Tag Archives: acceptance

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Start Talking

Are you getting ready to be together with friends and family later today? Does your menu look like this: the

bookcase, lamp, table in background

Today we give thanks for the courage to be who we really are and for all those who give us loving acceptance.

traditional fare, plus gluten-free versions, plus dairy-free alternatives, plus vegan options?

What about the family dynamics? Will there be hushed conversations or knowing looks that say: Don’t let this one have too much to drink. She isn’t speaking to her.  Wonder if he’s still out of work after all this time?

Juggling all the dietary and emotional needs of our families makes it hard to feel thankful and loving, doesn’t it?

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When We’re Wrong to Accept Ambiguity

In August I wrote a piece called “I Don’t Know.”  about how some people need to always give an answer, even when they clearly have no idea what they’re talking

man who has fallen off the front of a surfboard, two feet protruding upward on either side of the board, body submerged.

Some people hide from the truth, preferring a murky and unsustainable existence while missing the great experiences and view in front of them.

about. Today I address the flip side of that to talk about how some people lock ambiguity in a bear hug and hold on to it for dear life.

They engage in a Gregorian chant of “I don’t know. They claim a need for irrefutable proof in order to accept the truth. They call this certainty, or even closure. For instance, when a terrible event like the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center leaves no reason to believe there are any additional survivors, some family members insisted Herculean efforts be made to find and identify the remains before they would accept that their loved one had died. It is the same with widespread natural disasters, horrific plane crashes, fires, or a building collapse.

Insisting on irrefutable truth gives us the excuse to stay stuck where we are in our grief and pain and anger. We hold on to a shred of imagined uncertainty so that we do not have to move forward. We close the door to what is and stay mired in what was. Continue reading

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A Tantrum Won’t Yield Results

Not too long ago I witnessed a full blown temper-tantrum by a boy who must have been about six. He yelled, he hit things and himself, he sprawled on the floor and kicked his feet. He cried crocodile tears worthy of a Daytime Emmy.

Artwork in the Grounds for Sculpture (Trenton, NJ) of an elderly lady sitting on a park bench, listening to an elderly man who is leaning over the back of the bench

Many misunderstandings come not from what is said or done, but from what we tell ourselves about what is said or done. We can ask for what we want, and we can let it go and have time for something that makes us happy.

For all of his acting out, he got no response from anyone. After a bit, he got up off the floor and joined his mother standing about 10 feet away, who appeared to have passed the time by carefully considering several items for purchase, none of which went into her cart.  

It was clear she expected him to use words to say what he wanted, or to express his disappointment at being denied what he wanted. Continue reading

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