Acceptance vs. Surrender

I often speak of surrender, and people say oh yes, you mean “acceptance,” right?

Not quite.

I believe acceptance is the first and a necessary step TO surrender.  Acceptance is with teeth clenched, with some anger and sadness all around, with plenty of fight still inside us.  Acceptance looks like: “well OKAY then, if THIS is what my body wants, well &^*#% it all, but OKAY.  I’ll DO it–for now.”  It’s when you grab yourself by the neck and LEAD yourself with a newish diet, a diet that you don’t LIKE a lot of the time, a diet you’d rather not be doing but you will because you’re mad/angry/sick enough to do just about anything.

Acceptance = doing it, even though you don’t want to, even though it’s really hard.

Surrender comes a lot later, after the acceptance.  It’s when you’ve been leading with a clean diet for a very long time—it could take a year or more. And you find yourself acknowledging things like “oh wow, my body loves this, I feel SO good when I do this, I really hate feeling that old way, this is SO much better. This is a little inconvenient, but it is—and I am—totally worth it! I like myself so much better when I feel this way, I can function so much better in ALL parts of my life when I feel this way, I really do love feeling this way, this way of eating is what is making me feel this way, ohmygosh, I sort of love eating this way.”

Surrender = I’ve accepted this for so long now, I’ve mostly come to love it.  I wouldn’t seriously entertain doing it any other way. Sure sometimes I WANT to go back, but I won’t, not even momentarily.

Surrender is PEACE with this, finally.  Peace with food and with our bodies, peace with being and making those around us feel a little uncomfortable sometimes, along with some mental clarity and single-mindedness about where and why it’s necessary to set the boundaries we sometimes have to set—on ourselves and on others—to continue this.  It is peace with ALL of that.  Surrender happens gradually, quietly, when we simply stop fighting any of it, when the last shred of fight in us finally dissipates.

First we mope and say nope (denial).  Then we grope (acceptance), which brings us to hope. THEN we can finally cope (surrender).