Radical Acceptance Part 2

Part Two: Accepting Reality for What It Is

Accepting Reality for What It Is
So let's start with the first, accepting reality for what it is.  What do we mean by that? Well, I'll give you an example from my own life.  This is a good example because it makes the point that acceptance can actually do you some good. 

I once had this job - I was a clerk typist for a big insurance company. But, I really wanted to be a social worker.  So I applied for a new job. I went to an employment agency and I asked them to help me get a new job and I told them I wanted a job in social work. So, they got me a job in social work. So I gave notice to the job that I had, which was a really good job in the sense that the people were fabulous and I got paid at least enough to live on. And I gave them notice, I quit that job and I went to the social work job.

I was so excited I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I was.  Ah! I've got a job in social work!  So I went in, so the first day, you know you have to do training and stuff, so what did they have me do? Well, they had me typing.  So I typed all day and I was thinking, 'Oh well, it's not so terrible, I'm not going to have to keep typing'.

But the second day, what did they have me do? I was typing again.  So I went and talked to my supervisor and I said, 'Well, when am I going to get to do the social work?'  She said 'What do you mean?' I said, 'Well, I mean when do I get to do something like social work work?' She said, 'What do you mean? Your job is typing.'

And the first thing that went through my mind was that 'No, that is not true. I took a job with a social work agency.  This can't be true.'

And I actually thought of staying. I thought of staying and trying to make it into a social work job.  That would be denying reality. Because the facts of the matter are, it really was a typing job.  So what are my options?  Well, I could have stayed miserable, I could have gotten hysterical. I could have stayed there, fought, told them that they should make it into social work, how mean they were for not doing that. I could have done a lot of things. 

My other option was just to accept this was not a social work job. I made a mistake. I needed to correct the mistake. And the way to correct that mistake? Well, it was to get another job. So, that's just what I did.  When my next break came, I called the employment agency; I told them I'd made a mistake.  I needed another job.  They said fine, they looked for it.  It took two weeks but I found another job. I was a lot happier.

Now think about your own life. What is the reality that you are denying?  What are you not accepting for what it is? 

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