Acceptance is a beautiful thing, but it’s also something that I’ve struggled to master. Acceptance, the opposite of resistance, is simply allowing things to be as they are, and acknowledging internally that they are what they are. Nothing more, nothing less.
To give you an example of acceptance, let’s look at human emotions. Let’s say you are feeling angry; when we are angry we tend to be less productive, quick to judge and quick to react. This happens because as soon as you resist anything that you feel, it either stays or escalates, fact.
However, if you accept that you are feeling angry, then that is it. Anger is just a word, it is just chemical reactions that are happening in our body, there is no need for this emotion to take over us. Personally, I don’t believe in the science behind our emotions such as our DNA affecting how we act or statements like ‘babies born into a peaceful environment live a more peaceful life’. I just think it’s all about how we deal with certain situations.
A lot of the time, anger is simply linked to how invested we are in our ego. More likely than not, your original angry emotion came about at a time when you were resisting what is, think about that.
Picture in your mind a time that you have been angry, it could be anything, just make sure you know what caused the anger. I’ll tell you one of mine, my parents didn’t get me a present that I had wanted so badly for Christmas and it really got to me. Christmas day, and they couldn’t get me the one thing that I asked for, this was a few years ago by the way. I remember feeling so much emotion, actually hatred at times because of this one event.
Why? Simple, I was resisting the moment.
I wasn’t accepting the situation for what it is. Now the item that I had wanted so much at the time is completely irrelevant, even if I didn’t have it (I do) it would still make no difference to me whatsoever.
Can you relate to that?
Anytime you have found yourself angry is simply because you were resisting the moment, you were resisting what is.
Before I continue I want to make something clear, acceptance does not mean that things won’t change. Acceptance doesn’t mean:
- You don’t want to grow as a person
- You can’t aim for better things in life
- You don’t see the need for change (war, crime, etc)
- You become lazy and set in your ways
Acceptance is all about allowing the present moment to be and not identifying with it (which means you let it affect you), especially not in a negative light.
Living with Acceptance
What if we could live a life where we accept everything that happens, we understand that every moment is perfect as it is and we don’t need anything else. We don’t need a flash car to look forward to; we don’t need a fancy holiday coming up, if you have that then great. If you don’t, great too. If you’ve just found out that you have 4 weeks to live, how much would you care about what car you are driving, or in my case, what present your parents didn’t get you for Christmas?
Halfway through writing this blog post I went downstairs to make myself some coffee. I like to put about 60% of water in the cup to leave plenty of room for milk; however, I accidentally almost filled the cup. I swore, out loud, instantly. I didn’t think about it, it just happened. It was an auto-response in which I totally resisted the moment. I can’t change what happened, I can’t go back in time and only fill the water up to around 60%, yet for that brief moment I was annoyed. As soon as I realised this I laughed out loud, I noticed that I completely went against the way I’m trying to live my life.
This is the exact reasons that I say living with acceptance is difficult; we are all so quick to:
Most of us don’t know any different. It’s quite sad really, and certainly not very zen. So to flip that thought on its head, how about we just accept our current position for what it is.
If you’re poor, how about you accept that instead of spending your time wishing you had more money and complaining about your bad luck.
If you’re disabled, how about you accept that instead of cursing the world for the situation you are in.
If you’re overweight, how about you accept that instead of judging those who judge you. Either deal with the situation or let go of any negativity you hold towards that (if any).
If you fit into any one of the three examples above, you’re probably angered by what I’m saying. If that is the case, is the anger you are feeling through choice? Do you actually want to feel that way.
This isn’t about being lazy or not hoping for anything better. It’s about:
- Not giving yourself an excuse to keep things the way they are
- Realising that your life situation is not who you are
- Appreciating every moment, every now
Beautifully, and perhaps most importantly of all, acceptance allows you to move on. You don’t hold on to your story and blame the world for your situation; you move on and do the things nobody thinks you can do. You do the things that you’ve always wanted to but feared you won’t achieve. You do the things people do that gets them featured in Time Magazine and inspire millions of people.
How to live in total acceptance? Stop resisting the moment and stop clinging to the things that you think are holding you back. Only then will a world of abundance and opportunity open up to you.