“Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.”
― J.K. Rowling
Acceptance is willfully accepting the reality of a situation and the process it has been reached but without attempting to change it.
In other words, acceptance is realising that what has happened has happened and that there is nothing you can do now to change anything in the past.
Acceptance is an active courageous action. You can’t fake it. It is difficult or it’s a hard commitment. However, through acceptance, you can let go of the unnecessary baggage of the past and walk with broader shoulders into the future.
Acceptance is defined as a willingness to tolerate a difficult situation. It boils down to a choice, and the ability to make a choice is what sets us apart from the animals.
Humans can make a choice and change their lives dramatically. But animals are compelled to listen to their instinct.
As Buddhism suggests, acceptance is the key to happiness. “Desire is the root of all suffering,” states the Second Noble Truth of Buddhism.
Interpreting the rule points that the want for one’s reality to be anything but will lead to pain. Consequently, the lack of acceptance of one’s truth leads to the pit of misery.
For example, an alcoholic can change his life by first accepting that he is an alcoholic. Accepting the fact that his habit is bad for him is a start.
But if he accepts it as reality and does nothing to change it, then the drunk has found acceptance but is still lying in the gutter of misery.
However, if he were to accept his reality and attempt to amend him, he did join “alcoholic anonymous” to being.
Other than being a choice, acceptance is also your point for reflection. Accept and reflect go hand in hand. It is worth noting that both of these actions are an endemic requirement for a positive personality.
Be it in personal life or professional, and if something is not going right, one will have to accept that something is going wrong.
Once you accept that, you then have the opportunity to troubleshoot the problem. You can reflect upon if the problem is within or beyond your control or if you are your problem.
In the last case, acceptance will solve your problem, and in the latter case, you have a chance to become a better you. Acceptance helps you manage your anxiety and remain calm despite how the situation looks.
Features of Acceptance
To better understand what acceptance is, here are some key features of acceptance.
1. Acceptance Does Not Force You to Like, Want, Support, or Choose Something
It does not mean you have to endorse your acceptance or support an injustice meted on you.
Au contraire, you are only choosing to accept the situation as it is for you can’t change it at the moment. Thereby you will feel pain, but you’ll not belittle yourself. Thus you’ll eliminate further suffering.
2. Acceptance Needs Practice
Accept is a verb, and therefore, acceptance is a process. It needs to be practiced consciously. You don’t get up in the morning one day and declare you accept your reality.
You can’t stick with that. Acceptance does not come easily but rather in bits and pieces. So by slowly accepting the small things, we create a habit and a consistent path to accepting the entire reality.
3. Acceptance Allows Change
Acceptance is not apathy or giving up something. It does not mean you can’t work to change your situation.
You only accept that you are in the condition and acknowledge that it isn’t permanent. You also accept that you may also be able to change it in time.
4. Acceptance Does Not Mean Permanence
Acceptance does not mean what you have accepted will be permanent and cannot be changed. Acceptance dwells in accepting the present with a realistic open gaze for the future.
Although you accept the present reality, there is always hope for a better future. Hope is a good thing, and change is the only constant in the universe.
5. Acceptance Encompasses Everything
Acceptance is not limited to the dilemma you presently are in. It needs to be practiced in all areas of your life.
Along with accepting your current experience, you’ll also have to accept the beliefs, ideas, appearance, and emotions of others as well.
It doesn’t mean you are endorsing what others say or think; you are only accepting that it is what it is, and you cannot immediately change the current nature at the moment.