I’ve been thinking of acceptance this week. There are so many different types of acceptance. There’s Social acceptance, self acceptance, conditional, expressed and implied acceptance. I’m sure you could come up with another one. What I’m thinking about is acceptance of the present moment, whatever that might look like for you.
When I first was asked to consider acceptance this week, I immediately thought of giving up. If I’m accepting a situation, then doesn’t that mean that I’m done trying to change it? I thought a little more about this and came up with a yes, no, maybe answer. So clear, right?
If I accept my current situation, then in a way it is an acknowledgement of what is happening right now. Maybe I like the current situation. Maybe I don’t like the current situation. Liking or not liking what is happening right now really aren’t related to accepting the current situation.
This led me to think about my initial reaction of acceptance meaning to give up or not try to change anything about the present. When I think more about that I realize that I can accept my situation and still attempt to change it. Acceptance doesn’t really mean that I’m done. What it really means is acknowledging what is happening right now. When I can acknowledge my current situation, then I can make better choices about whether I want to change it or not.
As I’ve gone through this week, I’ve been presented with many chances to practice acceptance. Life is funny that way. When you are ready to learn a lesson, then you’ll be presented with many opportunities to learn it. Anyway, this week I’ve been given situations that I found to be unacceptable at least when they were first presented to me. What I found was that when I couldn’t accept the situation my body had an immediate reaction. I felt upset, tight, closed down and not willing to listen to alternatives. There was a disconnect between what was happening in my reality and what I wanted. This meant that I couldn’t really move forward on a path that would take me where I wanted to go because I hadn’t accepted the situation as it currently was. Hours later, I found that I could accept what had happened and then I was able to figure out where I wanted to go next on this path. Until I could accept, I was kind of stuck in the moment.
In contrast, I’ve also had unexpected situations happen this week that I was able to accept pretty quickly. When that happened, the reaction of my body and mind was quite different. I felt an ease in my body and a willingness to be open to the new situation. As I accepted what had just happened, I was immediately able to figure out my next move on my path forward.
The difference between accepting and not accepting for me this week was quite profound. Is one way better than the other? Not necessarily. For me, it was more about noticing how I dealt with different situations. However, accepting was very much easier on my body. I felt able to move forward much more easily.
Their might be times when you just can’t accept your present circumstances. That doesn’t make you a bad person. It just gives you a chance to notice how your’e reacting. Maybe it is something that you’ll never be able to accept. Or maybe, with time you’ll be able to accept and move forward again. Whichever you do, it’s up to you. You have the chance to observe and make changes when necessary. Pay attention to how your mind and body are reacting to a situation. Just start observing.
I would love to hear what acceptance means to you. Leave a comment below and let me know!
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