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Acceptance is the Answer


It would be impossible for me to tell you how many times I have doubted myself, told myself something wasn’t possible, and felt at my core I am totally unworthy of pretty much everything including oxygen. Okay. That was dramatic! Truth be told I haven’t felt THAT badly about myself since I was drinking and obliterating my body with drugs years ago, but, I’d be dishonest if I said that I feel feel worthy of love 100% of the time.

I’ve been considering lately where I got the idea that I needed to feel anything ALL of the time. It’s such an old idea, like from my youth. It’s got that childlike quality of black and white, all or nothing. Learning to grow up emotionally has often been about making friends with the grey areas, seeking out the nuances, and understanding that life is actually a spectrum of feelings that change with the seasons, the moon, my environment, and even what I ate for lunch. In essence, feelings are fluctuating constantly.

I never learned how to make real space for and accept my deep sensitivities as a child. This is one of the reasons I sought comfort in numbing myself as often as possible. Though I was quite self-destructive in my youth I also became a creator. I danced, I painted, and played piano. I wrote for countless hours in my diary. In many ways my art became a container for the intense feelings of confusion, loneliness, and sadness I experienced so often. Art was how I kept breathing and numbing myself was how I turned off my racing mind.

I was a super sensitive child as some of you know. I would cry when other kids would cry which looking back was never something that was truly celebrated. The lack of real space to feel all of my feelings and positive reinforcement that being super sensitive wasn’t a bad way to be, gave me a clear message to not accept myself and feel unworthy. I had to make up my own world to survive emotionally and in that world I wrote epic poetry, became a ballerina, and painted deeply moving pictures. In that cocoon I built for myself I  also checked out with drugs when the emotions rose to the surface became too much to process.


As I navigate this world as a grown woman I have learned to give myself an expanded container for all of my intense feelings. I have created space for myself to fully express the full spectrum of my emotions in ways that honor my artistry instead of my tendency to self destruct. I have sought out teachers and resources to support my sensitivity and have come to really like that aspect of myself.

How cool is to to be able to read people’s energy and feel their feelings?! It’s the coolest and I am grateful that this sensitivity, or as I like to refer to it as my magic powers (which btw we all have), no longer feels like a burden or like something is wrong with me. It feels like a huge present from the universe and from my family.

By accepting my sensitivity I have been able to feel worthy of love. Do I feel worthy of it all of the time? No, but I believe that I am much more than how I might feel at one point or another. Even though I have an incredible capacity to feel, I am not my feelings. None of us are. We are so much more.

Today I want to live in those grey areas. Through my practice of meditation, yoga, and working with others, I can totally get down with the idea that I don’t even need to be a ball of mushy love and light 100% of the time. Like most of us that are involved in this amazing foundation-shaking spiritual existence, I’ve got not only my stuff to sort out but stuff that was passed down to me from generations. Sometimes it’s a lot of work being conscious, you know?

When I come back to that place of remembering hey, it’s not ALL your work here, some of this is from your lineage, I can lighten up a bit. Grounding myself in that truth, that it’s not all mine to heal, I walk back towards love because at the end of the day, love is our true nature. I believe that is true 100% of the time, even if I don’t feel it in a given moment.

And I wouldn’t change it for anything. Not one little (or giant) thing. Truth be told I cringe a little bit at the thought of giving credit to all those 12-steppers that told me ‘acceptance is the answer’, but damn if there isn’t a really fucking giant morsel of truth to those very words.

Acceptance is the answer.

With acceptance comes allowing myself to feeling all the feelings no matter what, understanding that sometimes pains from the past need to be felt again in order to fully heal.

With acceptance comes excitement about being an emotional human who has a laser focused sense of intuition. 

With acceptance comes letting myself off the hook for having moments or days when I feel off or sad. 

With acceptance comes learning to manage my energy, getting clear on what is mine to work through and what is mine to let go of.

With acceptance comes focusing on myself versus comparing my insides to someone else’s outsides. 

With acceptance comes true freedom and many moments joy. 

With acceptance comes complete transformation.

By accepting who I am completely, fully, and without judgement, my heart opens and with that opening comes the sweetest peace of mind anyone could ask for.

Sending love to you all right now.



  • Janae

    So beautifully put- I think acceptance, and the awareness of needing to accept is something we all need to be mindful of. For years I struggled in a job that I thought was my dream job- despite the fact that I was suffering from chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression, and physical illness from it (hindsight is 20/20, right?) I couldn’t let go of it because I believed it was my destiny and if I let go if it, what would I be?? After wising up and seeing through the fear I was able to start on the path of acceptance that my purpose was yet to reveal itself, and it was terrifying, it completely turned my world around, and even now I have to practice accepting the changes I have made, and accepting that there is so much more to come as I am still transitioning to this change 2 years later! And there are days where I am tormented with the unknown so I ground myself in what I do know- that I am strong, more fearless, every day, and an evolving being in a universe that is so much more expansive then I ever knew. Sometimes it is easier said than done but with no mud there is no lotus-
    Thank you for giving me food for thought this morning – Janae

    • ashley

      Hello dear Janae,
      Thank you for your thoughtful words and sharing your experiences. I totally hear you and I love that quote from Thich Nhat Hanh, No Mud No Lotus. That has been my mantra lately, and I am grateful you mentioned it. I appreciate what you shared about transitioning even two years later, that is really so beautiful. Often times I fall into the trap of okay I did my big thing now I’m in the clear! What you so beautifully wrote is that life is a process and sometimes we have to revisit acceptance until we don’t have to anymore. For today I’m with you and sticking with gratitude, it’s just so potent and never lets me down.
      Wishing you a beautiful evening and can’t wait to get this cleanse in fully swing tomorrow!
      Lots of love.

  • Kori

    The entire time I was reading this I just wanted to shout YES, THAT”S ME! I, too, have just started to accept the highly sensitive being that I am, and that it isn’t necessarily a burden. I needed to read this so much today, thank you Ashley! For so much of my life I have fought who I truly am as a person, I was constantly trying to be something else. I think that I slowly began to let go of the need to be “something different” through art, but then those feelings started coming and I ran directly to drugs and alcohol to mask them. I was so afraid of being stuck in one emotion forever. One of my most profound realizations was that I can feel absolutely every emotion all in one day and it’s okay. I loved how you said we don’t have to be love and light 100% of the time. Nobody expects that of us. My life has gotten so incredibly beautiful since accepting that I am not in control, that life isn’t just black and white, it’s a whole bunch of grey and that’s okay. This was beautiful! I love your writing, it inspires me so much. xo Kori

    • ashley

      Hello dear Kori,
      It is always warms my heart to hear from you and learn how you are growing. I love everything you wrote and so resonated with your experiences. We can feel many different ways in on day and even in a span of hours or minutes. The more I accept that the easier it is to see just how amazing it all is you know? And you’re right, it’s totally okay to just be who we are, with all of our complexities and contradictions and lightness and darkness. We are such brilliant and wondrous humans. I am so grateful for the path you have chosen and for all the ways you light up this world. Thinking of you and sending love on the auspicious day. xoa

  • A-HO!

    yeah girl! this is great – i totally felt the weight lifting off of you as i read each line.
    and i can relate to a lot of what you wrote.
    i love your thoughts on acceptance at the end – pocketing a few of those for myself and where i am right now.

    and i totally relate to the part about being a teach and feeling the pressure to be put together/happy/lightfilled/lovefilled all the time for my students… i have let myself off the hook so many time and just let myself show up with whatever i am going through in that moment. i decided i would rather show up in the 100% truth of who i am at any given moment than try to put on a happy face. because that’s not what i teach – i hope my students feel the freedom to feel whatever they need to feel. and i want to teach that by example. this is one of the amazing gifts of grief, and the experience after my mum died. sometimes i would just cry in the grocery store, or in yoga, or at a party… and i would not even hesitate for a moment to hold that back – the gift of it was that i couldn’t hold it back if i tired. so it taught me to just be comfortable with feeling it and showing it. even if it made other uncomfortable. it was quite liberating.
    anyway – i hear you sister!
    thank you for sharing – as always
    i am so grateful for you in my life on this journey
    lots of love!

    • ashley

      Hi Lauren!
      It’s a daily practice isn’t it?
      I am right there with you, showing up 100% yourself as a teacher is such a huge gift to your students. Holding that space for yourself and others is incredibly healing and you do it so well. I love that you allow yourself that freedom of feeling all of your feelings where ever you are. That is such a healing practice, allowing the energy to flow through and accepting yourself in each tender moment. I needed to read your wise words this morning, they are just perfect and setting the tone for my day. Thank you for showing up and sharing all of yourself.
      Love you so!

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