March 16 2014 Acceptance2In my work as a counsellor, I often work with people who have difficulty in accepting they have a brain injury. Others have found it difficult to end a relationship. And of course, accepting the death of a loved one is a very challenging thing to have to do.

Well-meaning friends, family and professionals are only partially correct when they tell you, “You just have to accept what has happened and move on.” It’s true… acceptance is critical to moving beyond a situation. However, “just accepting it” is easier said than done.

For many of my clients, acceptance was interpreted as defeat. “If I accept that I have a brain injury then I am stuck here forever.” It’s actually the opposite. If you don’t accept that you have a brain injury you are stuck. By accepting where you are then you can make plans to move forward. You can do nothing to change or make things different if you have not accepted where you are presently at.

A starting place is needed for everything. Consider these: losing weight, reducing debt, improving/ending a relationship, career advancement and more… you have to accept the state of affairs as they are today. Then make a plan to do something to make it change.

I know that some may be wondering: “How can this apply to a death?” You already know that you cannot bring your loved one back. That’s the reality and that’s part of the acceptance. The other part is accepting you have survived. The work begins on how to redesign your life to have purpose and joy again. It’s not easy, but it is doable!

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