How conscious are you of acceptance? Have you ever considered the scope of it? I mean, we have instances as simple as accepting that your phone is dead or as heavy as accepting that someone has wronged you. We have to accept travel delays, or friends moving away, or the grocery store not having that drink we love. We accept the color of our eyes or the height we grew to.
But, sometimes, it’s not a graceful trek. We yell at the person at the airline desk after we’re told that our flight has been canceled. We sit in the rage of realizing that we’ve been taken advantage of. We sulk in the loneliness of being far from friends or family we love. We choose not to try something again because it didn’t go the way we hoped the first time. We resent the people we love for making choices we don’t understand, and we prolong our suffering.
This is not to say that you should feel ashamed if you’ve not been able to accept certain things. There is no schedule– we all come to accept life in our own time. I find that I get stuck knowing that I should accept a fact and be grateful for its role in pushing me forward, but I can’t make myself feel it. My brain understands how I should feel, but my emotions lag behind.
However, it’s the stage that precedes this that you need to watch out for: when you’re stuck in a belief system, and don’t realize that there’s anything you need to accept. Can you fathom how dangerous that is? You’re allowing your pain to construct your reality, and in doing so, you prohibit yourself from learning from the experience, and encourage the pain to fester.
In the advice I give to others, acceptance is the root of every single problem. We don’t want to accept when a relationship is ending, so we make ourselves sick overthinking what we should do. We don’t want to accept that there are qualities in each of us that others aren’t going to understand because we want to be liked. Acceptance is hard.
What’s trickier, is that sometimes there are things that we should not accept. Learning the difference between what you should and should not accept is powerful. Easy examples of phenomena you should refuse to swallow would include racism, sexism, all those yucky isms. Let that dissonance encourage you to better the world, learn the difference between what you should accept and what you should not. Just be conscious. Be awake and alert. I’m serious– the next time you’re feeling distress, identify your feelings. Feel them. Consider why you feel that way. Ask yourself if your suffering is calling you to make a change or learn a lesson. Accept the situation, and move forward accordingly. Do not get stuck in the mud.
Make sense? Let me know.