Accepting The Unacceptable

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to discuss and reveal how to overcome the greatest challenge we all face around The Holidays, and possible the greatest challenge in life – accepting the unacceptable.

First a quick update:

“Emotional freedom guarantees success”
Many people have been asking for help, saying that they long to break away from the daily grind and start living a life full of abundance. The real breakthrough comes from emotional freedom and I have just finished creating a complete turnkey solution that allows anyone to create a complete “life makeover.” If you are ready to “unlearn” all of the negative programming and change the way you feel, then this is for you. I offered this to only 100 of my subscribers a few months ago but I am doing it again because it is The Holidays, so hurry and click here.

“The Top Nine Tips to Help You Enjoy The Holidays”
Listen to the interview I give about how to avoid arguments, fights and enjoy the Holidays.

Now, let’s talk about accepting the unacceptable.

In last week’s Success Newsletter, I mentioned that one of the primary reasons that The Holidays have become so stressful is because we’ve placed so many expectations around The Holidays; expectations about ourselves, others and the special day or events.

In an article I wrote and published by Date.com, I explain:

The Holidays automatically trigger every single insecurity that we have as well as our fears, anger, frustration, resentment, bitterness, guilt, shame and any other negative emotion that we hide deep inside. The reason this occurs is because we become emotionally vulnerable when we spend time with the people closest to us – our family and when we combine that with our expectations of them and of ourselves it’s easy for the eruption to occur. In other words, all of our hurts, fears and failures are triggered by our family members. While our initial reaction is to blame them, please understand that all they succeed in doing is triggering what is already inside of us. That means we can’t blame other people for the way we chose to respond to them and their behavior.

Almost every one of us can quickly and easily think of someone in our family (via bloodline or marriage) who pushes our buttons and brings out the worst in us. And while it is honorable and laudable to devote your life to sitting on a mountaintop and meditating all day everyday for 20 years like a monk, the real test of our spiritual evolvement and enlightenment only occurs when we are around and spend time with our family.

What is that test?

Some people will say the test is whether or not we can keep our cool and not lose our temper. But really, the test is much more than our response in the moment. The test is whether or not we can truly accept the unacceptable about our family.

In other words can we accept that this person will never change; will never be what we want them to be; will never do or say what we want them to say? Of course, we can all change, but only when we truly want to change.

Jessica often has an emotional meltdown whenever she returns to her hometown to visit her mother. Although Jessica is a married mother of three children, she told me upon her first visit to me that she feels she becomes someone else whenever she visits mom.

Jessica says her mother was never around when she was growing up; her mom was caught up with her own busy life and schedule. And when mom was around, she was often critical, judgmental, never praised or acknowledged her or her achievements and was simply interested in herself. Jessica often felt that mom had no interest in her, showed her very little affection and they never really bonded on the level that mothers and daughters often do. In fact, Jessica believes that her mom is now even jealous and resentful of Jessica’s success.

It’s quite easy then to see that Jessica would have resentment towards her mother for the things her mother did and those things her mother didn’t do such as show more interest in her; attend her co-curricular activities or engage in more mother-daughter activities and outings.

So what does Jessica really want from her mother?

Jessica told me that she simply wants to be able to get along with her mom and have a normal mother-daughter relationship; talk about the kids & life and laugh and go on outings together. But Jessica’s mom doesn’t do that. She shows little interest in Jessica or her grandchildren and constantly seeks Jessica’s attention and validation. Arguments quickly ensue as Jessica’s bitterness, resentment and hurt quickly surface and then boil over into screaming matches, tears and frustration. At the end of it, Jessica feels emotionally drained, physically weak, lethargic, apathetic and depressed.

Although Jessica told me that she simply wants to be able to get along with her mom and have a normal mother-daughter relationship, Jessica didn’t realize that subconsciously she wanted and wants a lot more. Jessica is still seeking mom’s love and approval; her affection, praise and validation. While there is nothing wrong with these desires, Jessica simply becomes more and more frustrated and hurt each time she tries and fails. Subsequently, Jessica’s pain of not getting any of these things as a child then transforms into anger, bitterness, rage and frustration.

The simple challenge is that Jessica cannot get what she wants from her mother. The simple truth is that Jessica’s mom cannot give Jessica what she wants. She is incapable. Yes, Jessica’s mom can change, could change, but, she doesn’t want to change.

Here then is the reality: Jessica’s mother cannot be nor do what Jessica wants. Jessica’s mother doesn’t know how and possibly may not want to learn how or may be much too afraid of even trying to learn how, particularly given the fact that she has been practicing these habits for almost 70 years! For some people, change is very frightening; the unknown is crippling. Most of us also realize at a deeper subconscious level that for us to change we must be willing to face our own demons. Jessica’s mother’s demons include guilt and low self-esteem. After all, she wouldn’t need to be resentful of Jessica’s present success if she felt good enough.

The solution for Jessica is simple but not easy: accept the unacceptable.

Accept that Jessica’s mother will never approve or her or love her the way she wants. Jessica’s mother cannot be or give her what she wants.

Jessica must now accept that this is the best her mother can do and be, and; that Jessica must seek her own approval. She must find approval from within and stop expecting her mother to do it for her. Jessica must also accept the unacceptable: her mother might always be jealous and resentful of her success and that is OK. In other words, Jessica must release herself from her own chains of guilt and allow herself to succeed and allow herself to enjoy and bask in that success.

Ultimately, Jessica must do what we all need to do: stop trying to change other people.

Who do you wish you could change?

Upon whom do you waste your energy trying to change?

Can you accept the unacceptable?

We don’t have to like other people’s behavior and yes, we must set our own boundaries and respect ourselves which might involve walking away or limiting our time with that person, but in the end, for peace of mind, we must stop expecting the other person to make us feel better and we must accept them as they are, and thus we can wish and hope the best for them.

It is so much more freeing when we wish good and bless others than when we fill ourselves with the poison of bitterness and condemn or curse others.

I send blessings to you and your family and everyone that is special in your life!

If you would like to uncover more ways to overcome Holiday stress, listen to the radio interview I gave with the top 9 tips and strategies to avoid arguments, stress and hurt during the Holidays.

If you would like to relax now and be calm, use my deep relaxation hypnosis audio program: Relax Now. Easy to use – just 15 minutes a day.

If you would like to comment on this newsletter, click here.  if you have received this newsletter as a forward and would like to receive all of my newsletters please enter your email address on the home page.

I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & Clinical Hypnotherapist
www.patrickwanis.com

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7 replies
  1. Avatar
    alli says:

    Thanks for answering Patrick.

    I get it now that the focus here is on not wasting energy into changing the other toxic person (a relative or not). If they don’t want to change, then we have to let it go, and figure out how to best manage them. Understood! Right back to observing the law of energy conservation, lol.

  2. Avatar
    alli says:

    Interesting and important topic in this series.

    Accepting the unacceptable: Wow, this is a big emotional & spiritual demand. I can see and admire how accepting the unacceptable keeps us from getting entangled in arguments. I do believe it depends on the weight of what the relationship is about. That is, if I had to put in 2 columns of pros and cons of that relationship, is the Cons column going into the second page, while there are a few scribbled lines on the Pros column? lol.

    Are the comments and actions meant to hurt you and burden you? Are the annoyances at a low enough number that they don’t disrupt your life? I believe in the term “toxic relatives.” Unfortunately, I know about it firsthand. There is such a thing as trying to work it out and telling a person how you feel. If the relative, values the relationship, he will sincerely apologize and no longer say what he said or did. That’s OK! That’s healthy and normal.

    That’s what I consider repairing a relationship because you love that person, so you accept that there will be times that they do or say something not-so-great. Those instances should be scattered and few, so that the time you have together isn’t disrupted by those instances, because most of the time they treat you well and the time you have together adds joy to your life.

    But if there’s a PATTERN of saying to you and doing onto you that is AIMED at adding misery to your life, after you’ve mentioned that it bothers you, I say to heck with that relationship. If a person can’t change their faults, that’s one thing, but if it’s their bad behavior towards me that’s caused by obvious issues that they have, I am not carrying that burden for them. They have to learn how to treat me well, if that can’t happen naturally. I am not a walking dartboard. lol.

    For the Jessica example above, if she explains to her Mom about what she needs from her and her Mom doesn’t at least try to stop any hurtful behaviors, then Jessica needs to have some time away from her mom. After all, it is her mom, so she should allow her a good-faith effort to make things right. If her mom values the relationship, she’ll at least try to curb the bad behaviors. There has to be significantly more good times than bad.

    But if not, she needs lots of away time from Mom.
    Why? Because her mom is acting TOXIC. If Jessica’s time with her mom is just spent in arguments and bad energy, what’s the point of wanting to be close? The fact that her mom resents her daughter’s success is truly bad. I agree that Jessica should seek relationships elsewhere instead of forcing a mom-daughter bond that’s not there.

    • Avatar
      Patrick Wanis says:

      Dear Alli,

      thanks for your thoughts and insights. I would like to add that I always teach that if a relationship is toxic, then yes, you need to walk away. If it is a case of “toxic relatives” then you need to reevaluate the way that the relationship plays out and obviously limit the time around that person. I have written about this also in terms of emotional vampires – people that drain you mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, etc. Read about how to deal with emotional vampires – click here https://patrickwanis.com/blog/index.php/2009/06/10/dealing-with-emotional-vampires/

      And with regards to Jessica’s case, of course, she has spoken with her mother and told her clearly what she desires from her, and again, the point is that Jessica’s mom can’t do it, won’t do it and refuses to do it or to change.
      And yes, we always need to speak up about what we want or what we need but, when the other person refuses to comply, then we need to accept the siutation and respond accordingly i.e. walk away, spend less time with the person or seek to meet our needs somewhere else.
      All the best,
      Patrick

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