2016 was the year of fear and control, exemplified by those who ended up in democratically elected political offices. This wasn’t just happening in the Western world, but all over the world. (Rodrigo Duterte, anyone?). Fear and control go hand in hand. And, in the world of politics, it’s easier to control people if they are afraid. The flirting world often brings fear because we are not in control of the outcome. This means that instead of showing genuine interest in someone, and them possibly not reciprocating, fear stops us from making a move. I don’t know about you, but I am tired of this fear/control element in my life. Are you?
I want 2017 to be different – which is why this year I am embracing empathy/acceptance – the only antidote to fear/control. Instead of never asking out the person whom you’ve always wanted to get to know better, because you can’t control the outcome and are afraid of what it might be, try this – using empathy/acceptance, ask the person you’d like to join you for a drink. You have no expectations and are not attached to the outcome, because you are not trying to control the matter. Because of this, you are not afraid and are more likely to do it. There is no fear of what their answer might be. There is only acceptance of their response and acceptance of the outcome. Empathy is also important, because it forces you to look at situation from a viewpoint that isn’t only your own.
Tired of being ruled by fear/control, I have been trying out the new empathy/acceptance model over the last few months. For example, after years of guilt/shame/fear/control around food and the appearance of my body (if you are a woman living in our society, than I am sure you can relate) I have finally come to accept that whatever I look like is how I am supposed to look. Not only am I not able to look any other way (there’s this funny thing called genetics…) despite diets, restriction, exercise and shame, but I am not supposed to look any other way. I am exactly as I should be.With this acceptance, I have been enjoying wine and food without a shred of guilt and only enjoyment. I have just come back from a lavish holiday of eating and drinking with my husband. I usually have to steel myself for the weighing-in process afterwards, and inevitable weight gain, which leads to more control/fear measures over my body. With my changed attitude, I have actually lost weight on holiday. (I weighed myself 5 times on that first day because I just couldn’t believe it).
As I learn how it feels to fully accept myself as I am, and get used to this new feeling of eating only with enjoyment, and without restriction and guilt, I find that I am at the lightest I have been in two years. The number on the scale is only a side note; the journey of acceptance, and what happens when we, with empathy, truly accept ourselves and situations, is the real story. This is my story of acceptance. How will you implement the empathy/acceptance model in 2017?