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The Gift of Acceptance

Why You Should Practice Acceptance—Part 1

Fundamentally, acceptance is a choice we make—but the gift of acceptance is one we all can benefit from.

You can choose to accept people and circumstances as they are, or not. In my forthcoming book, The Gift of Acceptance: Embracing Life as It Is, I try to make the case for choosing acceptance in almost all situations—even those you initially find “unacceptable.” You can download a free chapter of the book by clicking here.

One reason for practicing acceptance is the strong link between accepting people and things as they are and a life filled with greater freedom.  Acceptance, like forgiveness, releases us from the turmoil and resentments of the past, thereby freeing us to make choices that are best for us now.

Iva’s story illustrates this gift of acceptance well.  Iva was badly beaten by her father from
the time she was ten years old until she fled home as an eighteen-year-old. She spent most Continue reading

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5 Key Ways to Let Go of Control in Relationships

acceptanceMany people sincerely wish to stop trying to control their important relationships and practice acceptance, but find it very difficult to do so.  They realize that it would be better for others, as well as themselves.

It may be a mother who knows that it is best not to constantly come to the “rescue” of her children when they are careless or forgetful, lest it deprives them of learning to be more responsible.  It may be a mate or partner who knows that constantly nagging his or her counterpart impacts trust and intimacy.  Or it may be a supervisor who wishes to delegate more tasks to his team so that they can better develop their skills, while at the same time allow him or her to devote more time to critical work needs.

Whatever the relationship may be,

The keys to letting go of control are almost always the same. Continue reading

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A Valuable Key to a Healthier Heart

When my doctor checked my pulse and blood pressure at a recent physical exam, my pulse was only 47—well below the 60-80 norm—and my blood pressure was a healthy 98/68.  Admittedly, I exercise regularly, but leaving the doctor’s office I wondered whether that alone would account for such good readings—especially for a 70 year old.

It then occurred to me that the readings might also be attributable to the fact that I am now much better at letting go of control in important areas of my life (work, children, loved ones, friends and the like).

In other words, could letting go of control be a valuable key to a healthier heart?

I believe it is.  Medical research and studies confirm that our hearts are adversely impacted by excessive stress, worry, fear, and anger.

And, quite simply:

*When we control less, we stress less; Continue reading

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Letting Go of Control Truths

control freaks“Let go of control. You never had it in the first place!”

Most control freaks do not agree with the above statement. What about you? Not sure you agree? Then consider this:

“If you always do what you always did, you always get what you always got. So let go of control to get something new.”

Is micro-managing your children’s lives working for you? Or is not going too well? Here’s a suggestion:

“Listen attentively to them without “counseling” them.   It is a healing gift that allows them to process their concerns by themselves.”  Continue reading

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Acceptance or Denial? It’s Your Choice to Make!

control freaks

When we are struggling in coping with a troubling issue, we basically have two choices: We can accept the underlying reality of the situation, or we can deny it.  It’s your choice to make!

I strongly encourage people to choose acceptance because that is the only way we can begin to effectively deal with the problem. But here’s the irony—and challenge: We must first overcome our denial before we know what it is that needs accepting. Which is to say, denial obscures acceptance. Continue reading

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Are You a Love Controller?

love controllerAre you or your loved one a love controller? If so, this can be very hard on the relationship. Love control obstructs the romantic flow.  It forces the action, rather than allowing the love currents to unfold naturally so that people can relax and just be themselves—and offer their love and kindness without pressure or expectations.

Simply put, most people don’t like being told what to do, how to be, or how to act in matters of the heart. Do you?

And yet, if you were to ask a friend or your love one if they considered themselves a love controller, my guess is that they would likely say no.  Are you a love controller?  Let’s find out. Take the Love Control Test from my book, Losing Control, Finding Serenity: How the Need to Control Hurts Us and How to Let It Go

The Love Control Test 

Ask yourself the following:

Do I usually feel I know what’s best for my partner?

Do I charm or pout or withdraw to get my way?  Continue reading

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Accepting Your Foes Helps!

personal recoveryReading the above title, you may be thinking, “Why should I accept people who are trying to harm or cause me trouble?  They are the last people I would want to accept!” I know I used to feel that way, especially before starting my personal recovery journey.

It’s clearly unnerving to think about accepting those that we feel are toxic, and even more challenging to do so. However, when I look back, I now realize that I suffered unnecessarily from my refusal to accept such people, both in terms of greater personal anguish and poorer results.

This became even more clear to me–of all things—while competing in some seniors’ tennis tournaments.  Continue reading

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The Link Between Addiction and Control

personal recoveryThe lives of addicts often reel out of control, especially for those who have not started down the path to personal recovery. Many feel ashamed and powerless over their addiction and many things in their lives. To counter their anxiety and attempt to gain some semblance of control in their lives, they try to exert “external” control over others and important aspects of their lives.

Some believe addicts are control freaks. Licensed clinical social worker Rita Milios explains why in her informative article appearing in Recovery.org titled Control Freak: How to Stop Trying to Change Your World and Change Yourself Instead. Visit this link to read the article.

“If a person feels that they have lost control of themselves and their substance use, they often shift their sphere of control to other areas of their life. Feeling out of control increases the anxiety, and becoming a “control freak” is one way an addict may attempt to reduce this anxiety. Exerting outward control may also be an attempt to manage other uncomfortable emotions, such as depression, low self-esteem or feelings of powerlessness.” Continue reading

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The Control—Misery Link

d964a44cdb103020a8e7cf1c117e56a0Control freaks beware—those controlling tendencies can create misery in your life.

A friend recently shared, “The more I try to control things in my life, the more miserable I become.  In fact, the misery in my life is directly proportional to how much I try to control things.”

I, of course, knew how excessive control impacts my serenity, but never heard it expressed in quite that way. As I thought about it further, I realized there is indeed a direct link between control and “misery.” Let me explain why. Continue reading

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10 Ways the Need to Control Hurts You

control freaks

image by Sara Hasse

Many people call them control freaks.  Some call them controllers.  Others refer to them as nitpickers and micromanagers.  Whatever you call them, they all have one clear thing in common: The Need to Control.

Hence, the subtitle of my book Losing Control, Finding Serenity:  “How the Need to Control Hurts Us and How to Let It Go.”   As such, the book examines in-depth (using true stories) the many ways our need to control hurts us—and others.

Controlling too much is like gripping a rapidly moving conveyor belt—you either get burned or dragged along.

10 ways for control freaks to get themselves in check:

1.  The intensity of our control-driven actions “blinds” us from recognizing new paths and opportunities that could vastly improve our lives.

2.  The need to control our children’s lives deprives them of opportunities for personal growth.  It also leads to resentment between parent and child.

3.  Control obstructs the creative process.  Creativity flourishes with “opening up”, whereas control closes it down.

Continue reading

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