Acceptance is the ultimate goal with regard to the stages of grief, your TBI or concussion, and the new you.
Acceptance is accepting who you are, where you are, how you are. This is it. This is YOU. The good, the bad, and the ugly. And you are truly amazing. Struggles and all. You are a survivor. No one can do it better than you!
Acceptance may mean distancing from people who don’t understand, give you ultimatums, enforce deadlines for healing, or get upset with you when you aren’t who you once were. You are worthy. You are deserving. You are brave and amazing. You are different than you were before your injury, but different can be good.
Acceptance is motivating. It helps propel you forward. It doesn’t mean sit back and rest; it means go after it! Go live a full and happy life. Take steps that empower you to reach your full potential. Live the life of your dreams. Life hasn’t miraculously become perfect. Nevertheless, you’ve accepted it for what it is, and you’re now able to work with it. You see past the limitations, and you are willing to work toward achieving your new goals. You can do it!
In a recent movie, “The Greatest Showman,” Keala Settle sings a song called “This Is Me.” It is an excellent example of acceptance.
Here are the lyrics:
I am not a stranger to the dark
Hide away, they say
'Cause we don't want your broken parts
I've learned to be ashamed of all my scars
Run away, they say
No one'll love you as you are
But I won't let them break me down to dust
I know that there's a place for us
For we are glorious
When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I'm meant to be, this is me
Look out 'cause here I come
And I'm marching on to the beat I drum
I'm not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me
Oh, This is me
This song can be a reminder your imperfections are lovable. You can be in the stage of acceptance before you’re completely healed--physically and/or emotionally. Once you’ve reached the stage of acceptance, you may revisit other stages of grief again. Don’t let this scare you. Now that you’ve experienced acceptance, you will return to it. Returning to the other stages of grief can give you the ability to look at other areas of your life where you can bring power and acceptance.
With acceptance you can see yourself as a strong, capable, and an amazing individual. If given the choice, you wouldn’t repeat the injury, but you also wouldn’t trade it. The things you have experienced, learned, and gained are priceless. Don’t worry if you are not there yet, acceptance is a process. You can be accepting of yourself right now. There is light at the end of the tunnel and the tunnel is shorter than you think.