If that doesn’t feel true, you may not be exercising your capacity for conscious acceptance as a springboard for making optimal choices, or may not understand how it can serve you as a bridge or anchor, to realizing the larger vision of where you aspire to be your life (whether you know what that is or not).
In Part 1, we looked at conscious acceptance, and how it can empower you to respond to disappointments and challenges in consciously positive ways. Considering the life-shaping power of responses, that’s big.
In this post, we look at three factors that shape how you respond – your beliefs, choices and actions – and how acceptance can play a vital role in cultivating these key abilities, so that they more fully support you to take the shortest, most expedient path to living a life of balance, healing and transformation, or what psychologist Abraham Maslow would call self-actualization.
How does conscious acceptance maximize your beliefs, choices and actions?
Your responses are life-shaping energy, and this is largely because what you believe determines your overall approach to life and how you respond in certain situations.
The idea of ego-strength has a long history in the field of psychology that can be traced back to the development of Sigmund Freud’s three-tiered view of personality in terms of id, ego, and super-ego.
Thanks to numerous contributions since, this and other Freudian concepts were significantly revamped by many of his followers, such as Alfred Adler, Carl Jung and Erich Fromm, known as NeoFreudians, all of whom shifted away from Freud’s deterministic and pessimistic view of human nature and, in its place, added a key aspect of human nature: An empowering view of human personality and behavior as primarily social in focus and self-determined by intrinsic motivation.
In particular, NeoFreudians rejected Freud’s emphasis on sexual urges as primary motivators of ego drives and behavior. A follower of NeoFreudians, Abraham Maslow, who later made significant contributions of his own to psychological (and organizational) theory of human motivation with his now famous Hierarchy of Needs, put it this way in his book, Toward a Psychology of Being: “It is as if Freud supplied us the sick half of psychology and we must now fill it out with the healthy half.”
If you are in a relationship that is negatively impacting your emotional, mental, or physical health, hurting others you love, or compromising your inner values, you are likely in a toxic relationship – and addictive neural patterns are in control.
If you have not already, take time to reflect on the dynamics, and to consider what you can and cannot do – that would allow you to break free of their control, and to take charge of your emotional response, so that your mind and body may restore balance, and let healing begin.
In Part 1 of this series, we identified five toxic patterns partners get stuck in that activate one another’s protective-response patterns. In Part 2, we looked at the neuroscience beneath the emotional command circuits that destabilize each partner’s inner sense of emotional safety in relation to the other. We then touched on key factors that affect relational balance in Part 3, and considered the first step partners can take – cultivating awareness of one another’s triggers – to break free of the toxic patterns and restore balance in your lives.
Whenever events or relationships do not turn out the way you imagined or thought, it’s only natural to feel some degree of disappointment, perhaps also grief, frustration, or anger, and other fear-based emotions. Regardless whether the emotion is directed toward your self or another, it can hurt.
Did you know, however, that it is how you respond to disappointments, and not how hurtful the events or outcomes themselves were, that determines the extent to which they may harm or prosper you and your life?
Your responses have life shaping power over the direction of your personal life and relationships. And one of the most powerful responses is one characterized by acceptance, i.e., a conscious opening of your heart to understanding what happened, self and others, what you can and cannot change, and so on.