The Power of Acceptance
The word “acceptance“ is not much appreciated in today’s world. On the contrary, people like to avoid the unpleasant circumstances as much as possible. The biggest evidence to this is the number of divorces today. In most modern countries the divorce rate is on average more than 50%. It is all a sign that people tend to stick together when things go well but as soon as marriage starts going downhills, here comes divorce. In other words, we tend to avoid uncomfortable events.
What is acceptance
When we find ourselves in unpleasant situations, our first reaction is that we either try to solve the problem or escape it. Sure, in the perfect world we would all live greatest lives, filled with abundance, love and other riches problem-free. However, more often than not we find ourselves in situations where we cannot solve anything. Than comes the disappointment, depression, anger, sadness and other natural reactions to dissatisfaction.
Acceptance is a tool we can all apply to our unpleasant parts of lives and it can do amazing things: we can settle down, become content and abandon disappointment, depression, anger, sadness, etc.
I started applying acceptance after I finally realized unpleasant events are a part of life and accepted them. Whatever can be changed I do my best to change it. But if I see that some things are impossible to change even after many tries, I accept them (at least in the present moment until I figure out what else can be done).
When I define acceptance, I don’t mean accepting events that can hurt us physically or emotionally like bullying or any type of abuse. That should be solved as soon as possible.
What can acceptance do
Try to evaluate yourself as a person, what kind of person are you? Do you tend to go with the flow and accept the good and the bad in your life or are you mostly unhappy because you feel your life can be so much better? If you are second type of person, do you think about bad stuff happening to you and then become annoyed or angry? Do you think some persons should be removed from your life and you avoid them because they are making you uncomfortable?
This all means you tend to fight each unpleasant thing thinking you should be problem-free all the time and as soon as some unpleasant event happens you tend to become unhappy even though everything else is good.
Now, try to contemplate on acceptance. What would that mean?
If you have a person who slightly annoys you because of their narcissistic personality, what would happen if you actually accepted that person for who they are? Your first reaction probably always is something like „oh that person is driving me crazy, I wish he could be removed from my life“ or „if only I could talk to him and make him see what kind of jerk he is so that he can change“. Of course, both of the statement are a dead-end and the only thing you can gain from thinking these thoughts is ongoing anger and frustration. Instead, try to apply the concept of acceptance. Is that person unable to change? Can you gain something from trying to change them? Or would accepting this person as he is make you become peaceful and content, stopping you to lose further energy unnecessary?
I admit, acceptance is hard. My first reaction is always to try to change and then getting annoyed if I hit a wall. But now I regularly apply acceptance. It is like a remedy to me. I meditate on acceptance and I practice it throughout the day in each situation. And yes, it does make a great difference. I became less angry, disappointed, anxious, bitter and depressed.
Depression and acceptance
To be depressed is to not accept anything as it is. I know it because I used to fight my depression 24/7 in a way that I wanted to get rid of it as soon as possible (a.k.a. I didn’t accept my state and the more I fought it, the more it was unpleasant and my depression was deeper and harder).
Even though my depression is completely gone, I still have days when I feel a bit down (most often when my PMS days hit) but then I apply acceptance to my current state. I acknowledge that I am feeling down and I tell myself it is ok to be down, everyone feels down occasionally and it will pass. And voila, my mood becomes less hard than it was in the beginning.
Acceptance is really an awesome tool to improve life’s quality. We must all understand that the advantages of modern life and all the positive thinking will attract positive circumstances, but it will not solve the issue of uncomfortable and painful events ever happening again. That is why the middle way between good and bad events, which is acceptance of the both, can improve the quality of our lives. Who knows, maybe instead of cold harsh winter on the picture in this post you will end up seeing a beautiful white serenity which cools your soul 😊