Acceptance Will Help You Stop Struggling

Do you ever feel like you are simply done struggling? You have had enough of this ‘not knowing what to do’, or looking to other people for approval, thinking that they might have the answers yet all the while feeling like you just aren’t moving forward?

If the answer is even close to a yes, read on.

But first, let me ask you another quick question.

Do you watch “The Good Wife”?

In the show Julianna Margulies plays Alicia Florrick, a lawyer who put her career on hold for 13 years to be a stay-at home mom becoming a power lawyer once again (don’t worry, no spoilers here).

She is smart and put together, but we also see Alicia as quite vulnerable, sometimes at a loss for words, and often looking for direction (particularly in this current season) from her male counterparts.

How about “Madam Secretary”? Have you seen this show?

(BTW, yes, in my last post I was talking about turning off the TV. Don’t worry, I’m sticking to it, but I do make exceptions to watch these two shows:)

Madame Secretary stars Tea Leoni as Dr. Elizabeth McCord, a former CIA analyst who becomes Secretary of State.

Aside from being fit and gorgeous (as is Alicia Florrick), Elizabeth McCord really seems to have her you-know-what together.

Like… All. The. Time. She has a handsome husband who she’s always hot for, three kids who get along beautifully, and she is literally saving the world in every episode.

We see her sensitive side, but we rarely see her unravel like we do Alicia. She deals with issues head on, like a boss, the real deal Superwoman.

So, why I am telling you about TV characters?

Well, the other day, I found myself thinking, “I’m so done with Alicia.”

I’m tired of seeing her struggle. She waffles. She wavers. She doesn’t always stand up for herself or take her life by the cojones.

She is often uncertain and plays right to the middle to appease people.

I would never want to be anything like that.

But as I thought of Liz McCord saving the world, I thought, “YES!”
That is who we should strive to be like. A woman who is strong, wickedly smart, runs an entire team of employees, and almost never misses a beat.

She has a sense of clarity and vision. She rises up. She leans in. And she is not so darn affected when someone doesn’t like her.

Have you ever felt that you are done being an ‘Alicia’?

Have you ever thought, ‘I’m done with struggling, falling down, not knowing the answers and screwing up. I’m done feeling small, feeling less-than, thinking ‘I can’t figure a darn thing out’?

I mean, I was about ready to write off the whole show because I didn’t like seeing any part of myself in her. I wanted to only identify with a strong, confident woman like Alex.

Well, dear heart, I have news for you. And my hope is that this news gives you comfort.

The messy truth is that we are, and likely will forever be, like both Alicia and Alex.

You see, as hard as this may be to accept, life is full of opposites, extremes and everything in between.

We are smart and we are sometimes stupid. We are clear-headed but have moments of fogginess. We are loyal and truthful, yet we can be liars about the smallest, silliest things.

We will (and we must!) fail many times before we succeed. We will get bowled over by loss and heartbreak. And will get thrown curve balls that we simply are unable to hit.

But we will also hit home runs. We will fall in love. We will have our you-know-what-together and then we will likely watch it fall apart in small, unexpected moments.

This is the great paradox of life!  All it really begs for is your ACCEPTANCE.

Acceptance that at some points in life you may feel betrayed.
Acceptance that you will get hurt by people’s actions and words because you DO actually care what people think.
Acceptance that you may even hurt others along the way.
Acceptance that there will be times when you don’t have a clue which direction to go.
Acceptance that it is ok to not have answers.
Acceptance that the process of making big life-changing decisions can often be an unsavory, back and forth process of “SHOULD I? SHOULDN’T I?”

Acceptance that, eventually, you will get there in your own time. And it will be perfect timing.

Even just writing that, I feel a sense of peace wash over me. I accept and feel a little bit more easy.

The truth is that you don’t have to be like either Alicia or Alex, you can be like, Gorgeous, exactly as you are.

This is not to let you off the hook from trying your hardest and being a good person. This is to remind you that you ARE human. And to be human is to experience all of it, the ups AND the downs.

And the sooner we can accept that life is a jumble of all these beautiful things the more ease we shall experience.

To this I solemnly swear.

There is a new Soul Stroll coming out next week.

The first mantra is:

I ACCEPT MYSELF
EXACTLY AS I AM

When I reached out to folks in the community, this was one of the biggest themes I saw being repeated: The deep desire to feel OK with all parts of your life.

Oh Gorgeous, this next Soul Stroll is going to help you feel more than just ok. It is going to help you feel fabulous.

I will be back next week with more mantras. Stay tuned, it’s coming!

Now it’s your turn: Comment below and tell me what this brought up for you? Are you ready to accept ALL parts of yourself? Share your thoughts.

Love,
Erin

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27 Responses to Acceptance Will Help You Stop Struggling

  1. Hilary says:

    Erin,

    Wow! I so get this! However, I do not see Alicia the same way. Juliana Margulies has commented that it was originally very difficult for her to play Alicia because Alicia is SO quiet. She always thinks about what she is going to say before she says it. You will rarely see her just jump into a conversation or answer a question quickly. THAT is what I take away from Alicia. Yes, she has really abandoned her kids. Her husband wanted to make up with her and she refused. She definitely needs some counseling; but her hesitancy before speaking is something that I know I need to work on & that’s how I relate to her.

    I don’t have any interest in the other show.

    Thanks for an excellent e-mail,

    Hilary

  2. Hilary says:

    Erin,

    Wow! I so get this! However, I do not see Alicia the same way. Juliana Margulies has commented that it was originally very difficult for her to play Alicia because Alicia is SO quiet. She always thinks about what she is going to say before she says it. You will rarely see her just jump into a conversation or answer a question quickly. THAT is what I take away from Alicia. Yes, she has really abandoned her kids. Her husband wanted to make up with her and she refused. She definitely needs some counseling; but her hesitancy before speaking is something that I know I need to work on & that’s how I relate to her.

    I don’t have any interest in the other show.

    Thanks for an excellent e-mail,

    Hilary

  3. Carlin says:

    Wow this post is very apropos for where I feel I am at right now, thank you for sharing this.

  4. I am writing this with tears running down my cheeks because we picked up my 22-year-old son from the hospital in Ohio on Monday and he is already in the hospital here in the Chicago area. Again. And I feel like a failure because I haven’t been able to solve his problem of Paranoid Schizophrenia mixed with drug usage (he uses to try and give himself some ease from his intense fear).
    Finding self-acceptance for myself comes and goes, even though I know I must keep persevering.
    In the meantime, my son remains in danger. And I can’t fix him, or find a professional who can get through his thick skull. Part of the disease, for many, is the belief that you aren’t sick – so you don’t participate with the doctors to help yourself.
    Your post today touched my heart.
    Thank you. I’m headed over to the treadmill. “When there’s movement in your body, there’s movement in your life!”

  5. Lisa says:

    This is exactly the message I needed to hear today. Thank you!

  6. Jen says:

    Well, first I had tears… I’m a stay at home mom with a 3 & 4 year old, have a great husband, no financial problems, no health problems & family is great, everything seems perfect on the outside. I’m a mess inside, to say the least. This email touched me, so thanks for that.

  7. Jennifer says:

    This title got my attention because I love that show, actually both shows. I have fallen even more in love with the show because it is actually showing a woman who has real emotions, (gasp) an affair, not a perfect marriage, how she just won an election and then it was just taken away. The moral of the story-how life is messy and it is showing things that are real. So many shows haven’t done that. And I think while I love the strong role that Alex is showing and how she is trying to compete in a male world of egos and sure, you are painting an image of perfect world, the show just started this year. I have a feeling it isn’t going to seem so perfect (she is dealing with PTSD but won’t “deal” with it) for very long. I like how they are showing that women can bring a different perspective to things in the “war room,” and while we might not be there yet, it is nice to show that we do think differently and maybe we will live in a different world some day when our egos get out of the way.
    We need to remind ourselves that we can’t compete with people on TV or around us. Thank you for this mantra of self acceptance. 🙂

  8. Debbie says:

    Wow this was the message I needed today. Although I have a good life I struggle with the “what ifs” way too much. I try my best to be thankful for what I have . Losing my 20 yr old son in a tragic accident 7 years ago has changed my life so much that I sometimes feel inadequate. Always thinking I could have done better raising my children and having a career. And with a new job change this year at my age it has all been very overwhelming at times. Your message was inspiring and I plan to heed it.

  9. Liz says:

    This was just what I needed to read this morning. I am always thinking I could be more, do more, have more, etc.
    We all have the moments of both feeling like we are “on it” and then like we are “loosing it.” The reminder that these feelings are human and to accept myself exactly as I am is glorious. Thank you!!

  10. Jennifer says:

    Erin,
    OH THE IRONY! So I took a walk on the beach this morning and was looking out across the ocean, as the sun was coming up and looking into the sky asking someone, ANYONE, God, my Higher Self… “Will you please show me an answer? Show me a sign? Am I making the right decisions for me? OR am I making decisions to make everyone else happy?” You see, I am currently contemplating divorce. I’m going back to school for nutrition and my husband doesn’t support me. I just want to be loved for who I am and for some one to understand change and how great it truly is. Thank you for your email to me today, you must have heard me this morning!
    Much Love, Respect and Admiration!

  11. Julia says:

    Wow, just what I needed to hear today. I am only familiar with the show The Good Wife, which is one of the only shows I watch. My husband (well soone to be Ex) got me hooked on it. He loved watching it in the beginning but as soon as Alicia started to show strength…well he was done with that.

    I have been so up and down as I am going through leaving a very verbally/emotionally abusive marriage of almost 20 years. I am trying so hard to be strong but there are so many days that I just am not feeling it. I know deep inside that I need to let go of trying to get him to see what he has done and I truly believe there are wonderful things out there waiting for me but the letting go part…letting go of what others think. I needed to see this post today! Thank you beyond words!

  12. Thuy says:

    I loved this. I will print it up and put it in my studio to remind my clients to accept all their perfect imperfections. =)

  13. Melissa says:

    This really spoke to me because lately I have been feeling like less than or not good enough. But only 2 months ago I was on top of the world. Working out like crazy, preparing to go to Trinidad for carnival and a wedding, excited about a new romance. In less than a month I had minor surgery, budding romance done, gained 8lbs, my pressure went up and I am just fed up. So yes sometimes I feel like a superwoman and I can do it all and but right now I just want to go home and lay in the bed, watch hallmark channel and eat chocolate. sigh…

  14. hilde denys says:

    Dear Erin,

    I love what you do, what you write. You seem so full of energy. You are kind and smart and many more.

    about accepting myself: sometimes I do accept myself, love myself even; other times I think: how have you ever thought that your are good, smart, good looking…. it oscillates between these 2 extremes. It is really difficult to accept myself.

  15. Krista says:

    Thank you for reminding us how wonderful we are right NOW. Having a husband walk out after 26 years of marriage I have heard so many things that were not good enough. It will take much more positive experiences to begin to balance out the negativity I have been exposed to – so I am very grateful for the beautiful message you shared.

  16. Lisa Clausen says:

    Hi Erin, hi all. Perfect timing hearing this today. Thank you! Can identify completely. Best go and talk to my hubby, who I’ve been avoiding because I feel hurt by a recent action. No one’s perfect – just perfectly human x

  17. Awesome post, as always, Erin! Anytime you can work acting into spirituality, I am there 🙂

  18. Renee says:

    Erin,
    Great message – I watch very little tv but love both shows – I think you unwrapped a little bit of why I do.
    Just what I needed to move forward this morning
    Thanks!

  19. Tammy says:

    Thanks Erin, I really needed to hear this today. I’m married 25 years and have a wonderful husband, it’s the fact that I don’t have a career or kids that I’m always getting criticism from others for. I’ve rarely ever felt accepted just for being me. So thank you for reminding me that it’s okay to be me and what other people think doesn’t really matter.

  20. Tara says:

    Brilliant and perfectly timed post! This reminds me of the book “The Feminine Mistake” which included studies of how much of a risk being the good wife can be. Giving up identity and future independence can be seriously risking. Life happens and staying dependent on someone like they are your parent, can be a recipe for tragedy.

  21. Nora says:

    I loved this. Love the Good Wife but yes I’ve often said come on Alicia. Be strong!! I fell so much more accepting of myself these days than I used to and a lot of that has come about due to the shrink sessions and the group.

  22. Rob says:

    Erin. There come a time in everyone’s life when you need to take control, do things you normally wouldn’t do or were to embarrassed or afraid to do. I subscribed awhile ago for your 30 day exercise challenge and havent regretted a day since. There was a time when i felt like like Alicia (yes im a guy who does watch this show) but i had a moment where things suddenly changed. I can’t figure out when,what or how, but there was a change. Following your blog and reading your emails have helped keep focus on what is really important. I am who i am and if someone doesn’t like it… Oh Well. I don’t think men are superior to women and in fact if men would drop their barbaric attitudes, life could be so much simpler. I’m not perfect and everyone has a flaw or two maybe even a dozen but there is a lot of fear about being judged and it drives me absolutely nuts. We can all succeed from our failures. We all face difficult times and hit rock bottom but once our emotions settle and we realize what’s truly important, there is only one place to go. And that’s UP. I have personally been to both places and now focus on the little things and don’t really care about trying to please everyone or care about what i have or don’t have. I have balance and happiness and its all from observation and understanding. Observe life as it happens and listen carefully. You can figure out what will be success. My apologies for straying off topic but everyday is about you. Go with what makes you happy and what inspires you and you can find ballance.

  23. Mandy says:

    Sometimes when I read your blogs I feel like you are in my head reading my mind and know just the right thing to say. I have my husbands elderly father living with us and it is a struggle for reasons that I never expected. My father-in-law and my sister-in-laws are constantly putting me down and berating me in front and behind my back but never in front of my husband. I have to keep telling myself that the words of others do not define who I am. As you said “Accept that at some points in life you may feel betrayed. Accept that you will get hurt by people’s actions and words because you DO actually care what people think.” Thank you!!

  24. Mary Kay says:

    Fabulous blog!

    After losing my husband of 33 years in January from a long battle with cancer, and then reconnecting with a high school friend, who became more of friend quickly (too quickly, according to some people) I’ve had a lot of judgement in my life over the last few months.

    I’ve been hurt, betrayed, etc by ‘friends’.

    Thank you for putting my feelings into words and helping me find my way.

  25. Kimberly says:

    Erin you make my day. I love love love your blog!

  26. Wow this really shot to my core Erin! {Especially since my name is Alicia!} I ‘know’ all of this but to read it and internalize it brought me such a sense of calm and ah, it’s okay! and it’s okay to be human! Reading my name in it also made me feel like it was just form me… def needed this encouragement! Thanks Erin!

  27. Bethanne Black says:

    Erin, thank you so much for this. I’m struggling with this very concept and I can’t wait for the release of the new Soul Stroll. You always say what I need to hear at the right time.

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