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Gillian Sanger

Where could I cultivate increased openness and/or acceptance?

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This week's question asks:

Where could I cultivate increased openness and/or acceptance?

Think about any situation, person, group, or activity in your life that could use more openness and/or acceptance from you. Tell us about this, along with insight into how you think you might be able to cultivate greater openness.

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This is a hard question for me to answer personally, & I know there are many situations, but I will gladly give it a shot with the biggest one.

For me I believe I could increase openness and acceptance in working with situations with my 16 year old. At this time she is living in a different town 2 hours away from me with her father. As stated in my Ice Breaker response for me the relationship was a toxic one & though she has admitted it is not good for her either she still remains there as she does not enjoy/accept fully her step dad & step siblings. Though many times she has stated that her step dad has been more of a dad to her than her own she has pain remaining from the divorce between her father & I. Her step siblings are also younger than her & though she would defend them to the death if needed & she loves them, she was for many years the only child therefore she isn't used to sharing, especially me.

I also am using this situation as there has been a large gap forced between her & I due to her father instilling his beliefs (because she is there full time) regarding certain (& a lot of) "hot button" topics. Though she does not fully agree with his beliefs, he has in my opinion forced them on her so much (especially one) that she refuses to discuss them openly to hear all sides, benefits, negatives, etc. Because of this wedge that is now between us it has me on edge fully fighting for my side to be heard to at least open her mind to all possibilities.

Some ways I have been working to create openness has been to only bring up the topic with her when we are alone & ONLY when it is appropriate. I also have been sharing with her facts that support my beliefs & the emotions behind them as well. My daughter is also highly intuitive & gifted with other abilities, therefore we can seemingly connect on a higher level & while I know she understands my side I slowly work to open her mind to at least listening to me on it bit by bit. Though this is hard for me as I see him as not being open to expanding her mind to all possibilities & taking her individuality, safety, mental/physical health & life in general seriously I reassure her that her step dad & I are both always here for her, her safe place, & that we take her seriously as a growing individual.

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These 

On 9/9/2021 at 4:35 PM, Tracy Lynn said:

This is a hard question for me to answer personally, & I know there are many situations, but I will gladly give it a shot with the biggest one.

For me I believe I could increase openness and acceptance in working with situations with my 16 year old. At this time she is living in a different town 2 hours away from me with her father. As stated in my Ice Breaker response for me the relationship was a toxic one & though she has admitted it is not good for her either she still remains there as she does not enjoy/accept fully her step dad & step siblings. Though many times she has stated that her step dad has been more of a dad to her than her own she has pain remaining from the divorce between her father & I. Her step siblings are also younger than her & though she would defend them to the death if needed & she loves them, she was for many years the only child therefore she isn't used to sharing, especially me.

I also am using this situation as there has been a large gap forced between her & I due to her father instilling his beliefs (because she is there full time) regarding certain (& a lot of) "hot button" topics. Though she does not fully agree with his beliefs, he has in my opinion forced them on her so much (especially one) that she refuses to discuss them openly to hear all sides, benefits, negatives, etc. Because of this wedge that is now between us it has me on edge fully fighting for my side to be heard to at least open her mind to all possibilities.

Some ways I have been working to create openness has been to only bring up the topic with her when we are alone & ONLY when it is appropriate. I also have been sharing with her facts that support my beliefs & the emotions behind them as well. My daughter is also highly intuitive & gifted with other abilities, therefore we can seemingly connect on a higher level & while I know she understands my side I slowly work to open her mind to at least listening to me on it bit by bit. Though this is hard for me as I see him as not being open to expanding her mind to all possibilities & taking her individuality, safety, mental/physical health & life in general seriously I reassure her that her step dad & I are both always here for her, her safe place, & that we take her seriously as a growing individual.

I am separated from my two young kids, and have been now for a while. I had some issues with their Mum for a time just after we split but the situation has been good since . I know its incredibly painful when you cant have the relationship with your beloved kids that you would ideally want.

It was hard at the start because my ex behaved pretty poorly at first, in front of the kids, and regrettably I let myself get dragged in, but after some time I was able to just focus on my time with them,  on the close bond we still had,... and as much as I could do, keep them away from the situations and discussions I had with their mum about there upbringing.

Your daughter is still young, and you still have a very strong bond, connection and understanding between each other. It will be fine.

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I've been kind of forced into acceptance due to the (to me at least) turmoil in my life that hit a peak around 9 to 10 years ago. 

I had chronic anxiety and depression which lead to poor performance at work, separation from my long term partner, having to move out of my house, and away from my world; my kids. 

I self destructed after this, taking drugs: prescriptions, illegal ones, research chemicals etc and managed to fall down the stairs at my mums, badly and chronically damaging my left elbow that needed a few operations and treatment for two years.

 With the help of (finally) an anti depressant that worked, time in the priory hospital, professional mental health treatment, mindfulness, CBT, and personal development I was able to finally work on accepting my new reality. I got there and since then I have found that acceptance is almost my default way of looking at life, it comes a lot easier and quicker. 

One particular part of openness that struck a chord with me was the beginners mind, to look at people with fresh eyes, without judgement, as though meeting them for the first time. I look to do this with anyone I meet, whether for first time, or people I know.

It can be illuminating and surprising... and fun. I am good friends now with people that previously I wouldn't have put in any effort to to get know.

 

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Thank you both for sharing your experience and for engaging in this topic. It is a difficult topic, one that many people feel resistant towards, but I feel it is so important given the times we find ourselves in.

I have many concerns about the direction we are heading in as a collective, but I think this concern could use greater acceptance from me. I think I fear 'acceptance' because though I know it does not equate with passivity, I worry that I won't take heart-driven action if I am too accepting of where we are as a species on this planet. I think acceptance would help me to stop arguing with the reality of things and become more productive and more thoughtful about what actions I wish to take based on the present reality.

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