Power of acceptance in gay life to overcome frustrations in gay dating and relationships.
- How acceptance takes away stress for gay men over 40.
- Why acceptance is the sure way to bring balance to your life.
- Sentence completion exercise to see the power of acceptance.
- Overcoming emotional eating (Binging) with acceptance.
- How to overcome dating frustrations with acceptance.
Regular practice of acceptance will change your life more than regular exercise. Acceptance is the foundation for a healthy psychology. As an example, imagine yourself frustrated, imagine you are struggling with something you cannot control. Imagine that you are really anxious about gay dating or relationships. Or you might be frustrated with your body. You might feel upset when you look in the mirror and you don’t like what you see.
Acceptance is a medicine for all of the above anxieties and frustrations.
Acceptance is a spiritual practice. it is incredibly powerful because it has to do with self-love and self-nurturing. Let me give you an example of how you can put acceptance to use your life immediately and also how to get a feel for it because acceptance can be an abstract idea difficult to experience without some guidance.
I have learned about the power of acceptance by studying the work of Nathaniel Branden. He is the founder of the self-esteem movement and a well known psychologist in California. He wrote amazing books that I recommend to everyone about how to raise your self-esteem.
In his work, acceptance is the starting point because as he puts it “You cannot leave a place you have never been to” meaning – you cannot leave a moment of anxiety or overwhelm or self-hate or self-rejection unless you first experience the moment. So before you leave the moment of anxiety of depression or fear – you first need to experience it fully.
Acceptance is the way to do it.
In the lives of gay men there are a lot of situations where we don’t get what we want as fast as straight people so with acceptance your life will become significantly easier.
So let’s get started with some of the techniques.
Imagine that there is a child in front of you and the child spilled coffee on the carpet. There are a couple of ways you can respond to this situation – you can get up and immediately scream at the child for staining the carpet or you can take a deep breath and accept what has happened without responding and the associated stress or tension.
You can accept the child and the stain on the carpet and you can simply say “honey, can you be more careful next time – this is an expensive carpet” – that is acceptance.
In other situations, acceptance is about looking at an event or a person that you don’t like and simply accepting it/him, not trying to fight it, not trying to resist it – just looking at it and saying quietly to yourself: “Okay – I accept this person and this situation and I am letting go of having to respond”.
The power of acceptance is very helpful with emotional overeating. Here is what you can say to yourself after you have binged: “Okay – I just ate all that garbage and its all in my stomach in my belly and it feels awful but instead of feeling angry at myself and guilty I am going to take a deep breath and just accept myself.”
I hope you are getting it by now…
Sometimes we look in the mirror naked and we don’t like what we see – just take a deep breath and say to yourself – “Even though I don’t like what I see I accept myself”.
Acceptance feels like surrender and warm water washing over you.
Let’s get more technical about acceptance:
Nathaniel Branden has some amazing sentence completion exercises that I would like to share with you. I will give you a beginning of a sentence and your job will be to finish the sentence as many times as you possibly can in a 30 second time-frame.
**If I accepted myself even though I am overwhelmed…
and then you finish that sentence.
**If I accepted myself 5% even though I feel lonely…
and then you finish that sentence.
Write things down. Here are some of my examples:
**If I accepted myself even though I feel lonely…
then I would try to do something fun today,…
then I would try to keep myself good company,…
then I would try to cook a nice meal to make me feel like I am happy.
So you can see that if you work with these sentences, acceptance becomes a very powerful tool in bringing joy and bringing more soothing back to your life.
Lets take another sentence:
**If I accept myself 5% more even though I am anxious…
Imagine you are anxious and you are saying to yourself – “If I accepted myself a little bit more – 5% more – even though I am anxious…”
and then finish that sentence.
An example of completion could be:
Then I would allow myself to feel that anxiousness even though its uncomfortable…
Then I would allow myself to look for some lessons in this anxiousness…
Then I would give myself permission to rest today as opposed to go to work…
**If I accepted myself 5% more even though I am anxious then I would give myself some love today.
So as you are seeing you can take this exercise into many different directions. I do this exercise on a daily basis and I have a sentence completion journal for that specific exercise.
These sentences are powerful because sometimes when we are out of control we lose structure and these spiritual practices of acceptance bring back structure, sense of control and sense of optimism.
Another sentence you can practice to work with anger:
**If I accepted myself even though I am angry…
then you could write:
Than at least I am alive because anger means that my emotions work fine…
Then I can journal about it and I can find out what this anger is about, then I can find out where is the origin of this anger, maybe something from awhile back – my childhood.
So acceptance with these sentences becomes a very powerful tool in self-discovery and self-awareness and we can play with this endlessly.
As a template – you can start with the sentence:
I accept myself 5% even though… and then you state your condition:
…even though I was broken up with,
…even though I got stood up,
…even though I got rejected,
and then you can journal about it and learn a lot of lessons. This practice can bring back the balance again because you will recognize whatever is happening without wanting to change it. And your resistance towards it can teach you amazing lessons about yourself. The practice of acceptance can bring back a soothing affect – like nurturing.
Next time something bad happens to you or something you don’t like that you cannot control try the sentences and the practice of acceptance.
Try accepting it and yourself along with it (the event). You can even say to yourself:
“I accept myself – just as I am…I accept myself”. And you can breathe into the area of tension and deepen the acceptance just like you’d accept a child that innocently spilled coffee on the carpet.
I struggle so many times in my life. I continually face difficulties and challenges. Acceptance is my favorite tool in regaining control, spiritual balance and then learning lessons from whatever it is that I am struggling with. Through the practice of acceptance, my struggles become like walking against the wind – the wind blows at me – I don’t ask the wind to stop – I accept it. When you do this more often, the resistance in your life can actually become fun.
Sometimes as you are dating people – there will be a wind effect, some friction, some resistance – and through acceptance you can allow that to be – just accept it without trying to change it.
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