A Frustrated Post Standing in for Acceptance

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“All conflict we experience in the world is a conflict within our own selves.” Brenda Shoshanna

Don’t you hate it when you’re on a roll, and then life throws a curveball or a donut just five minutes into committing to a goal, 10 minutes after you’ve undertaken a healthy habit, and 20 minutes since getting your own life?

At the end of last week’s blog post, I mentioned I’d be highlighting acceptance and tolerance next. I’ve learned my lesson about announcing upcoming posts after typing, backspacing, and deleting for hours only to end up with an abridged (and unhinged) version of non-acceptance that rambled on something like this.

“Acceptance is off the table. We’ve faked tolerance for years, some of us until we got our way and some of us until we didn’t.”

“We’ve read history books and the Bible, so time’s up for us to accept that we have never embraced diversity, stood united, or practiced political correctness. “We the People” have been at odds forever.”

“Acceptance is a fine idea until we disagree. Then, forget it.”

Just so you know, this isn’t the positive post I envisioned or the one to which I invited you. Authors of novels blame their characters for taking over scenes, however, I’m not sure who to blame for this. If I had known about this post, I would have sent a warning, not an invitation.

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I’m naïve, though, and figured most would be weary of … what’s the antonym of acceptance?  

Oh, yeah, dissension, antagonism, discord, rebellion, judgment, and nasty posts. I figured most would be weary of these. I was wrong. I googled “antonyms of acceptance” for the list above – all except nasty posts. I made that one up.

I planned to gush on about accepting others as a byproduct of accepting ourselves, an overflow of acceptance, of sorts – are you getting even a glimmer of that? – kind of like a volcano of acceptance. Ahhh, that describes more accurately how this post was spilling over.

Take heart, though, all who wander (into frustration) are not lost.

Okay, so at the moment, maybe we are lost. And unhinged. Yeah, definitely unhinged. I couldn’t figure out the problem, or a solution, until my husband texted from the bedroom at 4 a.m. and said, “Come to bed.” I looked at the clock. I felt like I’d been slapped awake.

Until he texted, there was no way I was waking up to and accepting the fact that, since last week, the gracious post I’d started about acceptance had turned frustrated, and so had I. My post about acceptance was off the table the same as acceptance was off the table.

But I had to wonder, since being “slapped,” why such an emotional reaction when I’d hardly been involved in any backlash during the week, or during the year for that matter? I’ve felt overwhelmed and scared and misunderstood in the shadows of it all, but not personally attacked, yet I was taking this week on like I had been. It’s like the quote says, “… it is conflict within our own selves.”

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So, there you have it, the problem and the solution.

The Problem: I take things personally that have nothing to do with me, which lands me in a frustrated place instead of an accepting one. I want to resign my inner conflict that tells me things outside myself are my responsibility, my fault, and mine to fix. I want to accept that friends who rage and name call and belittle aren’t talking to me unless they tag me, text me, call me, or knock on my door.

The Solution: Following through with acceptance means work, prayer, and writing to rid myself of fear, especially fear of others’ confrontations and disapproval. Following through means accepting their reactions are theirs to deal with, and also accepting I deserve contentment and I’ve earned the right to my own life, even unpopular opinions.

#gettingyourownlife #workseverytime #whilelovingthepeopleinit #acceptingmyself 

A friend’s funny comment to a disparaging one put the problem into perspective. He wrote, “Wash, rinse, repeat.” #lovetolaugh

And my daughter’s solution is the same instruction she gives to our nearly two-year-old grandson who overreacts, “Shake it off, buddy.” And he does. He shakes, wiggles, and stomps until he’s done with it. I won’t be cute like him, but if it helps with acceptance …

How is “getting your own life” coming along if you’re like me and easily distracted by negative noise? Sharing solutions help us all. And if you need to share frustration, that’s fine too because we’re in this together.

We sure are,
Kim

Thanks for the images, Pixabay.com.

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22 responses »

  1. Great post, and honest. Acceptance of others when they behave stupid is something Ive always struggled with, and when I say behaved stupid, I mean pretty stupid. Although, that does not exclude me because I can get some pretty strange reactions out of myself without even thinking about it. (Which is the issue right there, I did not think first). But I think I finally figured acceptance out by rightly dividing the truth. If its a person Im looking at, I can accept the person and love them ,but not necessarily the behavior. Ive discovered that I have become downright intolerant when it comes to stupid behavior. I decided I dont have to accept those kind of behaviors or ones that cross my boundaries or make my life chaos. If behavior is too radical, well then I can just love them from afar. Touching upon older age numbers: when my “older number” comes up I want to create a graphic of me looking my very best and it reads “Yep, Im “that age” and I have completely lost my filter. Oh well!”
    I have found the older I get the less I really feel like I want to put up with if it is unkind, unwarranted, unproductive, and just plain “un”. lol, there I go again, I have posted a blog post on your blog and I have not even had my full morning cup of coffee yet. Stick with me , I’m just getting warmed up this morning, lol 😉

    • Bahahaha, Jenine … I’m with you! I’m not going anywhere. Just waiting for you to show back up and write another post. 😉

      Yeah, my filter is pretty much gone too. I have to scroll fast or run fast before I start typing or talking. A friend used to say, “Hurry, God! Say something fast because I’m about to open my mouth.” That’s how I feel lately. It’s why I love Facebook. I can type whatever I want and then delete it. No filter when I’m in person. 😉 One of these days, though, I’m going to post before I can stop myself, so if I’m kicked off FB, you’ll know why. lol

      Love you! ❤

      • Ive been reading about how not expressing our feelings means we are living “fake” and that it is unbiblical to live fake. That means smiling all of a sudden when we reach the church door, or even trying to look ok when we are not ok. The good part was when I read that it is really alright to have a bad day and show it. Looking down, being upset, crying to God, and showing it all is all throughout the Bible. If we took all of those things out we would have a pretty thin book. The greatest scripture in the Bible is “Jesus wept”. That means if we are feeling emotional it is really alright to be emotional for whatever reason and regardless to who likes it or not. Emotion is a part of expression and that is also what makes a good writer and greater of a person. “Be true to thyself”. That means I can also decided to not feel accepting today. Tomorrow I might feel different etc. Life is not worth living if we can’t live it right now, just as it is, with all the bumps and messes, and joy, and garbage that life brings. Its great to be positive. I LOVE positive! But if it makes me fake then I am not true to myself, to God, or to anyone around me. If its fake then positive thinking and speaking wont work anyway. Only authentic will work. I think I saw a book when browsing once that was called, “Will the Real Me Please Stand Up?” I thought that was ingenious. That’s how I feel right now. I want the real me to be present no matter what that looks like. Fake also brings fake friends because they only love people when we are all being fake. Isnt that silly? It sounds ridiculous, but we do that as people. Not this chicklett! Not anymore. I will praise God when I feel like praising. be happy when I am really feeling happy, and no mask. Of course that does not mean always saying exactly what I am thinking to the point of insulting others. There is a boundary there. But it means to be genuine and real. Im sad to say that the church has been a real contributor to how we act and become fake. I was REAL before I became a Christian. Isnt that crazy? The church taught me I had to smile when I dont feel like it. I love the church. No doubt about that. But Im not willing to be fake there any more. #MyResolve Being fake means now we need Biblical Counselors and Deliverance Ministers like me; to get the garbage out of people now that we have stuffed it all inside of us. Its kind of nuts really. Ok, rant over! LOL.

      • I love your rants, Jenine. And you’re right, we really can’t live fake anymore. We’ve both done a lot of damage to ourselves (even our health) by living that way.

        Another friend (writemindedwoman, she’s in a comment below) just pointed out that maybe I’m trying to accept the unacceptable. Well, that’s just downright impossible to do, but she’s spot on! I’ve always tried to like the unlikable, believe the unbelievable, and, yes, accept the unacceptable. I must think I’m Jesus or better. He didn’t even do that! I recognize the conflict now … I fell back into the trap of thinking I can be nice enough that they’ll be nice too, so I can like them, accept them, trust them, etc. It’s been a lifelong battle to stay out of that place that’s probably more about people pleasing than I even know. I need to see friends for who they are, realize I can’t change them, love them anyway, but also stay away. Stay away. Stay away. You said it not long ago, love them from afar. ❤

        I think I get afraid I won't have any friends if I follow through with this. The truth is, I'll have more and they'll be sincere and easy to be around. It's happened so many times. It's going on now with my face-to-face friends. I cherish my women friends who I hang out with. I need to make it happen here too.

        I love being in this together! Thank you.

      • Its a scary thing to be real. I remember an old I Love Lucy episode where she agrees to not lie and tell the absolute truth in every situation, including around her friends during a card game. She basically told everyone exactly how she felt about things and found it refreshing. It takes a lot of energy to put up a front. I also recall and old Joyce Meyer message where she talks about how in the beginning her family would be a mess, and she would be yelling and screaming, while they were getting ready to go to church. Then when they hit the church door they smiled and said “Praise the Lord”! I admire her frankness. It takes courage to walk through the church doors and be exactly who we are, bumps, lumps, bruises, bad attitudes, and everything. God can’t address what we can’t confess. Wow, I’m liking that statement I just made, lol. Bottom line, the best friends will love me with all of my thorns, through transitional times, and even when the ugly surfaces. It goes the other way as well. I have to be willing to do the same, just be discerning as to how much ugly is acceptable! I think its more simple than it sounds. We know what we can or want to handle and what we do not. Boundaries!

      • I love your examples of being real. I’m sure the Lucy show was hilarious. She addressed real topics with so much humor. It’d be freeing, even though I know I need a little bit of a filter … you wouldn’t believe what’s in my head. Or, maybe you would. We do think alike a lot of the time. Even though I don’t think I need to say all of that stuff that’s swirling around up there, I do know there are times to be more open and honest. Freedom is one of my favorite words, so I’m practicing it on here first.

  2. I am so touched by this post Kim. You express a conflict I have within me that is subterranean but no less real. I am reminded of Henry Ford’s famous quote,” if you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” There is so much negative noise out there that it’s hard to stay positive if you choose to listen. When I hear the news, I feel like the proverbial peanuts characters as they listened to teachers and find myself hearing “wha, wha, wha, blah, blah, blah”. Then I feel guilty and conflicted for not being able to say that I feel as angry as some, but at the same time I’m relieved that I still see room for hopeful outcomes. Is that wrong? I don’t know. The struggle is real, and thanks for being in it with me. ❤

    • Your comment touched me, Rebecca. Thank you. ❤

      I write this stuff and still sometimes, even after doing it for years, feel like no one's going to misunderstand or get it or be able to relate. It's scary, but I can't write anything else until I get this sort of thing outside of me.

      I love that you're hopeful. I am too. That's where I want to stay, and sometimes I can. Other times I get so mired down in the mess that I want to stop at every negative post and write something back to the person even if I don't know them. Just typing this frees me to move on.

      One of the helpful things I can do daily is remind myself that my reacting to all the noise doesn't do any good. Getting my own life does. And loving others does too. I love that we're in this together too. ❤

  3. Kim

    You make acceptance sound like a lot of work. It really is simple. To accept is an act of the will.
    we just need to make this act of the will and then deal with the feelings.The feelings are the tough part.

    .Bob

    • If there’s work or a tough part, it’s always the feelings, Bob.

      Always!

      Acceptance would be easy if we didn’t have to deal with those all-over-the-place emotions.

      Happy to have you stop by and comment! Thanks. ❤

  4. This is the second frustration post I’ve read this week, Kim. There’s something in the air…Maybe “accepting” and “tolerating” aren’t the right feelings to aspire to. We can love people while not accepting their beliefs or attitudes, and we can certainly love people without tolerating certain behaviors (moms do that all the time!) In Biblical terms, we love the sinners, not the sins.

    So maybe what we really need is to acknowledge or recognize, rather than accept what is not acceptable. Accepting is akin to embracing, and that’s emotional. Acknowledging is more cerebral; it doesn’t need to include our heart.

    I’m not sure what triggered this post, so maybe my thoughts don’t fit where you’re coming from. Either way, I’m including hugs with my response. 😉

    • Oh, Natine, your thoughts fit just fine, and they’re what I needed to read. I’ve always struggled to like the unlikable, accept the unacceptable, tolerate what no one should, believe lies because I hate thinking someone’s lying, and on and on and on. I’ve worked through this in counseling and using 12 steps, but it’s insidious sometimes, shows back up, and I don’t even recognize it – probably because of the overload of it lately. This is the beauty of sharing honestly, and being in this together … we help each other.

      I’m trying to accept the unacceptable, and it’s not working, and it shouldn’t work. I’m expecting something I can’t do. I just took a deep breath. Thanks for helping me settle the conflict. ❤

      • Natine, I wrote even more about this in a comment above to Jenine. I was sorting it out when I realized that I’ve cleaned up my face-to-face friendships and (almost) only hang out with friends who are emotionally safe to be around. And there are plenty of them even though when I started distancing myself from some, I was afraid I may end up with no friends at all. That was an unfounded fear.

        Sharing this with Jenine helped me recognize that I’ve convinced myself it’s safe to have FB friends that I wouldn’t have in person. It’s safe to have unsafe friends on FB. Uh, no, it’s not.

        Another deep breath. ❤

    • I have realized something when it comes to FB and “friends”. If I were to go through my friends list and delete everyone I have who does not ever respond to anything on my page, then I have a few friends, my kids, and my sister. Id probably have at least 20 in about 145 that I have now who would end up remaining. I did this a long time ago. I had over a thousand friends or more and I deleted every one of them that did not interact with me, like EVER. Some I left because they had potential and Im glad I did that. I do know some read and dont respond so I am careful. The bottom line is that I had to wonder why on earth I had to have all of those friends when it appeared they could care less about what I had to say or even to respond to me. Im still pondering that one and wondering if I should go through them again and be in search for those who truly want to interact with me. In all honestly I have more people who subscribe to my blog than those who respond on facebook. They might not comment but they subscribe so Im thinking they might be reading what I write as opposed to letting it go by. I am feeling like I would rather have those who hear me than those who scroll past me. Besides the political junk is on my nerves! LOL

  5. From Facebook (Kim Henson) ~

    JoJo Silver Hippie, Connie Gardner and 12 others

    1 share

    Christy Young First, I can’t help but notice that the thumbnail resembles yours truly. Second, this is so real, raw! I am also easily distracted by outside negative noise. I do have boundaries up, but life happens anyway. In those cases, I see it for what it is. S…See More
    Unlike · Reply · 2 · January 28 at 1:08pm

    Kim Henson Lol, Christy Young. You’ve never looked like that in your life! O:) Look at her face. Now, if we’re talking hair, her’s is kind of curly and reddish. ❤ You wouldn't believe how hard I tried to force a blog post about acceptance that kept getting crazi…See More
    Like · Reply · 1 · January 28 at 11:55pm

    Christy Young It's a difficult time Kim. I suppose immersing yourself in the things that bring you and others joy will help. Love you.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · January 29 at 10:30am

    Kim Henson Christy Young, that's the only way to "fix it" is to fix ourselves, so I plan to be more intentional about joyful things. Thanks. I love you lots! ❤
    Like · Reply · 1 · 22 hrs · Edited

  6. Kim, once again, I’m commenting on your post days after I’ve first read it. I guess it’s because in both instances you touched a nerve or many nerves and in typical introvert fashion I needed to process everything first. I believe that nerve touching is the mark of an excellent writer, whether the reader is in agreement with the writing or not. I totally understand what you’re saying and thank you for your honesty about acceptance or the lack of it. As a writer I’ve been in that same place of trying to write something I wasn’t supposed to write in the first place.

    I’m still not sure how I feel about this post. On the one hand, I’ve sometimes secretly been in the same place of feeling hurt by what others are saying even if it’s not aimed directly at me. Since people are not about to stop posting what we might see as negative stuff any time soon, I’ve started asking myself when I feel that bile rising in my throat, “why is this upsetting me? What’s really going on here and what’s the real issue.” I’ve been reading a lot lately about how sometimes our anger or fear has to do with something that happened generations ago to one of our ancestors. Our own emotions don’t make sense to us until we discover what was going on hundreds of years ago. That helped make sense of a number of my own decisions and emotions.

    I’m still processing the “on the other hand” part of the equation and trying to figure out my visceral response to your post. I think part of it is, again, that we are having some of the same emotions but from different ends of the spectrum. Boy, that’s getting to be a theme with us, isn’t it? The best part of my response is that I wanted to drop everything, hug you and tell you it would be OK and you are loved. Perhaps it’s time for another long lunch, my friend.

    • Mary, having the same emotions, no matter from where or what triggers them, is becoming our theme, for sure. I like it because it’s evidence of how similar we all are, instead of how different. ❤

      I appreciate what you've been reading because for a long time I've watched me, my family, and the world around us react all over the place and I've suspected all that junk is coming from someplace we don't even know about, much less understand … someplace deeper and darker than can be fixed by self-awareness or self-discipline or my word for this year, self-care … someplace that I believe deserves an exorcism of sorts. Did I ever tell you I've had one? Well, that's another blog post. 😉

      I'm with you, I think we both need a big hug and a long lunch. Let's plan it soon.

  7. I think this is the year of clearing emotions AND becoming “real”, transformed, human yet spiritual, loved and accepted, yet more aware and discerning. I’m clearing emotions right at this moment. It FEELS “icky”. That’s the best word I can use to describe it. Its a deep thing. It is in the inner part of my stomach, to the point where I lay down on my back, lay my hands on my tummy and pray. Its does not know where to go, so it has to move on out. It speaks, “I dont fit here anymore”. Meaning, this emotional thing, whatever that might be, has no more room in my life and has to come out . Period. It cant follow me where I am going, so it has to leave first. It means that there is something new coming and that new thing is more free. I want to say a higher level of understanding. Maybe thats it. Not sure. Im not sure it matters that I know where it comes from as long as it gets out. (In the safest way possible). Last night I turned on music that was real sad to hear, touching, and I cried some of it out. Then I put on some “Oldies” and sang along. Its not all that dynamic but it started some of the process. My psychological and ministerial opinion,,,,what ever works! lol. Whatever comes up its because it wants expression to be released. Im not always happy about that but its what is needed. Safe expression. I learned that some of it has to be done alone because if it gets mixed in with everyone elses junk it does not come out in a very good way 😉 . Its the part of self care that might be talked about but when the real deal hits the fan its alone with God time, at least for me. I keep reminding myself it is loving myself better than I have before. If I had loved myself better it might have been released a long time ago. So now is the time, because this “thing” , whatever that might be, does not have permission to live here anymore. I hope this makes sense! To me it sounds like esoteric psycho babble, but I think its because Im processing, lol

    • it makes a lot of sense, Jenine. I’ve told John over and over, “We’re not taking this junk to a new house.” I’m not sure what the “junk” is, but it’s emotional and it’s not going with us. I think that’s one reason this house hasn’t sold yet. God’s giving us time to dump the junk. I’m like you were in an earlier comment, I like how that sounds. Thanks for your “psycho babble” … it’s helps. ❤

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