ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – An Online Resource
Q: What should I do when something awful happens?
A: Give yourself some time and space.
John Lennon once famously said, “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans”, and it’s true isn’t it?
Sometimes life seems to be going so well, our plans come to fruition, we seem to be masters of our universe, we start to become complacent, and then …….
And then something happens! Something happens to remind us that our illusion of control was just that, an illusion. Whilst we were busy making other plans, life had other plans for us.
In the aftermath of an unforeseen, unwelcome event it is natural that our first instinctive reactions are of aversion, of alarm, of panic even. This is not the time for action. This is the time to give ourselves some time and space. This is the time to allow time for the instinctive reaction to turn into a considered response. Then it is time for action.
ACT encourages us to create this time and space. ACT reminds us that we are not our feelings and our feelings are not us. We are more than our feelings. Our feelings come and go, they are only passing through. It is not easy when we are in the throes of uncomfortable feelings but it does help if we can make that time and space to allow them to move through unimpeded, learn to watch them and get to know them instead of struggling with them or trying to change them.
I wrote the poem “BLOODIED BUT NOT BOWED” to remind me of that.
HOW ABOUT YOU?
- How do you cope with uncomfortable feelings?
- What do you do when something awful happens?
- What can you share that might be of help to others?
Please leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.
THOUGHT FOR TODAY
POEM FOR TODAY
BLOODIED BUT NOT BOWED
Life sometimes comes to bite us, something shocks us out the blue,
‘Twas completely unexpected and we don’t know what to do,
And for now we are left reeling, feeling shaken up and so
In the midst of battles raging it is best to take it slow.
There’ll be time enough for action, but for now we need a space,
Need a place where we can settle and our feelings start to face,
Let them move around within us, unimpeded if we can,
And accept what we are feeling for our feelings we can’t ban.
Oh it’s not what we’d have wanted and our instincts make us rail,
Try to change the now unchangeable but here we’re bound to fail,
And so though feelings coursing through us are now hitting us full force
They are natural reactions, so let’s let them run their course.
And then when the worst is over, as it will be if allowed
To move through without resistance, we’ll be bloodied but not bowed,
And when the time comes to take action we’ll be far more better placed
Than if we’d fought against our feelings and our energy laid waste.
© Corinne Shields, 2015
If you enjoyed, “BLOODIED BUT NOT BOWED” please pass it on, and do leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.
And just before you go …..
A final word from ACT …..
I always like to leave the final word to ACT and so I leave you with a quotation which I found on getselfhelp.co.uk, a website which has lots of useful information.
ACT has a nifty technical term for creating distance, for making time and space, and it is one of the pillars on which Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is built. That term is DEFUSION.
The quotation at getselfhelp.co.uk sums it up quite neatly.
“Defusion involves distancing, disconnecting or seeing thoughts and feelings for what they are (streams of words, passing sensations), not what they say they are (dangers or facts).”
I will try to remember that the next time that Life springs a nasty surprise!
Which brings us to the ACTivation Point!
How about YOU?
What can YOU do just for today to ACTivate your life?
Just for today I will ………………………
If you have read this far, please do leave your comments. How is ACT helping you?
I am a student of ACT. I am on a journey. I would love you to join me.
With all good wishes