“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” ~ Lao Tzu
“For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain.” ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“You couldn’t relive your life, skipping the awful parts, without losing what made it worthwhile. You had to accept it as a whole–like the world, or the person you loved.” ~ Stewart O’Nan
“I am my own biggest critic. Before anyone else has criticized me, I have already criticized myself. But for the rest of my life, I am going to be with me and I don’t want to spend my life with someone who is always critical. So I am going to stop being my own critic. It’s high time that I accept all the great things about me.” ~ C. JoyBell C.
“The best way is not to fight it, just go. Don’t be trying all the time to fix things. What you run from only stays with you longer. When you fight something, you only make it stronger.” ~ Chuck Palahnuik
“Maturity, one discovers, has everything to do with the acceptance of “not knowing.” ~ Mark Z. Danielewski
from The Desk of MarDrag:
Acceptance is often a word and concept that is misunderstood. I wanted to write a bit about it today, because I have an analogy that I think might be helpful. Many of my clients, family, and friends have been talking about Acceptance lately, and the difficulty of…Accepting Acceptance.
So, let’s begin with the standard definition of Acceptance, which, by dictionary standard is:
• The act of assenting or believing; the act of accepting something or someone
• The quality or state of being accepted
• Belief in something; agreement
We are all familiar with these definitions…and can see why they would be hard to “Accept’ sometimes when things are going on in our lives that we do not want to happen or we do not agree with. So, we think that if we Reject them…that is, that we do not Accept them…we are doing something good for ourselves and trying to change things. In part…this is true.
BUT…there is another layer to Acceptance. Because there are some things in life we cannot change…or are not meant to change. Some things, we are meant to experience, exactly as they present themselves to us, because there is a higher purpose to it or a life lesson we need to learn to move forward. In addition…sometimes there are things in life that “just happen”, and if we spend all of our precious time and energy fighting them, well, then we have no energy left for solving them.
So here is the thing…Acceptance is not just “rolling over and accepting” all that happens to us. It is Discerning when we can change something and when we can’t, and choosing our attitude about how we deal with it.
The difference is…that we Accept that the circumstance is happening. In the moment…we agree that, yes, this thing is happening. We may not want it to, we may have fear and angst about it…and certainly, if there is something we can do about it and it is appropriate to, we should. But, if it is a circumstance that we cannot stop…then we need to Accept the Circumstance and its existence, because it is only then that a clear path to a solution can be forged. The more we fight or deny something, the bigger it must become because it is trying to get our attention.
You see…and here is the analogy…when we choose to Resist a circumstance, or fight it, or succumb to fear and/or defeat…we throw up a cloud of distraction around us. We enter a cloud of mist and swirl it around us in an effort to deflect or protect…thinking that if we push it away it will go away, or we won’t have to face it, or it will magically resolve itself. But the only thing we succeed in doing…is fool ourselves.
Because…as we are standing within that cloud and mist of distraction…outside the cloud, in the cool, crisp, clear air…still sits the circumstance that is waiting to be solved. It does not go anywhere. And we have wasted valuable time, effort, and energy on creating this cloud to hide behind.
Now, sometimes there is benefit to the cloud and good things come from waiting…but for the most part, “the cloud” is merely a diversion tactic we have set up…and eventually, we have to blow the cloud away and step outside it so we can see a clear picture of the circumstance in order to resolve or solve it.
If we can look at the “true” meaning of Acceptance and Accept the circumstances that we face…this is the first step in changing our lives and having the clarity we need to see our paths for what they truly are. Acceptance is not defeat or acquiescence…it is the strong, smart, brave act of the Spiritual Warrior who knows that, in order to win the battle, one must face the adversary straight on and have faith and trust in the Self and that they will prevail.
Accept your Strength, Wisdom, and Courage…and the rest shall follow.