Sharing her thoughts on the situation, Joanne regularly included the sentence “and that’s good”. After a while, I became curious and inquired what she was using that sentence for. What had astonished me, was the way it was said and how it mainly appeared linked to critical statements.
Thinking about my astonishment, Joanna described how she was working on her ability to develop acceptance for situations and other people’s behaviors. She explained that it was important for her to acknowledge how people can be different and make errors. At the same time, she wanted them to be able to see a different way of doing things. As she couldn’t solve the contrast between both, she was training her acceptance of the situation. Her solution, in this case, was to add the affirmation that things are good as they had happened.
What Joanna was hoping for was that through discipline she would be able to come to an acceptance of her inner struggle. What she had not considered, was her ability to recognize how acceptance would feel like. In a way, her discipline was aimless and lacking an image of when it had worked for her.
By looking at a few situations in which she had experienced acceptance we started to connect her experience with the result she wanted to create. In reexperiencing these situations she could also visit how acceptance felt for her.
This didn’t solve her inner struggle, but it opened a view of the ways she has to find a sense of acceptance. It helped her get a sense of when her discipline assists her, which made her goal feel more achievable. It’ll eventually enable her to learn from her own experience. Once her discipline shifts to that learning she’ll uncover what she needs to reach acceptance.
We can’t teach experience, but we can make it recognizable.