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The Art and Power of Acceptance
with Ashley Davis Bush, LICSW | 12.13.2023

In this episode, Kristen and her guest, Ashley Davis Bush, a licensed psychotherapist, and author, delve into the essential role of acceptance in healing. They share insights on overcoming fear, navigating grief and loss, and the journey towards self-acceptance.

You'll Learn

  • The profound impact of acceptance in the healing process.
  • How resentment can hinder acceptance and its effects on well-being.
  • Why embracing vulnerability and opening your heart can lead to a more fulfilling life.
  • Practical tips for incorporating acceptance into your daily life for a more peaceful existence.

www.ashleydavisbush.com

Resources

For counseling services near Indianapolis, IN, visit www.pathwaystohealingcounseling.com.

Subscribe and Get a free 5-day journal at www.kristendboice.com/freeresources to begin closing the chapter on what doesn’t serve you and open the door to the real you.

 

This information is being provided to you for educational and informational purposes only. It is being provided to you to educate you about ideas on stress management and as a self-help tool for your own use. It is not psychotherapy/counseling in any form.

Kristen Boice

Welcome to the Close the Chapter Podcast. I am Kristen Boice, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice pathways to healing counseling. Through conversations, education, strategies and shared stories, we will be closing the chapter on all the thoughts, feelings, people and circumstances that don't serve you anymore. And open the door to possibilities and the real you. You won't want to miss an episode, so be sure to subscribe. Welcome to this week's close the chapter podcast I am so glad you're here. If you're joining us for the first time, welcome. If you are a repeat listener, thank you so much. Thank you for sharing this podcast with your friends, your loved ones, neighbors, co workers, I am so grateful for you. And I just cannot tell you enough how much I appreciate you spreading the word on these episodes. And if you find them helpful, sharing them with others so you guys can have deeper conversations. So thank you. If you haven't picked up your journal, be sure to do that for free at kristendboice.com/freeresources.
So let's jump into today's episode. I think this is a topic that is not talked about very often and the most important piece towards your healing. No matter what you've been through. This is essential to get you where you want to go, which is more calm, centered, and more peace in your life. So if you are wanting to work through grief loss, accept yourself work through shame. We're going to be talking about the art and the power of acceptance. And my guest Ashley Davis Bush is a licensed psychotherapist with over 30 years of experience. She is the author of 10 self help books, including the art and power of acceptance. She currently divides her time living between New Hampshire and Guatemala. We actually taped this episode with her in Guatemala. And we talked about that at the beginning, and how she worked through the courage to make a change. And I think that's sometimes what holds a lot of us back is the fear of change the fear of what other people are gonna think of us the fear of making a mistake. And this episode is for you. This episode is all about how do we accept the as is how do we surrender, wanting control, and managing outcomes. So nothing bad happens, because control is an illusion. And we dive deep into this. So without further ado, here is my conversation on how to accept the as is with Ashley Davis Bush, enjoy. Welcome to this week's close the chapter podcast. I am so excited about my guest today. She has written 10 books, best selling books on so many important topics. And I highly recommend if this resonates for you get a book or several of her books to start diving in to learning about the art of acceptance. And we're going to be kind of talking about grief. And what does acceptance even mean? So let me introduce you to my guest, Ashley Davis. Bush. Welcome to the podcast.

Ashley

Thank you so much. I'm so happy to be here. Kristen,

Kristen Boice

thank you for being here. And I want to tell the audience, you are coming to us from Guatemala. Yes,

Ashley

it's true. I am. And then I recommend anyone to come visit come visit Guatemala. It's a beautiful country.

Kristen Boice

And I just have to say just the short time we've been prior to coming on live, you have a peaceful energy about you. And I was like, Oh, I love that I can feel just the peacefulness coming from you. And the freedom of you go into Guatemala, I might good for you. I just want to say that acknowledge that because people have so much fear about making change or moving to another country. You know, here you are.

Ashley

And it's not easy. I will have to tell you that it takes a lot of preparation, you have to be willing to leave behind your community in the United States. Let's say for me, it was driven by the desire to leave New England winters. So I really wanted to a warm place. My husband wanted that too. And we were interested in an adventure because we had launched our children we have a blended family of five children raised them all. They were launched, they were thriving, and we needed an adventure of something new, something interesting. And Guatemala is vibrant. It's colorful. The culture is gorgeous. There's a huge indigenous community here of Mayan people, and they have amazing textiles and crafts and music and food and it's just it's super exciting place to

Kristen Boice

look good for you and your husband for making that jump and just going on the adventurous route. There's so many times fear blocks us from taking that adventure. But yes,

Ashley

right? That's right. And of course, it's not for everyone. But we do go back to the United States in the summer so that for three to four months, so we could see our kids and see our family and have that connection. So we didn't just cut and run, but we're still connected, we make it work. And we work online, which is also what made it possible. And in fact, the pandemic kind of helped us in that regard by having a career that could be transferred to an online setting. So really, it's the best of all worlds, we feel very, very fortunate. That's fantastic. And fear, I just wanted to say about fear, because it does block people. And the phrase that comes to my mind often is feel the fear and do it anyway. So it's not that there wasn't fear and taking a certain leap. But feel the fear and do it anyway. Thank

Kristen Boice

you for saying that. Because we think we have to have the absence of fear in order to do something like I've got to work through all the way through the fear, and then I'll go do something, right.

Ashley

And if you wait for that, you'll be waiting forever, and you'll never do it. That's right,

Kristen Boice

because we can befriend the fear in a way. Yeah, because the

Ashley

unknown always has some fear components to it. That's natural. That's part of our wiring the human condition. But you just have to look at it and say, yep, there's the fear, and it doesn't need to block me. Yes, that's

Kristen Boice

a nice segue into looking at the art of acceptance. I think we don't talk about this enough. I've never done a podcast on acceptance. And so when I saw your work and your materials and your books, I was like, this is resonating with me. So let's first define what acceptance is.

Ashley

Okay. Well, acceptance basically is an alignment with what is, and I see it as a journey. And the journey that I described in my book, The Art and power of acceptance, your guide to inner peace, is that resistance can be part of that journey. So I see it as a three part a three prong journey that starts perhaps with resistance, that then leans into alignment with what is which is the core of acceptance. And then when you're in that place, the third part is looking at possibility. What now? So I want to say that acceptance doesn't mean that you necessarily like what is it's just aligning with what is. So for example, let's say you're in an abusive situation, maybe you're being verbally or even physically abused. Acceptance doesn't mean that you just say, Okay, I'm passive. I'm pathetic, I'm just being abused. That's fine, I accept it, not. acceptance means you call it for what it is, you start to align with what it is, you can't pretend it's otherwise. And then from that place of alignment, and leaning in and lack of resistance, you have the freedom to make choices to see what comes next. So again, acceptance doesn't mean you like, what is that you're condoning What is it just means you're calling a spade a spade, you're not pretending that it's otherwise you're aligning with truth. And then you have the option to make choices and to look at possibility and what's next. Now, sometimes you can't make changes. So I'm a big believer in the kind of serenity prayer approach to life, which is, God grant us the serenity. Well, now I can't put it but you know, this already broke to accept the things I cannot change the wisdom to know the difference. So that you need to be able to say, what can I change? What can't I change the wisdom to know the difference, but acceptance is going to be in the core of either of those pathways.

Kristen Boice

This is a really important distinction, like it's actually accepting the reality for what it is and not living in a fantasy. Tell me about how hope people hold on to well, if they would just go to therapy, if they would just acknowledge their patterns, if they would just work on their trauma and their childhood. They hold on to hope. How does that play into acceptance?

Ashley

Yeah, that's a really interesting question, isn't it? So that's kind of going with the idea of say abuse, or if you're in a, let's call it just a toxic relationship even? Well, there's a I think it was Emily Dickinson, who said hope is a feather with wings or something I hope is I can't quote that one either. I'm sorry, Christina. I'm not getting my quotes. Clear. Bad, don't

Kristen Boice

you? May I would you like playing with fibs. But hope

Ashley

does spring eternal and hope is usually a good thing. I'm a big believer in hope. I think hope is a powerful force. But hope and being unrealistic are two different things. So sometimes people, they're just unrealistic. And they're labeling it as hope. And so what I would say with that, with regards to say a partner that they're hoping will change, things like that, then I like to put a time cap on it. So let's say you have a partner who's very toxic and you're really hoping they'll change you have hope, quote unquote, it might be unrealistic or not. Give it some time. Say there's a six month period I'm going to evaluate the progress in six months. once and then at the end of that time, whether it's six months or nine months or one year, as long as you're working with the person, if you're hearing their motivation, if they too are saying, Alright, I'm gonna give this a shot, I'm gonna go to AAA, I'm gonna go to counseling, I'm going to start an online personal growth, if you see them doing the work, and there really is something happening in that time period, then yay. But if you don't see work, you don't see their motivation, you don't see any action, and you've given it some time, and nothing is changing, then girl, you need to call it out and say, this is not working anymore. And then hope is just a fantasy. So you need to not be living in fantasies, I think acceptance is all about living in reality, and then doing what you can to change it. What

Kristen Boice

blocks people from accepting the as is. Sometimes

Ashley

the as is, is really hard. And so a different kind of acceptance that where you can't change it, per se is something like a medical diagnosis, let's say you've been, unfortunately handed the card of cancer. So that one, you can't change it by wishing it away, hoping it away, what you're going to do is go through the journey. But see, here's what it looks like. Let's say you have a cancer diagnosis, and you are furious, you're upset, you're agonizing over it, you're resisting it. Now that might be the first part of the journey. And so what I say to that is have massive amounts of self compassion, self compassion, self compassion, self compassion, we can talk more about what that might even look like. But self compassion ultimately dissolves resistance so that you can move into the alignment of okay, I have a cancer diagnosis, let me line up the best treatment. Let me figure out what options I have. Let me beef up my prayer life or ask for support from my loved ones, whatever you need to do to get through it. And then you look at possibility, how can I get through this in the best way? Because if you go through it resisting and freaking out and hating every minute, it's like your whole body's in contraction. Whereas if you lean into it and say, this is my opportunity, this is my fate. This is what's happening. What can I make of it? What can I learn from it? How can I grow from it? That's 100% different than going into it with the resistance. One is contraction and no and fear, and one is alignment and expansion and openness. And how you go through it will be different as a result.

Kristen Boice

And do you think if we look at grief, because that would be a grief, I feel like someone getting a diagnosis like that. It's just a lot of grief. It's shock. It's is this really happening? Can this really be true? When we look at grief? And we know acceptance is kind of like the ultimate. When we work through the grief? Can you share how grief the grieving process and acceptance go hand in hand?

Ashley

And this is a tricky one. It's complex. It's multi layered. And I've worked with Grievers for a long time over 30 years, it became my interest early on of how do people survive the unimaginable the loss of a loved one, the terrible diagnosis, the impending death of themselves even but especially losing a loved one, how do you just accept it? Even though that's what it is? Okay, so that's the question. And what I would say is, it's a very multi textured journey. And part of that journey from what I've seen is that people who do the best, at least with regards to the loss of a loved one, they find a way to stay connected to their loved one. So I'm a big believer that just because a person has died, does not mean the relationship has died, you're actually still in relationship with that person. They're just no longer on the planet. So if you think about relationships, they are essentially physical, emotional and spiritual. The physical part ends when they exit the planet, the emotional and spiritual part are very much still present. So I'm a big believer that love transcends loss, that love is stronger than death. And that for the people who can stay in relationship in a healthy way with their loved one, the grief becomes easier to accept, to tolerate to grow through. So that's a big component of it, but the whole process at the same time, there could be months if not years of real heartbreak of agonizing, just emotional pain. It's a really, I think we underestimate how long the process takes because it really is, in some ways, a lifelong journey. But even just the most acute part of it is such a long process. It's not a quick fix. We like to believe that Oh, spend two months you must be Okay look, okay, you're fine now, right? They might not be fine at all. It's sort of the invisible wound. That baby they look okay on The outside, but they're going home and crying every night, which is appropriate. And that's okay to do. So I really tried to give people a lot of space around that. And that, in fact, the irony is that you get to more of a place of acceptance. And I put that in quotes, later on the journey if you let yourself really grieve, in other words, if you accept the pain, so first, you sort of have to accept your emotional experience, you accept the pain, you accept the sorrow, you accept the absence, you accept that you feel different in the world, you accept that you have changed, perhaps irrevocably, and then you start moving, moving, moving into the sense that they're really not on planet earth anymore. And yet, you're still in relationship, and you're still connected. And I have had so many stories of working with people for whom they receive signs from their loved ones. And they sometimes feel even more connected to maybe their grandfather or their parent than they did even when they were alive. So it's really a powerful journey. And what's interesting is that it's so universal. I mean, grieving is 100%, universal, we will all lose loved ones. If you live long enough, you will lose people you love. That's just the nature of the game of life.

Kristen Boice

I feel like with acceptance, um, so let me see what you think the processing of emotions, like we have to process you said the pain. I mean, you have to accept the pain, the emotions that come with it, in order to get to accept it. Is that true? Yes. Exactly.

Ashley

Right. Yes, that's right. So there's an acceptance of your process, which could be very up and down. Very, I'm okay. Today, I'm not okay. Today, I thought I was doing better. Now I feel it again, you're accepting your whole roller coaster. And that eventually, that allows you to accept the loss that the fact that your person is gone. And then you move into this other kind of relationship that's not based on physical presence? Do you feel

Kristen Boice

like acceptance is necessary to any kind of healing? I do.

Ashley

And acceptance just gets a bad rap. Because, again, we often think of it as just sort of giving up, oh, you're just accepting the status quo, say, or you're just accepting that there are bad things in the world or in justices. So acceptance is not about that, per se. It's more nuanced. Here's an idea is that you get more flies with honey than vinegar, so to speak, which is that when you're in a place of resistance, and anger and frustration, you block yourself. So I often think that with sometimes with, say, activists or people who are protesting, I'm not against protesting. I mean, there's room for it in social movements. I don't want to be misunderstood that I'm saying, Yeah, let's not try to improve the world. Let's just accept injustice. Let's accept racism, sexism, misogyny, whatever. No. But I think that you create a lot more social change, when you're coming from a place of peace and alignment, it actually sets you up to be more effective, and more the sense of what Marshall, he wrote nonviolent communication, I'm forgetting his last name, but the idea of nonviolent communication, kind of coming from a Gandhi approach, that you can make social change without violence without anger, without that negativity, that sort of negative energy locks, people, when you're coming at it with peace and openness and expansion, things just work better. So I do think acceptance is just a powerful force for change, ironically, but also a very powerful force for personal healing and collective healing. What do you

Kristen Boice

say to those folks that might be like, Well, I don't want to accept what has happened to me in the past, or I don't want to accept the bad things have happened. Again, I just want to move on. I just want to just move on from that.

Ashley

And of course, people say that right. And the whole idea of your podcast closed the door, how do you close the door? If you are you closing the door, having made peace with what was on the other side of the door, you closing it and pretending it didn't exist? So accepting the past in some ways, is almost easier than accepting the present, because it's already hacked. If it actually happened, you could pretend like it didn't, but it actually already happened. Now, I'm a big believer that everything that happens to you has the possibility to help you grow and to help you move on your karmic path, if you will, and that it's no accident that it happened. So whether it was something negative in your past child abuse of hurt or pain, maybe you were bullied any manner of challenges. If you pretend like it didn't happen, or you want to just like I'm not accepting that again. You come at it with this place of what I would call negativity and toxicity, as opposed to making peace with it, which acceptance ultimately is a peacemaking process. You bring it into your life, you integrate it in such a way where you say, okay, that happened. And it was really hard. But it made me who I am today, I'm growing from it, I'm learning from it, it changed me, it gave me an invitation to improve to grow to expand, you want to look at, I believe every experience in your life is an invitation to something more. So bringing on board bringing online, whatever it was that you don't want to accept to ultimately just say, Wow, maybe I don't even understand why it happened. Maybe I don't even understand its purpose in my life and my soul's contract my soul's growth, but okay, um, maybe I'm willing to just not hate it so much. So again, it's kind of a process. Maybe you don't just instantly say, Yeah, I'm so glad that happened. But you can say, Okay, let it not be the enemy. Let it not be the enemy. It's already happened. You can't even debate the fact of it. So why not just start leaning into the fact that maybe it wasn't the enemy? Maybe it wasn't the worst thing in the world? Maybe it happened for me, not to me. Maybe I can get on board with that. And so if you don't mind, I'd like to say a little more about self compassion in that process. Yes,

Kristen Boice

we just had Dr. Kristin Neff on the podcast a few weeks ago. Oh, that's fantastic. I love her pioneer of self compassion. So yes, let's talk about

Ashley

I referenced Kristen's work a lot. And I love she has a three part process to the self compassion practice that I actually gave a name to which I've never told her she doesn't know. I call it the act a CT. And it's the three components that she talks about. And she also talks about putting maybe your hand on your heart, your hand on your face, to have a verb of physical gesture to stimulate the oxytocin. So hand on your heart, what is AC t stand for? It stands for acknowledge, connect, and talk kindly to yourself. These are the three components that she talks about, as well as being necessary for a full fledged, rounded, self compassion practice. So you acknowledge your pain. And that's basically just the mindfulness of acknowledging your pain, a fair acknowledge, you say, oh, my gosh, yes, this terrible thing happened. For sexually abused as as abused as a child, it happened, you acknowledge it, that was suffering, that was painful, that was awful. Then you do see for connect, connect to all beings, all humanity, who have suffered that who have experienced it, who know the pain of it, you're not alone with it. And then finally, the T, for taught finally, to yourself, with your hand on your heart to say, Honey, it's okay. You're a survivor, you got through it, you're a better person, you're a stronger person, you talk kindly. And this idea of self compassion, AACT, acknowledge your pain, connect to others, so that you know you're not alone. And then to talk to yourself kindly. It can happen really quickly. And it doesn't have to even be for things of the past. It's things of the moment, maybe your kids are screaming, and the dog just pooped on the floor, and you got to get dinner on the table. And you just had to accept this. Well, it is what it is, first of all, and then let's have some self compassion, acknowledge, say, Yeah, this is really hard. This is just our cluster. And it's really hard. And you're probably exhausted, and then see connect to all mothers and fathers out there who go through this who are in the trenches of life who are overwhelmed, and then talk kindly to yourself, say, take a deep breath, you're gonna get through this, this too shall pass. So self compassion is I would just say, it's the perfect companion with acceptance. Because if you have self compassion and acceptance, it allows you to move forward so you don't get stuck. You

Kristen Boice

move through it, rather than just loop on it or hyper fixate on it. That's

Ashley

right, you don't just go into the rumination phase of looping, looping, looping, you move through it, you're not blocked from it, you're not stuck in it, you move through it, which is what you want to do. Yes, I

Kristen Boice

think I've been on a journey of accepting the moment as it is just for a long time, just really good and stop trying to control outcomes. Stop trying to like nothing bad's gonna happen. So I'll do all these things. So the outcome will be good for me, my kids etc. But it's a it's an illusion. There is no control

Ashley

of he really this is true. I know. We like to believe there is we work really hard to believe that we have control guess what we really just don't. So when you just surrender to that. Say this is the moment as it is. I'm just gonna roll with it. I'm just gonna work with it and breathe it in. Is such a better perspective, don't you think

Kristen Boice

it is. And when you go, this may be something that I can't understand right now why this happened, I may not like that this happened, I may feel like oh, this hurt my kid or whatever. And know that they are growing and learning and evolving as a result of it like that experience to your point was for them. Or for me, it is a rumble for a lot of people for me included at times, because when you're like, Oh, I didn't want that outcome. I didn't want to that was the outcome I didn't want. How do you think resentment plays into acceptance? You'll see I'm a couples therapist, but I also see a lot me resentment can eat us up. How does that play into acceptance? Well,

Ashley

resentment is really the opposite of acceptance. It's in that resistance place. And it's like a poison in your body. Yeah, I try to help people get out of resentment as much as possible. But it's, of course, it's not always easy, because people get really entrenched in their resentment, because they want things to be other than they are. They want things to be different. And then when it's not, they're pissed about it. They get angry, they're resentful, they hold grudges. This is a kind of personal poison. So this as soon as I can help people just relax the resentment. There's kind of a relaxing because resentment is very ego based. It's very, I've been injured I've been affronted, it's very ego based. So when people can just relax that a little bit and try to go with the flow, try to move with the movement. I don't know if you're familiar with Katie Byron's work, but she wrote a book loving what is, and that's a powerful, you know, that plays into this, because people are like, what do you need to love? What is I can I love? What is it's some tragedy or some heartbreak or some injury. But you know, really, most of the great teachers, it's great spiritual teachers and psychological teachers understand that acceptance. While it may take you a while to get there as a destination, it is the path of peace, you have to align with what is to kind of make it through this world without poisoning yourself, essentially. Yeah,

Kristen Boice

because these expectations we have, I think, and Lamont said, the resentments waiting to happen to be Yeah, because we don't want these needs that we didn't get met or someone to see us or understand us or hear us are validated us or make us feel loved. Like we matter. And we're important that when that's not met, that's where resentment kind of grows and can block us from accepting the as is, that's

Ashley

true. And then we have to realize that often we have to provide for ourselves that which we didn't get from the others, that we have to start with nourishing, nurturing, loving, filling, admiring ourselves in ways that we didn't get from others. The other point I wanted to make Kristin, because you talked about things happening to your children, which is a big one for parents in the world, that we feel like it's our job to protect our children, which of course it is, to some degree. But we often also think it's our job to prevent anything bad from happening to our kids, which of course, is not possible. That's a recipe for failure, because you can't nor should you protect your child from every hurt in the world, because then they have no skills to be adults. Because guess what grown up life, things happen, their disappointments, their heartbreaks, their bad stuff that we don't even realize could turn into good stuff. So when your children there's a great book called blessings of a skinned knee, which is about basically making peace with your children having booboos getting hurt, being rejected, being not invited to the party being get the C plus and class like, Okay, your job is to help them deal with life, not protect them.

Kristen Boice

I think that is such a key point you're making a deal with life and process, the emotional pain, and hurt and grief that comes up in life and shame. Like we feel shame, like we're not good enough. We feel that sadness, we feel angry, and to be able to deal with the pain of that hurt is really what we're working towards with ourselves. And then we can teach our children or show our children just through

Ashley

right model it with absolutely we model it and we can teach it but certainly we model it so to be able to normalize that. Yes, the sadness, the grief as part of any disappointment, any hurt any injury, any rejection. That's normal and letting yourself move through it is what heals it, got to feel it to heal it and so you want to just demonstrate to them that you feel it you express it you share it even let's talk about it. Tell me how you're feeling. Then you move into acceptance say this and yet it is what it is. You didn't get the job. You didn't get the promotion you didn't get the invitation you did didn't get the boyfriend you didn't get the A, whatever it is it that's what the reality is. So we're going to accept it, we're going to move through it. Yes, I

Kristen Boice

really feel like we need a bumper sticker with the feel it to heal it. And then I say the more we feel, the more we heal. It's like the if we can teach people this, and because they're afraid to get flooded by the pain, they're afraid to get flooded by the grief and the sadness.

Ashley

Yes, it's true. And we have a culture that likes quick fixes and likes things to just be better move along, get over it still been in this field for so long. And it was that way 30 years ago. And it's still that way. Because I think it's just human nature. And we don't like to hurt, we don't realize that in leaning into the hard places. That's where the healing is. So we just pull away from it. And then we don't heal, we just bury it. And burying it is not the same thing as healing it. I

Kristen Boice

think that suppression in that lives in your body. And people have physical ailments as a result of the suppression and pushing it down and burying it who's buried inside of you. It's still there. It's just like a pile, it's the pile still there, you just put stuff on top of it, or you put it in a closet, shut the door, it's more,

Ashley

or you sweep it under the carpet, it's all dirty under there, you lift the carpet, like it didn't just go away. And

Kristen Boice

those feelings rush back. When you do that. You're like, oh, you know, where it all comes out, comes tumbling out. And I think sometimes in therapy, that's how it feels for people like oh my gosh, we're bringing it all up, and we're bringing it all out. And I'm saying, Yeah, we're gonna heal as a result, and we're gonna write that we're gonna pay well,

Ashley

and the beauty about therapy is that you become a container for it, as a therapist, that you're willing to sit with it, you're willing to witness it, you're willing to hold it, and you're willing to normalize it. Most people don't have someone in their life to do that. Maybe they have a friend who would say, okay, you know, I'll have one cup of coffee with you to listen, but I don't want to hear any more about it after that. People aren't in it for the long haul. But it takes time. It's not a one cup of coffee conversation. Depending on the nature of the injury, it could be months and months of sorrow could be even years of sorrow. In fact, that's a classic thing is to ask someone a year, two years, five years after their spouse died or child died, tell me how your grief is because it's not over people. It may change and it may morphed through the years, but it's very much still there.

Kristen Boice

Yes. And I'm so glad you said that. Because we can't say that enough, because people think thought I'd be over this by now. And I'm like, it's gonna take the time it needs to take that. And that can be frustrating. That's hard. Because people are like, I'm sick of feeling this way, I want to feel better. And that's it's hard to kind of sit with that pain. It

Ashley

is which is also why you kind of have to dose it, what I call dosing it. So sometimes I suggest to people like, let's take it on for 15 minutes, meaning like, I want you to journal about your grief for 15 minutes, I want you to look at pictures and listen to sad songs and just like, bring it on for 15 minutes, and then set the timer and stop. And then after that, you get to go have a break from it, you're gonna go have a cup of tea, and maybe watch a comedy video and sit with your teddy bear and like take a break from it. So I think people that's kind of a skill to learn how to either ride the waves or even initiate waves so that you can be with it and then take a break from it. Yeah, I like. So it's not like constant 24/7 Number 10 pain, because that would feel on endurable. And so I try to help people say yes, it's gonna take a while it's a journey. It's hard. But it shouldn't be like number 10, pain 24/7 You need to have breaks. I mean, we are wired to be resilient. And we do feel better. When we're supported by people we love, we can find comfort, a hot bath, a cup of tea, a deep breath of fun movie, and then you need to take on the hard stuff. So it's both and

Kristen Boice

I love the both and I'm all about the both in laws of both. And I'm wondering too, as shame because I have lots of clients that have a lot of shame of what we all do. I mean, not just clients were human. The shame says, let's say they're going through a divorce. I have lots of couples that I'm working with that are going through separation or divorce, and they're divorced and now they have another relationship but they're so afraid of getting hurt again, they're so afraid of going through that pain again, that they have a hard time accepting that they have feelings for another person this person appears healthier than maybe they're they've done a lot of work, but they feel like they don't want to get hurt again. So they're going to kind of block this accepting that they are enjoying this current relationship.

Ashley

Wow. And isn't that the tragedy? Right? Yeah, if you hold yourself back and cut off what could be so beautiful because you're so afraid.

Kristen Boice

They're so afraid. They're like I'm so afraid to go in through this pain again like the pain be comes the way that they navigate protecting themselves. Like I don't want to go through that again. So I'll do all the things to never get hurt, which doesn't play out that way. Right?

Ashley

Because you're playing small and cutting yourself off, you're not really even open to the relationship, you're not giving it a fair chance. And then you self it's a form of self sabotage. Right? So shame, I'm sure you're familiar with Brene Brown's work, and she does fabulous work around shame. And of course, we want to talk about our shame in order to give it air. So it's not like hiding in the dark, we need to give it light. And that there's a difference between I did something bad versus I am bad. So we want to try to differentiate that. But with regards to the fear of opening your heart again, which is essentially what you're describing, I think of people who have pets again, and again, they love their pets and their pets die because pets have a shorter lifespan than we do. And yet the majority of people still do get another pet. They actually do I have run across a few people now and then who are like, Yeah, I'm never doing that again. In fact, they don't get another pet. But then guess what, they're denied the joy of having the pet. Because we adore our pets, there are family members. And most of us do continue to have pets even knowing that we will outlive them, even knowing that you'll have the heartache but we love the next pet almost as much as the first pet like we just because guess what? The heart expands. The heart is infinite. The heart can keep rolling and loving and giving and it always benefits as a result. Does it get hurt, crushed crash shattered at times, yes. But the heart ultimately is the most life affirming practice we have because love is just the most important force on earth. So to cut yourself off from love just means you're cutting yourself off from life, you're self sabotaging. And you might as well just live in, I don't know, live a small, small life. We're here to grow. We're here to love. We're here to share, we're here to touch. If you come here and live a small, small life, you won't have maximize the potential of being in a body on planet Earth. So I tell people just live big. Yes, it hurt is hard. Joy is hard. The harder you fall, the higher you're going to go. If you don't let yourself grieve, you won't feel the joy. But all of it is the full spectrum of living. And that's what we're here to do is to live.

Kristen Boice

I love that because it's living in an open space rather than a self protective closed space. Because love comes through the open space. Yes,

Ashley

exactly. And it's not always just about you, right? We think it is. But guess what, there are other people in this world that need your love, that will benefit from your love, you're going to make a difference to them, you're going to impact them. And so when you hold yourself back, they don't get the benefit of you. So think of it sometimes as for the other, I need to share this for them because they're going to benefit they need this it isn't all about you and protecting you.

Kristen Boice

I was had this visual of like light coming in. I know the sun's out there, but like the light for some people, but the light coming through us, okay. And then we're literally like handing the light. Or you could say handing the love and you're passing it along.

Ashley

Right. And so how sad if you're like, No, I'm gonna cling to my light. I'm not sharing, I'm not sharing because I don't

Kristen Boice

want to get hurt. I don't want something bad to happen. So I've got to protect the light because then something could somebody could snatch it or grab it away or hurt me with it or, and as a result of our trauma. Absolutely.

Ashley

But guess what, there's enough light for everyone. There's enough love to share. So just open your hands and share it, everyone will benefit and ultimately you will benefit as well. That's what the art of acceptance does. Exactly. Because it puts you into a place of peace and alignment. And then the light and the love just flow right through.

Kristen Boice

And that feels so centering and calm and lighter than carrying the heaviness and the weight of trying to never be hurt or something bad never happening. And you've allowed the feelings to come and go and come and go as they are meant to write

Ashley

like waves, they come they recede the tide comes in it goes out and not to judge just say up here's another wave. That's okay, just gonna surf just surf the waves of emotion and know that all things are changing. Yeah, that's another part of acceptance, ironically, is that you can accept this moment and you're going to accept this one which is different and the next and the next and the next. Acceptance is a constant motion process because change is ever present.

Kristen Boice

I think that's a really important point one second to the next second. We don't know what's going to I mean what that brings So it's a constant presence of trying to work towards accepting the moment as it is. That's over and over and over. And sometimes

Ashley

you have to accept Wow, I'm really tired today. And then the next day, wow, I have a lot of energy today, while my partner's grumpy today while my partner and I are connecting today, you just go with the flow. It's always changing. Yes,

Kristen Boice

this is so good. Is there anything we didn't talk about that you feel like is important? When we're looking at on the topic and exploring acceptance?

Ashley

I guess I would say that it's easier than you think that people need to just I mean, you don't have to try so hard. You just have to be in the now and say, This is the now what opportunity does it have for me, and don't overthink it, just be in the now be in The Now the book, The Art and power of acceptance breaks it down into accepting your past, accepting yourself accepting others. But what I would really say is just accept this moment. Start with that, just accept this moment as it is. And watch how the next one unfolds. And the next and the next in don't overthink it. It's actually pretty easy. And it's a very peaceful way to live your life.

Kristen Boice

I agree. Oh, my gosh, this is a powerful conversation. If someone wants to find your books, your work, where can they go? Absolutely.

Ashley

Please come to my website, Ashley Davis bush.com. You can see my books there, blogs, articles, you can contact me there. And I did want to just add to that, because I was thinking when I said just accept each moment as it is a great place to watch that is in airports or doctor's offices, because people have to wait or your flight gets delayed, your flight gets canceled. And you can see the people who are raging and stressed out freaking out, they look to our bowl, and they're so stressed. And you can see the people who are like, Okay, well, not much else I can do about it. I'll just accept this moment, I'm going to read my book, I'm going to call a friend I'm going to walk around, we're always given a chance to just accept this moment. So accept it with the traffic jam, accept it with waiting in the doctor's office, accepted the airport, accept it with your kids, and watch it lead to a more peaceful life.

Kristen Boice

I love this. And you might need to listen to this episode multiple times, just because you might like I need to refresh this accepting each moment as it is. And feel free to listen to this episode over and over and go to Ashley's website. Please. Lots of helpful information. I spent lots of time on it before our conversation. There's tons of articles and I would definitely get on there. Look at the articles, check out her books, her 10 amazing books. And if you want any more information, go to her website. So thank you so much, Ashley, for your heart, your time your energy I so appreciate you.

Ashley

Oh, thank you was absolutely my pleasure. I appreciate you as well.

Kristen Boice

Thank you so much. Thank you so much for listening to the close the chapter podcast. My hope is that you took home some actionable steps, along with motivation, inspiration and hope for making sustainable change in your life. If you enjoy this episode, click the subscribe button to be sure to get the updated episodes every week and share with a friend or family member. For more information about how to get connected visit kristendboice.com. Thanks and have a great day.