Accepting What Is

I was hanging out at a bookstore recently, and I came across the book Feel Happy Now by Michael Neill, a life coach that I really love. I’ve heard him say this before on his radio show, but it really resonated with me at this moment in my life:

“What is the reality [in your life] right now? Could [you] let go of trying to change it?”

I’m sure I’ve said this before, but I’m kind of a self-help junkie—if there’s a book about how to live your dreams or change how you think, I’m on it. Lately, I’ve been trying to ease off because I think I have too many messages (sometimes conflicting) in my head. But even more, I realize I am addicted to trying to change things—my mind, my career, my thoughts. While it’s not a bad thing to want to become a better person, sometimes it can be exhausting to be always trying to improve. When I read these questions from Michael Neill, I started to really think about it. Could I let go of trying to change?

This led to an entry in my journal on this topic in which I wrote a long litany of things I’m always trying to improve about myself and my life, and the question “Could the source of all of my frustration be in my attachment to expectations and a constant need to change my current reality?”

I think we all suffer from this—as we grow up and grow into ourselves, aren’t we supposed to become better and better people? Smarter, more accomplished, more patient, more understanding people? It’s hard to say no to that question, and I’m not saying the answer should be no, but wouldn’t it be tremendously liberating, for just one moment, to allow yourself to be yourself, and allow this reality to exist as it is without trying to change it?

This leads me to the gift at the top of this post—since this is the holiday, gift-giving season—I think this is the greatest gift we could give to ourselves: to accept what is, right now. To just love it. To stop trying to change, improve, and enhance. To just let ourselves exist as we are.

I dare you to love yourself and your life as it is right now. I dare myself to do the same. I dare you to give this gift, that we are always told to give to others, to yourself this time. Can you let go of trying to change?


2 Responses to “Accepting What Is”

  1. 1 linda December 23, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    hi there – what a great topic. I think many can relate to your feelings or wanting to change and improve oneself. I believe it’s a necessary want, because we must have goals and continue to learn and grow as a person. However, you are right that we must love life as it is right now. To not lose focus of what you do have, all the good things. It’s a weird concept – but somehow it’s got to be both. It’s good to always be working towards something, but it doesn’t mean you aren’t enjoying the journey and appreciating all for what it is! Hope you have a great holiday!

  2. 2 Kerri December 28, 2009 at 2:13 am

    I have this problem constantly! Just today I was reading a book about trying to live your creative dream! I too love books that are somewhat self helpish. I struggle with myself constantly, always feeling that I must change, must improve. Funny then how annoyed I get when I feel that someone else thinks I am not good enough as I am! Don’t they know I have lots of good points?! Oh dear. I’m great at telling other people that it’s ok not to be perfect, that perfection is boring. Sadly, I do not take my own advice! And no I do not think I am evolved enough to let go of the idea that I must change. But I am willing to think about it! It would be much less stressful.

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Hello there! My name is Nicole K. Docimo, and I am an artist and writer from the U.S.A. but currently residing in Zurich, Switzerand. Thank you for visiting my blog!

Some Thoughts

"Be thirsty for the ultimate water,
and then be ready for what will
come pouring from the spring."

{from "Joy at Sudden Disappointment"
translated by C. Barks.}

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