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When I accept things as they are, people or situations, the energy changes and I find peace, or new friends, or sometimes new solutions to a situation.
Acceptance is a balm which transforms you from a victim of circumstance, fate, or karma into the writer of your own story. Acceptance is the energy behind the removal of “should have” and “supposed to” which brings you into the light of “this is my present reality.” With acceptance we can find the strength to be grateful. With acceptance we can be open to glean the blessings in painful situations. Everything is impermanent without acceptance there is greater suffering.
I see acceptance as the beginning of peace and progress. I have resisted so much for many years (and continue to), and some of the people closest to me are even more resistant. It creates so much stress, dread, and frustration, continuously wondering how I can go on living with something I believe is unacceptable. Ultimately, though, I have. I have gone on living. How much joy have I lost as the result of my own resistance, clinging to pain because I felt like joy was impossible in the presence of the unacceptable?
It certainly leaves space for thinking about other things!
Having just read the Word for the Day and finding it a powerful point, I’ll further build on it here – when I step into acceptance of what is, rather than wandering around guided by preconceived expectations, I move forward into new possibilities, new opportunities, and fresh reasons for gratitude.
That’s such a great quote, isn’t it, Chester?
Never be so focused on what you’re looking for that you overlook the thing you actually find. 🙂
What possibilities arise as the result of acceptance? As others have shared, the “Serenity Prayer comes to mind. What comes to me when I say the Serenity Prayer is that acceptance of what I can’t change brings me serenity. I’m not fighting, fleeing or freezing in place. I’m facing, feeling, and healing. Another saying that comes to mind when answering this question is “BE still and know that I am God.” I was taught to use it as a meditation. Say the entire phrase then repeat all but the last word, “God.” Say the phrase again and drop another word, “am.” Keep repeating the phrase until all that is left is “Be.” We are called to “Be” here and now. Can’t change the past. Don’t know the future and that’s OK. Interestingly, the Bible I have had since I was 18 years old, translate that line from the Psalms: “Desist and know that I am God.” As the young lady sings in the movie Frozen, “Let it go, Let it go.” Life is for letting not getting. It’s process not product. Go with the flow. When you see a need, respond but don’t organize to much. I’m thinking that with that perspective, the possibilities that might arise, may astonish us all!
Thanks, Carol, for reminding me about the ‘Be still…’ quote. A yoga teacher taught us about shortening it, and I’m glad to remember her and the teaching 🙂
I never have to worry which means adding lightness to my life. The adverse impacts of constant worry on body, mind and soul have been investigated and are known. Acceptance spares me those impacts. If I can find a way to change things then I don’t need to worry. If I can accept those I can not change than again there is nothing to worry about. I have come to the conclusion that I have very little control over things. So it is best to embrace acceptance instead of wasting my energy on things that I can not control. There are better uses for that energy.
I notice in looking at the URL of this page that the question originally was going to ask what difficult truths might we accept right now.. It’s a more expansive question to just think about what possibilities come as a result of acceptance, whether that is accepting something wonderful or something less than wonderful. If I can avoid attachment and let go of the idea that things will turn out a certain way, acceptance is much easier. I can set myself up for disappointment, struggle, followed by acceptance, or I can try to move straight to acceptance by being in a state of open curiosity for what’s coming next.
Thank you, Barb – I would never have thought about looking at the URL. Maybe I’ll do that for this page – thanks for your fun discovery 🙂
You’re welcome! Happened to notice it and it sparked my thoughts.
God, grant me the Serenity
To accept the things I cannot change…
Courage to change the things I can,
And Wisdom to know the difference.
That says it all. As I looked at this on the page page it struck me that this is always known as the Serenity prayer. It could just as easily be known as the acceptance prayer, the courage prayer, or the wisdom prayer.
A new life and freedom and there will be know less acceptance
The possibility to move forward in peace, love and gratitude. It can take a lot of adjusting to life-changing circumstances and a long time of working through the grief of loss but once that is accomplished there is a feeling of peace and joy for what is right now.
As I accept things as they are, there is the possibility for less suffering.
Better sense of being at peace with oneself, stopping the mental anguish leading to rumination and worry. Learning to be thankful for what we have and having empathy to those who are not as fortunate so that we can help when needed.
When we accept a situation we can then choose how to respond rather than react. It’s like the difference between driving a car over a smooth paved road and driving over one filled with potholes and debris littering the surface. I make better choices when I’m not distracted and exhausted with junk I’ve thrown in the path.
I’m reminded of what Carol has posted here in the past — don’t turn a situation into a problem.
Acceptance of what is and other inhabitants of the planet along with non judgement open up possibilities of less anxiety, monkey brain and more peace, love and kindness to others and my self.
Acceptance creates all possibilities.
Last Sunday I met the organist at the church organ that I occasionally play. He had been away for a while because his wife had died and shortly afterwards a dislodged truck wheel had seriously injured his leg. He could no longer walk, no longer play the organ. He needed a surgical operation. We had an impressive conversation and at the end of his story about what happened, he said “If I can’t accept what happened to me, then I have a problem”.
Wow, Christine – thanks for sharing 🙂
Possibly, everything, so long as it’s truly acceptance and not surrender, or a compromise of the two.
Kevin, I agree that true acceptance offers everything from relief to opportunity but I also think truly surrendering can change one’s life. I’m talking about the surrender that comes from the core of our being. The acceptance that we are powerless over any other person, place, or thing. Submission on the other hand says I’ll give in for now but as soon as I get through this situation, I’m taking charge I have to be in control. I like a quote from Holly Whitaker, With surrender, “Life no longer feels precarious, or about to crumble—even when it is, in fact, crumbling. By surrendering to whatever is unfolding and by accepting what is, by giving up on the outcome and allowing life to flow the way it’s meant to, by stepping out of your own way and letting the natural order take the lead, you not only get a break from the exhaustion of having to control everything, but you also get to experience life, instead of what you think life owes you. (Hint: What life wants to give us is infinitely better than what we think it owes us.)”
Enjoyed your response, Carol, and agree totally with it too, especially on aspects of surrender. And as I read your thoughtful response what stood out for me was that you clearly know the difference and qualities between acceptance and surrender, which is what I was attempting to point out. I confess too, after working many years with people who have been victimized, hurt and marginalized in one way or another, and who had surrendered their personhood, safety, and entire lives to people with ill and evil intent, surrender and acceptance are “neighborhoods” I have spent countless hours in while helping them to heal to a better place in life.
Kevin, I know the thoughts I shared with you about surrender and submission are influenced by the 12-step programs. I saw many who could not leave unhealthy relationships. Fear of going it alone kept them trapped in down right dangerous situations for themselves and their children. So many times, they literally had no positive self-image left and so they submitted. Bless you for the work you do.
And yours too, my friend.
Now I am going to be deep thinking the difference between the two.
It is yielding to what is. Letting go of the drama and stories. Accepting (invariably) that it is now in the past (or future), and the past/future is not here right now.
Acceptance teaches us to go with the flow, to be here now, to release the grip on control. The possibilities are peace of mind, freedom, and a general wellness of being.
A sense of peace and then clarity of mind that may follow. Hormones and synapses collaborate for our good.
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