Before I jump into this week’s post, I’d just like to thank you all for reading last week’s post, and for the bunch of comments I received both publically and privately. I had no idea when I wrote about Leonard that it would impact people so favorably. I am humbled and more importantly, I am thrilled that a piece of his life touched others.
This next piece is actually something I wrote a long time ago. Since I’ve been referring back to it a lot recently, I decided it was time to dust it off. I hope you find it useful.
Many people seem to be confused about the concept of acceptance. I often hear them say, if I accept “this” as it is, “it” will never change, and I simply can’t live with the way things are. Thus, they draw the conclusion that they can’t accept their current lot. Maybe you’ve said, “if I accept my weight the way it is, I will never get thin. And I don’t like my body now.”
I find it helpful to make the following distinction. Acceptance says this is what it is AT THIS PARTICULAR MOMENT IN TIME. It doesn’t require that you agree with the circumstance, that you like the circumstance, or that you hope it will always be this way. It is merely acknowledgment of what is. And this is the part people really struggle with: acknowledge it without judgment of the condition being good or bad. Rather, it is a relinquishment of the past and the present in favor of being where you currently are. It is only from there that you can objectively determine the appropriate course of action. Without your energy in the present, you are instead destined to cloud your choices by old habits and patterns and/or future fantasies.
In contrast, resignation is the inclusion of the judgment. It says, okay, I’ll live with it the way it is, but I don’t like it. Resignation is a victimization.
Acceptance is the recognition that where you are at this moment is all you can absolutely be sure exists. It is an affirmation of the here and now which is the only thing you can impact with any real accuracy. You might argue that if you change A, you can also impact the future of B. I would agree that while that is likely in many cases, there is no guarantee that the future will occur at all, much less with the certainty that one might try to predict.
On a spiritual level, acceptance is an acknowledgment of what the universe has offered you at this particular moment. Standing still in acceptance gives you the opportunity to see if there is anything you can learn, about you, about the world, about life. Resignation doesn’t provide you with the openness to consider these messages.
I hope you will leave me a comment about any insights you have to share on this subject.