Acceptance is the willingness to let go of your emotional opposition to the reality of “what is.” ~ Dr. Paul Coleman
Stuck in traffic? Delay in your plans? Didn’t get that job or contract? Having health or relationship issues?
Rather than deny, resist, react angrily or complain, acceptance of the situation just as it is can be the first step to transforming your anger or painful suffering into an opportunity to change and grow from the experience.
It doesn’t mean that your ‘What is’ is good, desirable or moral. It just means that ‘it is’ and that you see any situation with clarity and acknowledge its presence.
When you fight reality and don’t consciously accept a situation for what it is, you can get locked up in the belief that life is not fair or you can hold onto the expectation that other people should behave in a certain way in order for you to be okay. (if people just drove the right way, I would not be stuck in this traffic jam)
What acceptance is not:
Acceptance does not mean that you:
- agree with, approve of or support what happened.
- are a helpless victim of the situation
- need to give up or take a passive approach to a situation
- beat yourself up for being in the situation
- deny or resist that the situation exists
- can blame others for your circumstances
Try this ->
Take a moment right now to close your eyes and breathe deeply for a few breath cycles. Now, quiet your breath and breathe softly into your heart…
- What am I resisting or avoiding in my life that needs acceptance?
- What in my life needs to be embraced rather than suppressed?
- Do I need to love my body more?
- Do I need to lay down criticisms or judgments of myself or others?
- Do I need to move with greater peace toward those who think differently than I – family members/co-workers?
- Do I need to accept responsibility to speak my truth even if it is controversial?
- Do some of my behaviours need changing?
- Am I facing health issues that I would rather ignore?
- Do I need to open to love from others?
- Is there unhealed grief that I am unwilling to acknowledge?
5 Steps to invite truth and acceptance into your life:
Observe and acknowledge the truth of the situation you are experiencing. Become the observer of ‘what is’ (I didn’t get the job).
Identify what do you not like about the experience (It makes me feel angry, worried and worthless)
Let go of judgment/blame of self or others (I should have answered the interview questions differently or that was not a fair question to ask. The interviewer was incompetent)
Reflect on your options and choices. How do you want to handle what happened? (I didn’t get the job that I wanted. There is nothing I can do to change the situation. But I can regroup and keep looking)
Embrace positive change out of the situation (Next time, I will be better prepared for unexpected questions and will work on my interview presentation)
Acceptance applies to any area of your life – your present situation, yours or others beliefs, ideas and actions, your personal self-view, your health, your feelings and emotions about yourself or others. Anything can be shifted through acceptance.
“No matter how difficult, I accept what is in my life right now just as it is.”
Breathe in acceptance even if it is difficult to do so. When you accept what is, you can then approach the next steps with intelligence, an open heart, and clear intention.
The action of acceptance can be painful and slow at first. Like any ingrained behaviour, it takes practice. And, understandably, it might feel strange and uncomfortable.
It takes courage and time to allow yourself to see the truth of a situation. But it can be the catalyst that reveals solutions to problems that ultimately helps you feel less burdened because it makes room for more inner peace to grow.
“If you are irritated by every rub, how would you be polished?” ~ Rumi