Tell Us: What Do You Now Accept?

This morning, Holly, who cares for her husband, joined me for our monthly chat. You can listen to our show via the player below.

You’ll remember that, when Holly joined us last month, a bear had paid a visit to her back porch. Last summer, visits from the bear brought Holly to her knees (and to tears). To Holly, bear become a barrier between Holly and what she loves–taking care of and enjoying nature. With a bear on the property, Holly had to bring in the bird feeders and change how to uses her property. The bear changed Holly’s enjoyment of her day. And, in caregiving, you know that it’s soooo hard to feel like you’re losing another part of life which brings you joy.

Today, Holly told us that she and the bear co-exist amicably. The bear, Holly said, taught her to change her expectation of what gives her peace. Before, she thought she could only be at peace when surrounded by multiple bird feeders and hundreds of birds. Now, she says, she finds peace in the visits from the birds, no matter the number.

In essence, Holly let go of conditions. Before, she put a condition on feeling peaceful. In order for her to be at peace, certain conditions (the number of bird houses and birds) must be met. She’s removed the conditions and found greater peace. She accepts her reality–the here and now of her life–which brings her peace.

So, I’d love to know: What do you no longer fight? What do you now accept about your life? Please share in our comments section, below.

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About Denise Brown

I began working with family caregivers in 1990 and launched in 1996 to help and support them. Through my blog, I share words of comfort and offer coping strategies and tips. I also write opinion pieces about recent research, community programs and media coverage of caregiving issues. I've written several caregiving books, including "The Caregiving Years, Six Stages to a Meaningful Journey," "Take Comfort, Reflections of Hope for Caregivers" and "After Caregiving Ends, A Guide to Beginning Again." You can purchase my books and schedule a coaching call with me in our store.

3 thoughts on “Tell Us: What Do You Now Accept?

  1. Avatar of ejourneysejourneys

    I no longer fight:

    1. My partner’s disorder — for example, I no longer take things personally when she gets in my face about something. Instead, I just let that blow through and say “Okay” a lot. :-) That tends to diffuse the issue. Sometimes my partner even apologizes to me later, for being cranky. Sometimes she realizes (as she did today) that she overreached her energies. (That taught me, too.)

    2. The battle to meet societal “shoulds” — If I don’t want to do it and I don’t have to do it, it doesn’t get done. Tune in (to my partner’s needs and my own), turn on (to the nature around us and personal peace), drop out (from superfluous expectations and false “needs”).

    3. My own cognitive dissonance: how what “should” happen, doesn’t despite what I’ve been told. Consign my disappointments to the Department of False Hopes and move on.

    I now accept:

    1. That things take a LOT longer — either to accommodate my partner’s speed (or lack thereof) or to accommodate her frequent interruptions when I’m doing something. I revise my own goals and schedule and/or find a work-around.

    2. That I can’t make commitments I would otherwise make. I’ve become a lot more judicious with my time outside of life with my partner.

    3. The ridiculous and the sublime. On good days I can weather my partner’s many tangents and theories and be a good listening ear. On great days they become a source of meditation and fascination for me, and bonding for us.

    4. My own inertia. Sometimes I just have to Be, rather than Do.

    5. Tremendously decreased expectations. That in turn heightens my appreciation for whatever little joys life has to offer.

    6. Each day as it comes.

    7. That how I deal with whatever comes down the pike is entirely up to me, and that I own my reactions.

    8. That I am responsible by choice.

  2. Trish

    I accept (well, I think I’m more in the “trying to accept” stage right now) that a certain relative whom I love and adore cannot do more to help me with Robert. I let him off the hook (a lot) when it comes to Robert but sometimes I twist his arm to help out (like coming to see him in the hospital). He responds to arm-twisting (and I use it sparingly) but had a little dust-up with his wife today who basically told me to stop doing that. It hurt my feelings but, luckily, I had listened to the show this morning and kept thinking about revising my expectations.

    So, I’m trying to accept this new realization and expectation.

  3. Avatar of Susan

    I have come to accept that my sister & most of my family will not help with our elderly Uncle’s needs & my brother & a couple of our nieces (my Uncle’s great nieces) will assist sporadically when asked, but won’t offer to help. I have accepted that my Uncle’s neighbor is willing to do more to help, as he is retired & I work full-time. Also, I’ve been able to get a daughter of one of my Uncle’s friends to help with light cleaning for a reasonale rate, while I try to tackle the clutter that has been piling up, in addition to helping with bills, laundry, working on financial POA with an attorney & talking to staff at the short term rehab before he goes home. While I would rather see my Uncle go to assisted living, I am trying to respect his desire to go home with assistance. Also, I have accepted that when I put some services in place for my Uncle, I can let others help him & reduce some of the responsibility.


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