I’ve often wondered what this word means – acceptance.
In my old line of work this word did not exist, and if it did, it was to accept that shit went wrong and now you have to find a way out of it.
But nowadays, I have contemplated the meaning many times.
For most hard chargers this word makes us cringe, but there is another side of it that is rarely talked about; or rarely talked about in the normal social circles.
The other side is that acceptance gives us freedom. Freedom in the sense that we no longer are tied to something like a dog on a leash.
As Alan Watts has said, I’m paraphrasing, we have to learn acceptance in the midst of opposition.
The idea is not to give up, or surrender, its to accept what needs to be accepted. Often times I find myself fighting something that doesn’t need a fight. When you look deep into these topics, without pure emotion, you see that a lot of what we do is a waste of energy. So In order to be more productive, it involves a sort of acceptance to what is.
If energy is being used to fight a war that doesn’t exist, it takes away from “wars” that do exist.
Many philosophers, spiritual types, and psychologists, in their own way, are making the point that life is only hard because we resist everything that life actually is.
Put simply, Life is hard because we fight what doesn’t need to be fought.
The ego, which is a part of life, battles us at every corner, but that doesn’t mean we “remove” it; that means we accept it for its role in life without it becoming the only role in life.
The answers we search for are so simple, but resistance, and lack of acceptance, is what makes them difficult.
For years I had a very difficult time with this, and I still do on occasion. I could not understand how to accept, or let go, when technically we always have a “choice” in all situations. Why accept something that “should” be changed? That’s what most who read this will have a hard time with.
The answer to that question is unique, but also straightforward.
If you’re in a situation it’s becasue you’re supposed to be in that situation right now, and while we do have choice, we also have things to learn.
When you accept, you learn.
The difference between a person that goes insane, or a person that has the capacity to go insane but doesn’t, is awareness of acceptance – and then accepting.
Yes, there may be a line – a line between action, choice, and accepting, but this line is based on accepting those options in the first place.
We put ourselves in mental boxes; in prisons we can’t escape from. Most of the time this is due to not accepting what is; what is right now.
Dr. David Hawkins, M.D., wrote a whole book on Power vs. Force, and acceptance is Power. Force is thinking we can change what was never meant to be changed, and this is where all our turmoil comes from.
All the psychological tools, spiritual tools, mindsets, frames, and concepts in the world will not save you from the world if you cannot accept what is. Frankly, most of them are nothing but reminders of what could be, if we accepted life for what it is.
It doesn’t mean I’m ok, or even happy, with what the universe has thrown at me, but I do know that what it’s thrown at me has been thrown at many others before me, and I’m not special. I accept that. If I fight it, I’m on leash. A leash that will never stop pulling.
Realize that true freedom, or the whole point of the Inner Work, is to be in a space where you feel great, productive, and have no leash holding you back.
But this will not happen just through force; it will happen through acceptance.