What exactly is acceptance?You can see the literal meaning here but in psychological terms it entails adjusting according to a person or a situation we resent without trying to avoid or change it.The catalyst is usually an unpleasant but essential part of life & attempts to evade or modify it can have disastrous consequences.Hence the advice.But acceptance is sometimes misunderstood.Let us give some more thought to it.Acceptance could relate to:
As far as this is concerned, it's justification is relative.If i am a mouse,accepting my weakness & coasting along on the outskirts of life;it is not acceptance, but a crime turned towards my own self.
However not all deviations from the so-called normalcy deserve to be shunned.For example there are some persons who are happy to be alone.They do not feel the need to be in the thick of things.They would feel uncomfortable if they tried to ape an extrovert.It is better for them to accept their nature.
There is a third category of persons who are dissatisfied with their physical appearance-either they are too fat,too thin,too tall,short,bald,ugly,dark complexioned or afflicted by some other physical disability.Extreme cases suffer from Body Dysmorphic Disorder .Such individuals would definitely be happier if they could accept themselves as they are.
Our lives are inextricably intertwined with many others,be it our family,close friends or those who hold an important space in our career or professional life.If these people have certain traits or kinks which bug,then the first option naturally would be to voice our discontent.But if this does not ameliorate then it is best to accept them as they are & amend our own thought process & reactions.We can remind ourselves for example,that our habits too might be a source of annoyance to them,so it is best to turn a blind eye.
Coming to those who are on the periphery of our lives-i do not think we should accept whatever they choose to dole out to us.As a individual entity we have certain rights,expectations & boundaries which ought not to be crossed.If we allow every so & so to trample all over us,what is left of our persona to be proud of ?This is not acceptance but cowardice.It damages our self esteem.
There are some persons who lie in the grey zone--we want to retain their friendship but do not wish to tolerate their discourtesies.With such persons it is vital to voice our discontent.If A insults me but i lack the gumption to retaliate, then this is not acceptance,but cowardice or escapism.I lose a chance to learn how to assert myself,augment my confidence & evolve.
However a word of caution will not be out of place here.There are occasions when even a tiny spark from our side could result in a conflagration.It is best to walk away at such moments with our dignity intact.
Accepting Life Situations
Sooner or later we are bound to come across situations which we wish ,had not arisen.We may lose our loved ones or suffer loss of health,wealth,job or reputation.A sudden upheaval or tragedy leaves us shaken & disoriented.We wish it had not happened.Our thoughts take us back to old times when all was well.We avoid facing the truth.This only delays the process of resettlement.Wishes are not horses that we could ride upon them to an Utopian future.Such changes require whole-hearted acceptance.When we accept that a situation has changed irrevocably & we shall have to live with it,we sift through available options & adjust accordingly.Slowly pain or frustration decreases,stability returns & hope rises.This is real acceptance.
It is in our best interest to not confuse acceptance with abidance, submission or cowardice.The last three are detrimental to our growth while acceptance adds a new dimension to our personality.We evolve & learn effective coping skills.We gain peace of mind & maturity.When we accept that setbacks or unsavory conditions are an essential part of life we have already taken the first step towards tranquility.
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