Acceptance is a very active process, there is nothing passive about it, it’s not passive resignation but an act of recognition that things are the way they are.
Acceptance doesn’t mean we can’t work to change the world or circumstances, but it means that unless we accept things as they are, we will try to force things to be as they are not, and that can create an enormous amount of difficulty AND pain.
Acceptance is about the courage to look at a situation right in the eye and say:” Yes, I have this problem”.
Acceptance is coming to terms with things as they are. Acceptance is facing reality as it is, which allows the possibility of moving in the direction of change or to be at peace with what is.
1) Avoid judging yourself, others and/or your circumstances.
Emotions are natural and everyone has them—acknowledging them can help you understand yourself better and move forward. Choose not to judge what happens to you. Instead, believe that everything happens for a reason and that better things will always follow. That’s the beginning of true acceptance. Develop awareness of your judgmental inner voice and cultivate a non-judgmental attitude.
2) Stop pushing away unpleasant thoughts and feelings.
Stop resisting. So much of our anguish is created when we are in a resistance state. Repressing our thoughts and feelings will not make them disappear. Resisting the reality makes us depressed, and eventually depressed.
Resistance and denial will not move us forward, nor will eliminate the undesirable. We don’t achieve acceptance in a moment. We often have to work through a mirage of thoughts and feelings – sometimes frustration, anger, outrage, shame, self-pity, fear, or sadness. Think about what you have to think; feel what you need to feel. Be mindful of what crosses your mind and heart, then, release it. A thought or feeling is not forever. The more quickly we can accept a feeling the more quickly we can move on to the next. Acceptance is the magic that makes change possible. Acceptance opens the door to growth, change, and moving forward.
3) Practice letting go.
How can you accept a devastating loss or change? We have two choices:
One is to hold on to the way things were. But if we can’t accept life the way it is, we have a big problem, because we cannot change what already has happened. Resisting the flow of life will only make us even more unhappy.
The other choice is to have the courage to accept life the way it is, which even though challenging, this process will empower us enormously.
4) Let beauty in.
When you’re focused on everything that’s lacking, it’s hard to fully notice, appreciate, and enjoy what’s present in abundance. Choose to appreciate what you have as opposed to giving too much attention to what you’ve lost.
Practice mindfulness, look around you; there’s beauty all around. Beaches and mountains, birds flying across the sky, music, and culture, blueberry ice cream, kissing in the sunset, and lifelong friendships. There is so much to live for; open up to what is truly beautiful and important in life.
Most of us keep the blinds shut, closing off to life. Take on the curiosity of a child. Open up and explore life as if it were your first day here, regardless of what you’ve had or lost. You can choose to focus on either. What’s your choice?
Yes, acceptance is a choice—a hard one most definitely, but a choice nonetheless. I know it’s hard to practice acceptance when you deeply wish things were different. But the truth is, sometimes we can’t change our reality, even if we try.
So instead of staring at the closed door in front of us, or getting tired and bruised while we try to break it down, let’s turn around and see how many other windows we have open.
WHAT ARE SOME ASPECTS OF YOUR LIFE THAT NEED ACCEPTANCE?