Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Dealing With What Is and Contentment

One of the therapy models I frequently keep in mind when working with some clients is ACT (ACT Made Simple, Russ Harris, M.D.)  I use an unauthorized and "Rick's paraphrase" of his model.  A stands for acceptance of the situation; not as I want it to be but as it really is.  In my personal practice of ACT, acceptance comes most frequently through prayer when I contend with God until God gives me the gift of acceptance.  Sometimes acceptance arrives through the practice of mindfulness.  Acceptance requires getting behind and beyond my wants, dreams, frustrations, anger, etc.  Acceptance isn't easy; whereas the practice of denial and/or avoidance may seem easy; unfortunately they are not only unfruitful but also keep my anxiety, worry, anger, etc. stirred up.   C stands for clarifying my core values.  Values are different than goals.  Values are those qualities I hope will be written or remembered by others as part of my obituary.  Values are who I want to be; whereas goals are what I want to do or accomplish.  T means that I choose to Travel in the direction of my values given my situation.  In other words, I try to  live out my values in the midst of whatever situation I may find myself.  I think this must be what Paul was thinking when he wrote, "I have learned to be content…." (Philippians 4:11)