This week we hone in on the concept of Acceptance. The idea that acceptance is a verb, it is an active awareness and recognition of our lives and realities as they are in this moment. It isn’t always easy to put into practice of course! Sometimes we have to remind ourselves to focus on the here and now, and importantly not to judge ourselves or where we are right now. We all want certain things and have expectations for our lives, and when we aren’t where we want to be it can be hard to feel this kind of acceptance.
That being said, if we are interested in making real and lasting changes in our lives, acceptance is an essential step. It is nearly impossible to change anything if you haven’t yet accepted the reality of your situation. It might seem like circular thinking at first but imagine trying to change a flat tire if you don’t accept that the tire is flat, or round, or necessary to make the car work. It doesn’t really make sense does it?!
“The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.” – Nathaniel Branden
Another common misconception around acceptance is that acceptance is the same as wallowing in your current circumstances. Nope. Not it. That is definitely not what we are suggesting. I mean we love a good Netflix and potato chip binge over here but that is all about rest and not about acceptance!
Acceptance doesn’t mean that we believe things are one way and they are never going to change. It means we acknowledge that something is currently a certain way, and we are not going to judge that right now. Tomorrow, ten minutes from now, a week later, or who knows when…that same thing may be completely different. In order for it to be different, you will probably have to put in some work. Acceptance acknowledges the influence of time. Acceptance is an awareness of the temporary nature of life and the temporal nature of change.
So you see, acceptance is not wallowing.
Acceptance is allowing yourself to acknowledge what is without judgement. To turn off that instinct to deny reality, which is of course a common defense mechanism. And to turn on your intuition and inner knowing. We all fall into the trap of pretending something isn’t really happening or turning to distractions for escape. That is really common. When you notice yourself doing it, acknowledge the habit, and let it go without judgement. We all need a break from time to time!
When we accept ourselves, our lives, our experiences – we give ourselves the option to choose. Do we want this moment anymore? Do we want these feelings to remain? None of it is as easy as snapping your fingers and changing all the things all at once. It would be a fallacy to tell you that you can simply turn your feelings on and off. But if we can acknowledge the reality of our lives, then we can also allow ourselves a degree of agency and choice. We can lean on the Universe for support and love. We can allow the network of support we have hopefully built up to gather around us and lift us up in light and love. Acceptance is not wallowing, it is acknowledging and choosing.
Where in your life do you want to work on acceptance? Where do you have it locked down? Let us know how it plays a role in your life!