Acceptance is part of forgiveness that people struggle with. We have to treasure the good and bad moments. When we don’t, we struggle and ruminate on our own pain. Overtime, we learn to look at everything through a positive mindset instead of a negative one. If we don’t try, we resist any chance of us being happy and living life in the present moment. Just like forgiveness, there is a misunderstanding as to what acceptance is and isn’t. Accepting is another way of making peace with where you are now.
We first need to know that, just like forgiveness, acceptance is a choice. There are two ways to deal with a problem. Either taking the initiative of what it is or fighting against it. The reason most of us don’t take things as they are is because we want control of the situation. When we cannot do anything about it, we resist it even more. According to Tiny Buddha, “acceptance is like protecting yourself with your own shield.” Generally speaking, you create your own blockage by being in control.
So, how do we start accepting?
One suggestion is listing out every reason for why you should accept that particular person, thing or experience. If you’re able to find a lesson behind every challenge, then you will less likely be hard on yourself. Another suggestion is to recognize how much you are holding yourself back instead of letting go. What happened, happened. It cannot be erased from our memories. Yet, we can find a lesson in the midst of it all and trust that we won’t endure the same type of pain again.
What does it mean to accept?
Acceptance acknowledges your pain to its full capacity. It doesn’t mean to give up or give in. It’s recognizing that we are not our pain. There is much more that makes us who we are. It’s a state of being where we don’t feel obligated to engage with our thoughts, feelings and emotions. It doesn’t have the power to derail us anymore. It gives hope that eventually, in time, things will turn out how they’re meant to be. So, it’s okay to be living with your pain and not have it consume you.
As a result, acceptance takes time. It’s an added section to forgiveness. It may just be the most challenging section of them all. Visualize how you would feel if you did accept. Would you be relieved? Do you feel scared? Allow yourself to experience it. Remember, acceptance is a way of setting yourself free from your own misery. Your mind, body and spirit will thank you for it.
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” ~ Reinhold Niebuhr