I’ve been feeling particularly low and down for the last two weeks. I can pinpoint this latest bout of insecurity to when my Mum passed away, though it has been blowing in and out for most of the last 6 months. Mum’s funeral last Wednesday brought all my emotions to a head and I finally gave in to the grief. Then, of all things, a football match that my team lost made me take stock of my reality.
The result (that I didn’t want) took me into new levels of judgement. I raged against my favourite ever player for missing a penalty. I raged against the greatest manager the club has ever had for making what I deemed unnecessary changes to the starting line up. I raged against the referee and VAR (as usual). All are things beyond my control. And all are things that I cannot change.
At times like these and thanks to AA I try use the Serenity Prayer to calm my mind…
God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference
To take this further, this morning I found a Serenity Prayer meditation on YouTube. And that homed in like a guided missile to what is troubling me right now. Good old judgement. In fairness this my recurring affliction.
Judgement is binary. Right or wrong. Black or white. Win or lose. That sort of thing. It creates fear of outcomes and is resistant to change. For me it brings out my worst egotistical character flaws – self-righteousness, self-doubt, blame and victimhood. And as the meditation points out, – if I judge I suffer – and my ability to make the right choices is compromised.
The antidote to judgement is to practice acceptance. To accept you have to practice discernment, you have to decide what is working for you, what’s not working and what, if anything, to do about it.
Recently, when talking about my relationships with women, DrM told me, that before I can love someone else, I first needed to love myself. And it’s the same with acceptance, in order to practise acceptance you first need to accept yourself.
Acceptance gives clarity without judgement. It allows you to see what to change and how to do it. Or what to move on from if it can’t be changed.
The three-point plan today’s meditation gave me for acceptance is as follows:
- Notice judgements and how they make me feel
- Consider not changing someone or something and let go of thinking I am right
- What small things can I do that will powerfully change my life for the better. For me right now, apart from practising part 2, it’s releasing my creative side through photography and editing the shots into my interpretations of the view, object or being. It’s listening to music, creating playlists, discovering different performers and albums. It’s appreciating the present moment. It’s recognising and appreciating the people that care about and love me, and reciprocating that.
“Everything you want is sitting on the other side of fear” – George Addair
Acceptance ferments trust. Trust in your higher power to help you overcome fear, the cloak of self-doubt, and all of its trimming in order to allow you to grow in mind, body and soul.
Today’s pictures were all photographed, edited and mixed in the last fortnight. They are all personal interpretations of the subject matter in front of me. They range from views from my local park and the canal close to home to my dog Betty to the flowers that adorned my mum’s coffin.
Sunday 9 May, 2021