Over a year ago, we got a call from the hospital that my 5-year-old cousin, Kingston, had fallen out of a two-story window and his mom needed help.
Five months after he arrived, I remember sitting in disbelief, thinking this isn’t what I signed up for. This was supposed to be temporary.
He was non-verbal, not potty trained, and having daily melt-down moments resulting in self-harm. He’s an amazing young man with a lot of love, but living with him can be exhausting and stressful.
Once he moved in with us, everyday tasks seemed to be a lot harder, which was causing me to have frequent meltdowns.
These simple tasks are things you do without thinking but for me, it would trigger negative thoughts….
Enjoying a cocktail in a nice glass, not anymore because he loves hearing things shatter on the floor. Cue my mental meltdown!
Excited about an amazon delivery, not anymore it makes Ceasar (our dog) bark, which makes Kingston meltdown. Kingston’s screams terrify Ceasar, which causes Ceasar to have accidents all over the house. Cue my mental meltdown!
Weekend time alone binge-watching TV until 4 am, not anymore because Kingston would be awake at 6 am. Cue my mental meltdown!
As simple reminders like these kept me stuck, I was somehow always comparing my old life to the current state.
Does any of this sound familiar, maybe not taking in an autistic child or maybe not even on this level, but something happens in your life and you don’t want it to be true.
Many times, it’s beyond your control.
If you’re like me, your Type-A brain will go haywire trying to “fix”, change, or fight it.
You may even live in the land of perpetual negative thoughts that drain you and make it impossible to move on.
Kingston was to be with us for 18-24 months while his mom got her life together.
It was hard as hell when it was temporary, but when reality set in that this was my forever-ever, it hit me differently.
Things happen in our lives that don’t always feel amazing.
Most of my clients want their lives to be picture-perfect. They are perfectionists who like things to work according to their amazing blueprint and when things don’t go according to the plan, they start fighting.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Kingston, but I was battling mentally.
When you find yourself in an unplanned situation, do you refuse to accept it?
Do you want things to be different?
There will always be things we don’t plan. Life won’t always be sunshine and rainbows.
How you handle the struggle determines whether you will be better or bitter.
The more you resist, the longer it takes to find peace and acceptance. Some people have lived their entire lives resisting. Unfortunately, they will never find peace.
Peace and fulfillment aren’t about having a perfect life.
A perfect life doesn’t exist. However, the only way to have an amazing life is by powerfully handling the not-so-good aspects.
Here are some of the tools I used to walk through my Acceptance Process.
1. Allow the Emotions
Have your ugly breakdown moments. It’s okay you’re human. Sometimes I have my days when I’m grieving my old life. However, I can’t live in the land of woe is me. It’s okay to visit this place, but you don’t want to live here. Living here creates a dismal and depressing life.
2. Stop Resisting Reality
This is a necessary step but one of the most difficult ones.
If you’re repeatedly telling yourself this shouldn’t happen, questioning why it’s happening, getting angry at others who are “at fault”, etc., it doesn’t relieve your pain, it intensifies it. You are mentally wrestling with reality, and you will lose EVERY time.
I have an autistic child permanently. If I fight it, it will only bring me more anguish. I can have an autistic child with anguish OR I can have an autistic child with peace. The facts are the facts. Reality will always be waiting for me, and your reality will always be waiting on you.
3. Focus on What You Have
It took me so long because I kept holding on to what I perceived as a loss instead of focusing on what I had. When I’m going through some rough patches, I first process the different emotions then I work on gratitude.
4. Comparison Robs You of Happiness
I saw this anonymous quote that reads, “Every minute you spend wishing you had someone else’s life is a minute you spend wasting yours.”
I was watching my travel bestie’s journey through Europe, Antigua, Maldives, and many other destinations. Pre-Kingston, I probably would’ve been on many of these trips with her. This wasn’t helping my mental state. I had to STOP comparing my old life to the new one.
I was exhausted.
Around two months ago, I fully accepted my crazy beautiful life.
Kingston has made such amazing progress. He can communicate with us, has lost 35 pounds, and is almost completely potty trained. We are truly making a difference in his life. However, he has made the biggest and most positive impact on me. He has shown me I can have my life drastically change and still have peace.
Kingston One Year Ago
I’m a better person, wife, mother, and coach because he’s in my life.
Many times in our marriage and life, we don’t want to accept reality. We think we can outsmart reality and win.
You CAN have a marriage and life that isn’t perfect, but one where you aren’t exhausted and resentful from fighting your truth.
If you’re exhausted, check to see if there is anywhere you find it difficult to accept the facts as the facts.
Maybe it’s not accepting your husband, kids, mother-in-law, or even yourself as is. You just keep wishing and hoping it will change. It may change, but first you must accept it as it is right now at this very moment.
I guide those fighting with reality to a more empowered life of peace and fulfillment.
Do you want more peace and fulfillment?
The tools above are just the beginning.
Let’s talk about taking empowered steps towards living a life with less exhaustion and stress.