The Importance of Acceptance
I’ve explored the concept, the quality, the feeling and the meaning of acceptance in different ways this year. And my conclusion, from all perspectives I have examined, is the same, acceptance is the way forward. The closer I get to acceptance, the better I feel, the better my life gets.
And every time I talk about this, I encounter resistance. Which is ironic, because I see it as the opposite of acceptance. So, when we resist acceptance, we stand in its opposite. I’ll explain how I see it. As always, take what resonates with you, leave the rest.
We often talk about things that happen as “unacceptable”, as if only we resist enough, the thing we’re resisting won’t be there. But that’s not true. And according to my definition of acceptance, it’s not about saying that something is good, even okay or that we stand behind it. To accept is about choosing to stop denying reality, seeing what is, for what it is. To see what has been, for what it has been.
Acceptance takes place in the past and present. We don’t have to accept something that has not happened yet because it has not happened. So, we don’t have to accept that something shitty will happen in the future, but we need to accept that something shitty has happened or is happening right now. When we choose not to accept, we choose resistance, and that, if anything, feels shitty.
What happens when you choose to accept is that you relax, you let go and you land in the here and now. Acceptance is presence. And here and now, in what is, in acceptance of what has been, you can see clearly. Acceptance helps you see, and feel, and open up new possibilities. As long as you choose to put your energy into resisting reality, you will not have the capacity to create what you want and need in the future.
What we can not change, we can accept and what we have accepted, it has already changed.
– Tomas Andersson Wij
Acceptance is not something we “learn” and then do forever. I’ve noticed so much resistance in myself lately. That I think this thing we’re all living through should be over by now. That I’m sick and tired at that person who messes up all the time. That I’m upset about what happened five years ago. And I’m completely exhausted. And empty. And closed off. I see no opportunities and have no energy.
Choosing acceptance is a practice. It is both an attitude, a way of thinking and a feeling. I’ve had enough, I can’t fight this anymore. I choose to let go. I choose to accept. This thing we’re all going through is not over yet. That person continues to mess things up (and probably has a lot of pain inside) and that thing happened five years ago. Puh, that feels nice, what a relief! I don’t have to change something I can’t change. Look at all the opportunities opening up now! What do I want to do now that I see reality clearly?
A warm-up to acceptance for me is allowing. Allowing for me means relaxing and saying “it’s okay!”. I’m having a shitty day, that’s okay! I can’t find inspiration, it’s okay! I was a bad friend, that’s okay! I’m doing a lot of resistance right now, that’s okay! I get stuck in my own self-criticism, that’s okay! To choose to allow yourself to be okay is to accept yourself as you are right now. Can you do that? What do you want to do now with all the energy available to you?
If you begin to understand what you are without trying to change it, then what you are undergoing a transformation.
– Jiddu Krishnamurti
This is a guest post. Any opinions expressed are the writer’s own.