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A Lesson In Acceptance

0932 Terri Cole HI RESThe holiday season is here, which for many of you means more time with your family of origin. This time can be joyful, yet stressful, which can inspire a regression to dysfunctional family dynamics.

At a holiday gathering years ago, my Dad, who was fifty-one at the time, declared that he was retiring, packing it all up and moving to Florida with his long-term girlfriend.

Which to me, sounded like the worst idea ever.

My role in the family had been the fixer, and I thought his plan needed some fixing.

“Really?” I exclaimed. “What are you going to do in Florida? Wouldn’t it be more exciting if you guys flew to Europe, rented a Winnebago, and took a few years traveling and exploring?”

My father looked at me and said, “Maybe. But I just want to play golf and relax in a warm climate.”

I said, “Well, I just want you to be happy.”

He said, “I AM happy, Ter.”

In that moment, I realized I was projecting my desire onto my father. I needed to be supportive and accept his choice, as I expected him to do for me. My old role as the fixer was unnecessary because nothing was broken.

I had another opportunity to learn the lesson of acceptance when I got married.

Vic and I have very different ways of expressing ourselves. I am a talker with a need to be succinctly understood. I used to worry about Vic’s happiness because it didn’t look like happiness as I understood it, but when I asked him about it, he would calmly respond that he was really and truly happy. In time, I learned to accept Vic’s way of expressing himself as simply different than mine, not better or worse, just different.

As you move through this season, I invite you to practice more acceptance by actually listening without judgment or opinion.

If you can focus on what you love about the people in your life and release the need for them to be different, your holidays will be happier.

I am interested in your thoughts. Where in your life are you challenged by acceptance?

I hope you have a beautiful week of acceptance and joy, and, as always, take care of you.

Love Love Love,

Terri

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As a licensed therapist, transformation coach, and mentor to well-known personalities in wellness, empowerment, and entertainment, Terri Cole is honored to help clients, and now listeners like you, remain present and grounded, despite life’s complexities. She provides sustainable, action-oriented solutions you can implement TODAY that allow you to live a life that thrills you. Follow Terri on Twitter @terri_cole.

  • Good Vibes

    You just lifted my heart; actually it dropped then lifted because your message is so powerful to me. Thank you. Have a blessed holiday season.

    • terri cole

      Thank you, good vibes! I’m so glad this resonated with you. You, too, have a beautiful holiday. xo.

    • The Daily Love

      This is so great to hear… Thanks for reading! -TDL Team

  • Sandy

    I agree acceptance is key! Great article! Happy holidays!

    • terri cole

      Thank you so much, Sandy! Glad you enjoyed this. Wishing you a happy holiday too! xo

    • The Daily Love

      Same to you, Sandy! -TDL Team

  • Shay

    This post really inspired. In more recent years, I have been almost so overcome by grief of lost loved ones that; despite my love of Christmas; I turned into a “grinch” who couldn’t wait until December 26th. This year; I am inspired to be thankful for what I have; and the wonderful love that I have been blessed with throughout my life. After all; isn’t that what the holiday season is truly about?

    • terri cole

      Wonderful realization, Shay! We all have so much to be grateful for. It’s important to pause and remember all we are blessed with. Your life is a miraculous gift. Make the most of it. xo.

    • The Daily Love

      That really is what this time of year is all about. Thanks for sharing and reading, Shay! -TDL Team

  • Elisa

    Hey Terri this one I really relate to!! I am always like to Charlie (my love) “why don’t you express your love to me the way I express my love and gratitude to you!” I am emotional and vocal, I express every feeling and emotion that comes into my heart…he is quiet and does things in his own way, like taking initiative in helping me create my website, or doing research for my book I am writing and sending me articles. He tucks me in everynight cause I go to bed early and he is a night owl…But sometimes I expect for him to share more of what feelings he is having and how his body feels in those moments! He just doesn’t express himself like I do, or tune into his feelings like I do. Sharing your story helps me….”I know” we are different but I expect things, instead of always accepting the way it is. I will go home today from work being a bit more aware:) Thank you! xoxoxo

    • terri cole

      Good for you, Elisa. Obviously Charlie cares deeply about you, and it’s important to realize we all process emotions differently. You’re on a wonderful journey! Have a great weekend! xo

    • The Daily Love

      Thanks so much for sharing, Elisa! We appreciate your presence on the site! -TDL Team

  • lovechild

    I have an adult daughter with two young children who went through a terrible divorce about 8 yrs ago. Since then, she has had three fast and dysfunctional relationships with men who move into her house within weeks of dating. I am sick over what this does to my grandsons and my inability to hide my disapproval has destroyed my relationship with my daughter. Everybody keeps telling me to “let it go” and that “she is happy”, but I am gripped by this problem. But I know it’s my problem – about what I want for her/them, about what I think happy should look like, etc. Thank you for your honesty about your dad and his story…it helped me see my misguided thinking.

    • terri cole

      It is hard, lovechild. I am the mother of 3 and a grandmother to 3. We do want what’s best for our children, and it can be hard to take a step back. But, what you are realizing is important. As much as it may pain you, she is a grown woman and needs to find her own way. Good luck! xo

    • The Daily Love

      We wish you all the best moving forward… Thank you for sharing -TDL Team

  • audrey

    You’ve just made the thoughts of Christmas with the family a hell of a lot easier! Have constant arguments with my mother as she’s always trying to control my life.

    • terri cole

      Synchro-tastic! as I like to say! Everything comes JUST when you need it. Have a gorgeous holiday xo.

    • The Daily Love

      Great to hear Audrey! Happy Holidays :) -TDL Team

  • Adagio

    Learning to let go is a continual and ongoing lesson for me. In the past I have taken on the worry and fears of my adult children and owned their problems as if they are my very own, and wanting to somehow fix their situation for them. Having just gone through breast cancer treatments, I finally realize that acceptance of all things is key to appreciating LIFE. All things are out of my control, and I must accept without judgment the decisions that my loved ones make. Your blog post gave me a firm reminder that I need to release the need for them to be different – let them be who they are. Very fitting for me since my son and his family are coming for the holidays in just a few days from now. Thanks so much.

    • terri cole

      Wonderful realization, Adagio. And I am sending you healing energy as you are dealing with your treatments. I, too, am a 2-time cancer survivor. Acceptance definitely plays a HUGE role in healing. You need to take care of you! lots of love. xo

    • The Daily Love

      Thank YOU for reading :) -TDL Team

  • Marie

    I have trouble accepting the end of a relationship when someone breaks up with me. I hear all of those things like “It’s for the best” and “It wasn’t meant to be”, yada yada, but that doesn’t make it easier for me to accept that it’s over when I didn’t think it was over and don’t think it should be.

    • http://ashleij.tumblr.com/ AshleiJ

      I hear you Marie! I’m going through this right now, except I logically know it is for the best but my heart is hurting so bad! Just wanted to let you know you are not alone!

    • terri cole

      Marie,
      Acceptance is also a process. Did you get a chance to speak your truth at the end of the relationship? Many times the process of acceptance gets stalled when you so not feel like you had the chance to fully express your feelings. I suggest you write a letter to your ex pouring out all of your thoughts and feelings about the break up and ask a trusted friend to witness it by reading it to them (no opinion from them just support and caring) and see how you feel. You may or may not choose to send the letter but honoring your feelings can help you move towards acceptance with more ease. Sending you soothing energy. xo

  • TTB

    Thanks, Terri. I so needed to read this. Btw, are you a Gemini?