that would enable you to create this new life? 

Once we identify the "problem" we then identify potential solutions and start acting on those ideas vs staying stuck in telling the story of the problem over and over and over. 

The idea of taking that journey can feel scary yet - it is in facing our fear that we find our courage. 

You're a rock star.

True story. :) 

Until next time,



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