Most of us have issues stemming from our childhood. I like to think that for the most part I have got a handle on them. And then…I am keenly reminded that there is more work to do!
Recently, I visited my family. And, I was confronted with contrast. Contrast is a Law of Attraction concept meaning that something I don’t want, like or prefer is happening . In this case, I observed my family showing little interest in my life or how I was doing. Their focus was on what they wanted to do and their own lives.
Now, I come from a dysfunctional, chaotic family where there was abuse and invalidation . (Thankfully, the abuse has stopped, but the invalidation continues). Invalidation is a term I have heard numerous times. But, when I am using the term invalidation I am referring to psychologist, Dr. Marsha Linehan’s definition.
Typical invalidating remarks:
It is an environment that consistently minimizes, dismisses, ignores or punishes the expression of emotion. In short, the environment is telling you that your responses are incorrect, faulty, inappropriate or otherwise invalid.
So here I am, feeling invalidated and thrown back to familiar childhood emotional experiences. I decide to get out of the situation; to go for a walk and pause to process what I am thinking and feeling.
I tell myself I have 4 options:
I chose options 2 and 3. Tarah Brach, a clinical psychologist, lay priestess and popular teacher of Mindfulness states in her book “Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha” that acceptance must come from deep within. It must be radical.
The word radical is derived from the Latin word “radicalis" meaning forming from the root. There are 2 parts to genuine acceptance. First we must be mindful . To be mindful we have to pause and let go of our mental busy-ness. We have to stop our endless activities to connect with our thoughts, feelings and physical sensations.
“Under the feared pause lies fertile ground for wise action” (Tara Brach).
We then move to holding ourselves and our experience with compassion; to bring friendly attention to how unfriendly we feel.
The Law of Detachment and Allowing
When we consider the Law of Detachment , it is the ultimate form of allowing and acceptance of what is and what will be. When we allow, we do not force things into being. The Law of Allowing is the principle of least action and of no resistance . Allowing can be applied to ourselves, to others and the way we allow or receive from the universe to deliver all that we desire.
Deepak Chopra states that when we detach and allow we are believing in the power of our true selves. Attachment is based on fear and insecurity and comes from a lack consciousness . It is founded in the belief that circumstances, situations, and people outside of ourselves are the source of our happiness and success .
If you believe people should think, feel and act as you do in order for you to be happy, you are going to have a lot of grief in your life. If you believe others have to conform to your “rules” for you to feel good about yourself, then you will never be free. Your happiness will always be tied to others.
Making other people “wrong” is judgment. Judgment generates lower level emotions that result in attracting more negative people, circumstance and situations in your life . Christy Whitman states in her book The Laws of the Universe , instead of making others wrong for who they are or what they do, allow the person to be, have or do as they will without trying to fix them, change them or make them wrong. This is especially helpful when you are dealing with an environment that is rigid and will not change.
We are always at choice. We can choose to spend time in this environment or not. We can choose to limit our time in this environment. And, we can choose not to adopt those behaviors we do not like, want or prefer.
Tall order; not trying to fix, change or make them wrong. Radical Acceptance is a choice we have to make, sometimes each month, each week, each day and each hour. So, I choose Acceptance, Allowing and Detachment over and over again!