Turn Those Little Irritations Into Opportunities for Growth!

In our article on Acceptance, we talk about the spectrum of acceptance and that it helps to look at how important things are that bother us. On one end of the spectrum, there are the things which really represent our core values; the things that carry the most meaning for us. At the very other end of the spectrum are the little things that stick in our brain and irritate us, often even causing estrangement from our partner. These things are not really so meaningful to us, and yet we often hang onto them, and can’t find acceptance in ourselves for another person’s style or way. These moments can be a wonderful opportunity for learning about ourselves. If instead of looking at what is different in our partner and being distressed, we take this time to look at ourselves, and find out why this is bothering us so much, we may find a way to drop old stuff and move forward in acceptance. If we turn inward and really look at what it is about us that makes this seemingly unimportant thing bother us, we will often find a place within where we can offer true acceptance; acceptance that another person has another way and we do not need to try to change it. If we come to see that this is really only a statement about ourselves, and not really about our partner at all, we can be liberated from the need to change or criticize, and even more important, we have an opportunity to learn something valuable about ourselves.

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4 Comments on “Turn Those Little Irritations Into Opportunities for Growth!

    • In the full article, which we are still editing, we offer toothpaste tubes, dog hair and tidiness as examples. Also, napkins don’t have to be folded a particular way; some people have difficulty parallel parking, but still complete the exercise; video games are how some people unwind. These are less from personal experience than from reading and observation.

  1. We’ve got to keep on keepin’ on. Sure, there are ways out – alcohol/drugs and other self-destructive escapes may seem seductive at times. But in the end, we’re hurting ourselves by doing these things. There just really isn’t any easy way out sometimes, and sometimes the best thing you can do is gut it out and hope for the light at the end of the tunnel. And the thing is, if we look for it – REALLY look for it and accept it when we see it – it’s there. The hard thing is that it may not be what we expected, or even what we wanted. That can be a pretty hard thing to accept, and accept it we must. Compromise occurs in life, too – and many times it’s us doing the compromising.

  2. Perhaps more than anything else, cultivating self-acceptance requires that we develop more self-compassion. Only when we can better understand and pardon ourselves for things that earlier we assumed must be all our fault can we secure the relationship to self that till now has eluded us.

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