5 Things I’m Revisiting About Acceptance
I have been working through the gift of acceptance these last almost five months. My fractured knee cap and all the rehab is like a full time job. The reminders every min of the day the comparison of my two legs how they work differently and go from the past and forward to now but challenged to fully swing to the future 1 to 2 years down the road. The future is whereby having full range of motion, getting on my knees, going up and down stairs effortlessly, seems like light years away. I do know other people that have had similar injuries, healed fully, but has been a few years not months where I am currently residing. It’s really interesting how I am fixated on people’s knee caps now. (tee hee) Here are five things about acceptance I am working on:
1. Acceptance does not mean liking, wanting, choosing, or supporting.
I don’t have to like, want, or support whatever it is that I need to accept. But by struggling against the pain—by resisting and rejecting it—I create undue suffering. It doesn’t mean that I’ve chosen or endorse what I’m accepting. It doesn’t mean I like frustration, pain, limitations, or support an injustice that’s happened to me.
Rather, me choosing to allow emotions, thoughts, feelings to be there when I can’t change it in that moment. Making space for it is the key. To give myself permission to be as I am, feel what I feel, or have experienced what I’ve experienced without creating unproductive sadness, stress or, frustration etc. The pain might still be there, but some of the suffering will be alleviated.
2. Acceptance is an active process. It must be practiced.
I’m working on seeing acceptance as a verb. I love when I can catch myself practicing it consciously. It’s rare that we one day choose to accept our emotional or physical pain, our bodies let alone our difficult relationships, or our pasts, and never think about it again.
It can require effort at times (or most of the time, at least initially). It can be frustrating at times. But, like creating a clearing in a grass field by walking the same path many times, every time I practice acceptance toward my present situation or anything, I create and strengthen neural pathways in my brain, facilitating ease in the future.
I waver back and forth between feelings of acceptance and feelings of resistance. Making space for a range of experience, and notice my internal critic getting quieter.
3. Acceptance doesn’t mean that I can’t work on changing things.
I use to think acceptance is a sign of apathy, passivity, giving up, relinquishing actions, but by working on acceptance differently, I am getting stronger at staying focused. Practicing acceptance does not necessarily mean I won’t be able to make a change. I can accept knee cap and still change it, accept my emotions and acknowledge their impermanence, and accept my behavior one day when I might change it tomorrow.
4. Acceptance doesn’t mean I am accepting it’s going to be that way forever.
One, two, three etc. years later, my knee cap stays the same or possibly changes. Sometimes acceptance doesn’t always mean whatever I’m accepting will be that way forever.
Focusing my acceptance on the present, alongside an open and realistic gaze at the future is my desire. Focusing too much on the present can be counterproductive, as a large part of acceptance involves letting go of the desire that things will change—detaching from hope that, in some cases, creates suffering.
Lately, I try to find that sweet spot where I am accepting the current moment but not under the pretense that things will change in the future.
5. Practice acceptance toward experience, appearance, emotions, ideas, and more.
Expanding into other areas of my life whereby acceptance can be practiced in all areas of my life: I can exercise it toward my current experience or reality, others’ beliefs or ideas, my appearance, my emotions, my health, my past, my thoughts, or other individuals.
I recognize that I can’t change the current nature of this exact moment, and accepting manages anxiety and helps calm.
Think about how acceptance has benefited your life in the past, and how you can practice it more in the present.
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Quotes on True Inner-standing of Acceptance
Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery. – J. K Rowling –
…..self-acceptance is truly a heroic act. -Nathaniel Branden –
Acceptance is the the road to all change – Bryant McGill –
You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf. – Joseph Goldstein –
Nothing is impossible to a willing heart. – John Heywood –
If you can’t accept losing, you can’t win.
The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance. – Nathaniel Branden –
Don’t try to understand everything, because sometimes it is not mean to be understood, but to be accepted.
Acceptance is the currency of love. – Teal Swan –
“Acceptance and tolerance and forgiveness, those are life-altering lessons.” – Jessica Lange –
Radical acceptance is the willingness to experience ourselves and our lives as it is. – Tara Brach –
“The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.” – Carl Jung-
Acceptance is the act of opening up to painful feelings and sensations that we might otherewise want to avoid or fight. – Giulia Suro –
Most people need love and acceptance a lot more than they need advice. – Bob Goff –
We cannot change anything unless we accept it. – Carl Jung –