Accepting what is, and not what you wish it were, is an integral step to creating the life you want. The work of author Byron Katie teaches us to “love what is”. She uses four questions to prompt us. They assist the reader to get to the heart of the beliefs of what will make us happy. Much of it revolves on our perceptions of what others, or situations, must do or be for us to be happy. It is a bit of a shock when we review how much we want other people to fall into line. Our checklists of shoulds and must dos to create our happiness. This is a problem when what they want doesn’t fit into the neat little package we have set out for ourselves.
Conditional love limits us
When we place conditions on love, it twists what is freely given. Instead of positive possibilities relationships turn into into a stressed and tension filled form. A hindrance rather than growth. We all carry stories and beliefs about relationships, without realizing that the person we love also carries their own beliefs and ideas about the nature of relationship.
Once we start placing conditions, then it becomes a spiral that can look like “if they loved me, they would pick up their dirty socks off the floor”. Is it really about the dirty socks or is it the story you have created about what the dirty socks on the floor represent?
If your belief system is cleanliness is next to godliness, and theirs is, nothing spells comfort like bare feet, you are both destined to lose if your starting point is “if they loved me”.
A tidy floor or an untidy floor is perhaps not where you want to place your foundation of love. Your different perspective might even be tied up into old stories about how love, respect or value is shown. You can’t make someone accept your story when it is not their story. You can choose whether the message you have associated with it is the one in which you want to build a lasting relationship.
Your happiness is up to you
Getting to the root of accepting what is, requires first an awareness as to where you have placed the control of your happiness. It is convenient if it is out there, because you can place all your energy on what they need to do, rather than placing it back where it belongs, which is you.
Once you own that, it is possible to have an open and calm conversation about the most important aspects of any situation. What if a pristine home is your source of happiness and not your partner’s? Then it becomes about problem solving and not forcing someone to take on your belief. Dispensing with blame, shame and guilt frees you both to create a lifestyle that works for you. Solution based thinking, not emotional manipulations.
Discarded socks notwithstanding, there are bigger issues. When you can also accept those situations for “what is”, you can decide if that issue is one you are willing to negotiate or not. If it is about personal safety, health or welfare, accepting what is as opposed to what you want if they were only to stop, frees you to decide what is in your best interests.
Accepting what is, takes practice. Sometimes you may need a trusted friend or objective third-party to help you wade through what your story is and seeing and accepting what is. As you become more adept, you are likely to find your life is both calmer and a better representation of the relationships you wish to have. It will require change, but that is going to come from you and you definitely have everything you need to make it.