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Simply put: acceptance empowers us.
Are you confused or did this bring a smile to your face?
To look at a person and understand them with complete clarity, we need acceptance because it brings us a necessary objectivity. Eventually, we cannot accept the good and leave out the bad. It doesn’t happen that way. True acceptance includes embracing the whole, not being selective about the bits and pieces.
Acceptance is a state of mind; it is our understanding of everything unpredictable that is thrust upon us by life.
Accepting reality without a sugarcoated perspective helps us face the complexities and struggles of life. It empowers us to know our strengths and build on them. It equips us; it prepares us; it provides us with the courage to face the unpredictable.
As widely known, “Change is the only constant.”
People change, the dynamics of every relationship change, and the world we live in is a constant flux as it is. The only choice left for us is to accept and not resist.
Resistance leads to bitterness and resentment.
The indignation of resistance makes us dissatisfied and disgruntled. It makes us angry, but when we start practicing acceptance, we become peaceful. That doesn’t mean we become “passive” in any sense of the word, but rather acceptance guides us toward taking responsibility and taking action in a certain situation.
Acceptance is assertive, to say the least.
With the acceptance of a situation comes the responsibility.
It means, we know what is good, bad, and ugly so we can deal with it. We become aware of what we can and cannot change. Rather than criticizing the situation and following the traditional humdrum of the blame game, it helps us break the cycle of irrational and irresponsible behavior.
Acceptance is one of the greatest stress busters. A simple example will suffice to prove my point. We all have been stuck in traffic with nonstop honking and people yelling.
You know you are late for something important. So what can be of assistance?
Nothing, except taking a few deep breaths!
There, the anger inside of you that stems from the feeling that no one understands how important something is for you and how the world seems to be a miserable, unfair place suddenly disappears. It goes like poof!
The mind has a way with thoughts. It runs like a wild horse, but acceptance reins it in.
Developing the attitude of acceptance needs patience and practice. It needs a paradigm shift in our thought process and behavior. It is the acknowledgement of the fact that pain is there, but how much I suffer is my choice.
I became peaceful. It slowed me and made me more mindful of my actions and thoughts.
Here’s a list of questions to help you identify if you are living a life of self-love and acceptance in your daily routine:
>> What is happiness for you? (Try to understand if you are living a happy life as you wanted it. This is huge. Don’t feel bad if you do not know the answer right away. Take your time and come back to it as often as you need to. Knowing your definition of happiness will solve many of your existential questions. Do not rush through it.)
>> Are you aware of your weaknesses? (Most of us know our strengths and we work on them, but where do we lag?)
>> Is your success defined by you or the norms of society? (There is a difference between the two. Are you aware of it?)
>> How much are you ready to give in to save a particular relationship or situation? (My suggestion—list three things that are nonnegotiable).
>> Are your goals and expectations realistic?
>> Are you doing your best in any given situation?
>> Can you trust yourself not to react emotionally and based on your previous experiences?
Answering these questions will enable you to get a better picture of yourself. It will prepare you to take steps required to live a more fulfilled and happy life.
Throughout life, we build relationships with others and work on them. It’s time we work on the relationship with our own self.
One of the easiest ways to do that is to include acceptance in our daily lives:
1. Accept yourself with all your good and bad, with all your qualities and insecurities.
The more we lean toward acceptance, the more we love ourselves and the more empowered we are.
2. Practice radical honesty.
The best thing that I ever did for myself was being honest with myself. It was difficult to come out of my thoughts and see who I actually was.
Being honest with myself not only brought my strengths to the surface, it also helped me understand my weaknesses and what and where I needed to improve.
Acceptance revealed the layers inside me that I didn’t know existed.
I followed this simple exercise for a month so I can be fully honest with myself. Every morning I would write down my thoughts, emotions, and expectations for the day. I gave it my best shot during the day. At night, I would ask my kids to analyze my behavior throughout the day.
The insight that I received was amazing.
On the first week, I failed miserably every single day; I even thought of giving it up. I cried almost every night.
By the second week, things started improving ever so slowly, but they did for sure.
I did this for a month. It was not easy to listen to things from my kids, which I subconsciously knew but was not ready to admit.
My reason for involving a third party was to be objective about it. And who is more honest than children?
I felt exposed in front of them, but their love for me did not change. They loved me for who I was—in full and not in parts. This, in turn, gave me the courage to love myself more and to accept myself.
3. Let go of your biases.
We sometimes end up in situations that are beyond our control. It is best to let go of biases and look at the situation with fresh eyes. Assumptions based on previous experiences hold us back.
4. Identify your part.
The most empowering part about acceptance is identifying your part in reality. Ask yourself questions related to where you are and why you are here. What part did you play—good or bad?
5. Take responsibility.
Taking responsibility (for our part) makes accepting the situation easier. When we own up, we are ready to take action to also remedy it.
6. Identify your goal and outcome.
Make an action plan so you can correct what you can and see what outcome you expect out of it.
7. Identify your fears and mistakes.
Once you have accepted your fears and mistakes, you will find the courage to overcome them and reinvent yourself.
8. Ask yourself what’s at stake.
If you realize what is at stake, you will work more efficiently and realistically toward your goal.
Acceptance does not—in any way—mean that we accept the wrong or we stay quiet or tolerate the abusive behavior pattern.
Practicing acceptance brings us the ultimate taste of the freedom of choosing what we want to keep, what we have to let go of, what to fight for, and when to give in.
May your journey of acceptance become as fruitful as mine.