Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Acceptance - What is it?


This post from This is More Personal got me smiling, and thinking.  In particular, this paragraph made me think back, and remember feeling this way too.

“I remember hearing from women further down the path than I, and listening to them talk about acceptance, and me thinking, loudly: “BULLFUCKINGSHIT. That is just bullshit. How could anyone ever accept this hell. You are lying to yourself. I will never accept this.”

I suspect I might have been one of the people she has sworn at! 

I think part of it is the definition we ascribe to the word acceptance.  For me, acceptance means the ability to live our lives the best way we can, within the constraints of our lives.  In other words, we can’t have kids (whether short term or permanently), but we can still have a good life, enjoy ourselves, and appreciate the parts of our life that we wouldn’t have if we have children.  That latter part is the hard bit often.  Acceptance doesn’t mean that we are rejoicing we don’t have children, and it doesn’t mean we didn’t really want them.  It’s that guilt thing again.  It is not a betrayal to accept the life I have, and make the most of it.  I mean, what choice is there?  And isn’t it better to be happy than sad?

Of course, none of this happened over night – for me, or I suspect for any of the women who have gone through this.  It takes time.  But yes, even for those disbelievers out there swearing at me right now, it is possible.  And it’s good.  Acceptance means that the burden of guilt, the burden of sadness, the burden of wanting what you don’t have, all that is gone.  And there is a real freedom in that.

9 comments:

  1. TRUE, TRUE...I used to feel so much burden and guilt that we couldn't give more grandkids to our respective parents...and I felt guilt 'coz I couldn't bear a child/children for my hubby, and the list went on. But it's really tiring to live that way.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, it does take time. I am still in the accepting phase, but as I accept it more - I feel more at ease. And you are totally right - there is so much freedom in it. Freedom from the guilt and sadness has been amazing for me. I was tired of sitting around feeling sad all the time.

    But perhaps that is where you have to get - to the point where are you are tired of being sad.

    I began to see it as a choice. I could choose to stay in my misery, or I could choose to change and find happiness. Moving toward the happy side, albeit a slow journey, has made my life all the better. And finding blogs like yours, have encouraged me along the way. They made me realize I would be OK and get to where you are.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am right there with ya. I used to think that accepting it meant that I was OK with not having kids. I will NEVER be ok with not having kids, but I have to live life despite it. I didn't want to be miserable any more and I want to enjoy life the best I can. It's not acceptance of the fact that I can't have children, its acceptance that it is a part of my life that I can not change. It accepting that you have no control over it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I really like how you defined this. Not actively fighting against something doesn't mean that you're okay with it. I think of acceptance as an acknowledgment, but not a person embracing the situation.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks LG. But I have to say that I think, to be happy and live a sane and contented life, we actually do have to embrace our situation, particularly for those of us whose situation is permanent, whether that is living life with no children, or not being able to complete your family in the way you might have hoped, or having children who are not your own biological children. We do in fact have to be ok with it. It doesn't mean it was our first choice, but I can't see how we can ever life a happy, contented life if we don't. To me, that's acceptance.

    ReplyDelete
  6. For me the hard part is knowing when to stop trying.... If I stop right now and decide I can try to move on, will I regret it a few years from now? It would be easier if I was told that there is no point in trying anymore, but all doctors still give me hope... and thus I am still stuck with trying.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Mali, I've been reading your blog for some years now, literally from the other side of the planet. I want to thank you for your wise and reassuring posts! I have really enjoyed reading how you've moved on and I, too, hope to be there one day.

    Although I'm most of the time happy with my life and getting more and more adjusted to a life without kids, I'm feeling a bit like Pearl. We've been TTC for almost 10 years. I don't even know if i really WANT kids anymore. Despite this we're still considering whether to continue trying, move on to adoption (although we're soon too old for that) or just call it a day. The docs cannot say what's wrong with us and thus we're still thinking of one last IVF attempt, just not to regret anything later on. But at the same time, I would just want to stop and move on - but I'm not sure I can move on until we've tried everything... What a vicious circle!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hello Anonymous. Thanks for the comment - it is interesting to know I have readers I don't know about! I can't imagine being in your situation, but hope you get through it one way or another.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm late & catching up on blog reading & commenting, but I want to say I totally agree. : ) It does take time to reach this point.

    ReplyDelete