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Outlooks & Setbacks Saturdays

Peace & Forgiveness

Accept, Forgive, Surrender, Move Forward

I have done a lot of weight loss and life coaching over the years, and through that work, I have come up with a few different processes for moving forward in life.

One in particular that I’m thinking of today is applicable for weight loss, but it can be true in any area of life where you are struggling to take the next step forward. It goes like this:

A - Accept It

F - Forgive Yourself/Others

S - Surrender The Journey

M - Move Forward

When we have used this model in weight loss, it’s often associated with people who have fell off the proverbial band wagon and feel like they’ve failed and don’t know how to get back up.

Before they can move forward, they first have to accept what is. They have to acknowledge what has happened. We cannot change what we will not confront. So if we want to move forward with success, we have to first accept and acknowledge where we are at. That doesn’t mean we have to like it but we have to accept it.

Then we have to forgive ourselves and sometimes others as well. We can’t continue to beat ourselves up for our past mistakes or failures. That will simply keep us stuck and down in the dumps.

Surrender is the next step - and regardless of your belief system, surrendering the journey is important. We have to recognize that there is more going on in the world than just us and our problems. We have to surrender the fact that we are only in control of our own actions - there are many many factors outside of our control.

Finally, we move forward, taking one small baby step at a time. Don’t take huge leaps that will cause you to fall down again. Instead, take one small step forward that you KNOW you can accomplish. Then when you accomplish that small step, you can celebrate a win and take another small step in the right direction.

This process has been very helpful for many people as they work through their perceived failures in life. Give it a try and see if it helps you!

Recommended Book

Radical Compassion

Dec 31, 2019
ISBN: 9780525522829

Interesting Fact #1

Acceptance does not mean liking, wanting, choosing, or supporting.


Interesting Fact #2

Acceptance is an active process. It must be practiced.


Interesting Fact #3

Acceptance doesn't mean that you can't work on changing things.


Quote of the day

“Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.” ― J.K. Rowling

Article of the day - The Power of Acceptance: Stop Resisting and Find the Lesson

“Of course there is no formula for success except, perhaps, an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings.” ~Arthur Rubinstein

Sometimes you’re an observer of other people’s lives and you think you’ll never experience what they’re living, whether it’s a positive or negative situation. You think, “That will never happen to me.”

Part of the real beauty of life is that it’s unpredictable. Nothing is permanent, everything changes, and of course, a lot of things can happen that will transform who you are and have an impact on your life. The problem is that we need to cultivate the ability to truly accept whatever comes and embrace it.

We need to develop the habit of looking at whatever happens through a positive mindset instead of a negative, defeatist one.

Of course, life will bring many challenges, such as the death of someone we love, and it’s not easy to embrace them when we’re suffering and wishing those things would have never happened. But if we start cultivating acceptance in our lives right now, we’ll likely cope with future crises in a different way and view them from a different perspective. We will accept instead or resisting.

I am big fan of Deepak’s Chopra’s The 7 Laws of Spiritual Success. He dedicates one complete chapter (Law #4) to how we need to receive with open arms what happens to us, because if we fight and resist it, we are generating a lot of turbulence in our minds.

He explains that we might want things to be different in the future, but in the present moment we need to accept things as they are. That’s the way you can make your life flow smoothly instead of roughly.

During the last year of my life I have learned the true power of acceptance.

The first lesson I learned was last year when my boyfriend broke up with me after three years together. Even though I was reluctant to believe he wouldn’t give me a second chance during the initial months, I eventually realized I had no option but to accept his choice and move on with my life.

I discovered that I was happier and more peaceful when I accepted what had happened instead of constantly fighting to change things.  

Recently life has presented another challenge to me.

I met someone a few months ago, and even though it was clear from the beginning that nothing could ever happen between us, love found its way through. I couldn’t help feeling something deep and real for him. I allowed myself to give into the feeling, even though my mind was screaming to get out—and fast.

I have to accept things as they are, and right now we cannot be together for many reasons. There may be hope down the road; maybe someday things might work out. But right now, in this moment, that’s impossible. I have chosen to accept that fully.

Yes, acceptance is a choice—a hard one most definitely, but a choice nonetheless.

There are two ways out of a problem: accept what’s happening, see the positive, and choose a peaceful state of mind; or fight against it, be miserable, and struggle against the universe.

Even though my two examples are related to love and relationships, I am 100% positive that learning to accept things as they present themselves is a helpful tool in all aspects of life.

Whether it’s a family loss, a missed opportunity, or a sudden change in your plans, being able to accept things that are out of your control will help you maintain inner peace and happiness.

Acceptance, in my opinion, is the key to convert momentary happiness to enduring happiness. It helps you move from feeling happy to actually being happy.

Practicing acceptance prepares you to live in this changing world, where you never know what’s going to happen next. Acceptance is like protecting yourself with your own shield.

Let me clarify that acceptance is not at all related to weakness, and is definitely not a synonym of conformity or mediocrity.

We need to learn how to identify when it’s time to persist and when it’s time to accept.

One thing that makes acceptance much easier is to list all the possible explanations for why you’re experiencing something.

For example, I know I met this person to help him go through a very difficult moment in his life. He needed me. He needed to be heard, to be understood. And I was there for him in those ways. I fulfilled a purpose.

Finding the lesson or purpose behind every challenge will help you embrace it instead of fighting it.

Choose not to judge what happens to you. Instead, believe that everything happens for a reason and that better things will always follow. That’s the beginning of true acceptance.

Somewhere recently I read that the important thing is not to understand why something happened. Our understanding can wait, but our obedience cannot.

I translate this to mean that when something unpredictable happens, instead of complaining and over-thinking it, we need to choose to live with it.

I know it’s hard to practice acceptance when you deeply wish things were different. But the truth is, sometimes we can’t change our reality, even if we try.

So instead of staring at the closed door in front of us, or getting tired and bruised while we try to break it down, let’s turn around and see how many other windows we have open.

Question of the day - What do you feel is the most challenging part of moving forward after a perceived failure?

Peace & Forgiveness

What do you feel is the most challenging part of moving forward after a perceived failure?