In a conversation last night, I witnessed the pain that is caused when someone believes that they are right and they cannot even begin to see that maybe there might be another path. I witnessed the pain that is caused from not accepting a situation. I also witnessed the pain that is caused by not accepting that you are only in charge of your own life. When you try to be in charge of someone else’s life (another adult), you forget that it’s not really your life to live. You have to let the other person make their own choices. Acceptance shows up in so many ways in our lives and when we make the choice to not accept something we inflict so much pain on ourselves.
I’ve raised both of my kids to be independent. I saw it as my job to teach them to leave the nest and live their own lives. Since I’m now an empty nester, I guess I would say that I’ve at least done a few things right. That doesn’t mean that all of my choices were perfect, but it does mean that my kids are comfortable making many of their own decisions in life. In fact they are so comfortable making most of those decisions, if you try to influence them too much in one direction or another, then they see it as you not letting them be their own person.
That’s how I often see it as well. It can be very helpful to get the opinion of someone else when a major life decision is being made. However, we’re all unique people and we all are able to form an opinion about a choice. We each have a right to our own opinion. It may not be a popular opinion, but you still get that chance to have your own.
That’s really what the discussion was about last night. The other person was not accepting that someone else has a different opinion. I could see that non-acceptance was causing so much pain and frustration. However, acceptance is something that you have to do internally. Just like I can’t make you agree with my opinion, I can’t make you accept a situation. You might fight against it. You may simply resist that acceptance. Until you are able to find acceptance though, you aren’t able to see the choices that lie before you. There will continue to be pain caused and your mind will be closed to other options.
Acceptance is a decision that you make. Understanding that a decision or circumstance is at it is and being willing to work with what you have leads you to acceptance. We don’t have to live in the pain of non-acceptance. We can acknowledge a situation without actually liking it.
Acceptance is something that you do and not something someone else can do for you. Last night, I found myself accepting that the other person was not willing to listen or to accept the situation. I was able to walk away from the conversation with a calm heart. This doesn’t always happen. I acknowledge that accepting the present moment is not always easy, but I was able to reduce my own pain from non-acceptance last night. I wish I could help the other person do the same, but I know that is something they have to do on their own. Acceptance is a practice that sometimes we do well and other times not so much. I’ll continue to practice and I invite you to practice acceptance with me.
If you need support in accepting a situation, schedule a private session with me. We’ll work together to see what’s blocking you from acceptance.