Every wise man will tell you how valuable acceptance is to live a happy and effortless life, for they all know we must accept what life wants to offer us, be it the good joyful moments or the painful and dark paths we find ourselves in sometimes. And just as crucial is to acknowledge how wrong it is to be selective when it comes to acceptance, for one tends to be grateful when good things happen but tremendously mad when our expectations and predictions turn out wrong.
People have a tendency to label and judge every situation and experience as good, bad, happy, unfortunate or an endless torrent of man-created categories, and this whole system of labeling certainly arises from preconceived concepts and definitions, obviously disregarding the fact that every definition is relative. One single equal event can be good today and awful would it have happened tomorrow. What one considers pure bliss can be a nightmare for another. Or even more relative just like a war which is an awfully negative event but still brings victory to one side and defeat to the other.
What is acceptance?
When facing an unpleasant situation we tend to ask ourselves – or God – “Why should this be happening to me?” but it’s a much wiser attitude to simply ask “Why shouldn’t this be happening to me?” The main goal of acceptance is to enable us to seek and reach harmonious and positive relationships by allowing us to express ourselves in ways that bring us closer to others while enhancing harmony. From the soul’s perspective, its aim is always to convey and manifest how common, equal and connected we all are and how much potential we have to become fully united with all existence. Acceptance is the soul’s way of overcoming the illusion men created of being separated and alienated from reality.
Because one of the essential ingredients that the soul consists of is love, it’s easy to understand how acceptance is one of its main goals and how much it is part of our true nature, the driving force that makes us move, for to deeply love one another is as natural for the soul as for a fish it’s natural to be submersed in water. Unfortunately we can forget how important this is as time goes by and simply overlook the fact that we come into this material existence to remember the challenge of acceptance and the divine truth it carries within every manifested form of love in our human relationships.
What is NOT acceptance?
While acceptance in its ultimate form can be described by love in a supreme and perfectly selfless state, its absolute opposite is ingratiation.
The unconditional acceptance and kindness has no boundaries or needs and has a very mentally healthy connotation to it, for it comes directly from one’s heart and is given freely. On the opposite side of this beautiful action there’s ingratiation which is the desire to seek and feed from signs of acceptance from others – the need to act, impress and please others out of a dreadful fear of rejection. It’s the soul-consuming addiction to do anything to become accepted and integrated, to detriment of one’s real self. By pleasing, flattering and constantly agreeing with others’ actions and opinions, one fully rejects and refuses to accept the fact that we can’t please everybody because not everyone we meet has something to teach us or to be taught by us.
How/When/What causes acceptance?
For a while, simply imagine we could all live a life where acceptance of everything that crosses our path is a natural thing, and we all understand that every second is perfect and is happening exactly when it should – everything is perfect, all is bright. By not accepting certain facts in our lives, restlessness and struggle of the soul is all that comes out of it. There is no need to be drowned in sadness for not having the same sports car as our neighbor or the opportunity to go on an amazing holiday as much as we would like or used to. If you knew your life would end in some weeks, how relevant would that car become or the cosmopolitan vacation seem in your mind?
Probably more often than you’d wish you find yourself not at all where you’d like to be at the moment, be it your workplace, a never-ending traffic jam, an uncomfortable social situation, the waiting lounge of a train station or even just alone with yourself. And sometimes it’s true that some places and situations really feel like they are made to be walked out of, but in most of the cases it’s our inability to simply accept the moment and just be that creates the sense of discomfort that brings unhappiness both to you and the ones that you are with, because we simply forget that wherever we are, we are exactly where we should be.
What are its advantages/disadvantages?
A direct consequence of acceptance is certainly happiness, be it the acceptance of who we are, others or even reality itself. One thing that is certain is that reality can never be avoided, for we are part of it, but another certain thing is that our thoughts and beliefs shape reality around us, so the key to pure bliss is to have a mind overflowing with pure thoughts so the soul can live at peace.
And it doesn’t really matter how much we try to prove to ourselves that reality can be avoided by denying whatever we are facing, because reality will always bring us obstacles for us to climb and not to run away from. For each obstacle we overcome, the stronger and brighter we become, because happiness resides in the acceptance of both good and bad moments. By avoiding the pain and discomfort, we simply doom ourselves to never really learn from what reality has to teach us and only more pain and failure can be the result of such action.
What to do when you identify with acceptance?
When any situation comes up, if we deny ourselves the bliss of accepting it, the outcome is ignorance at personal, emotional and spiritual level. And ignorance renders us unable to see our own discipline and inner strengths by masking successes and turning them into not so delightful and joyful moments, and by turning failures into dark abysses of the soul.
By denying our value and discipline we become locked into the cage of the false reality we projected, so the tendency is to be extremely pessimistic or optimistic about our capabilities. This way we only accept the challenges that seem easy and run away from the ones that we could actually face and become stronger, or end up trying to overcome impossible scenarios and then feel awful about yourself for failing.
When things go wrong…
The lack acceptance makes many things get in the way of the beautifully harmonious relationships we have, and we end up judging the persons that are with us, fearing them and exploiting them for our own interests. Acceptance gives us the will to climb over such obstacles and simply get over the differences we all have. Every being we meet is a divine opportunity to exchange peace and love, to break the illusion of duality so harmony is our final and continuous destination.
In some situations all explanations and answers seem to fail and life turns into a senseless thing that we just refuse to understand, but when one fully accepts that not everything can be known at a given moment, all the struggle ceases because acceptance makes a higher form of intelligence operate for us and gift us with bliss and inner peace, for not always surrender means acceptance of defeat, but to be comfortable with it instead.
Conclusion and final words
Certainly unconditional acceptance can sometimes sound so much easier in thoughts that when translated into the practical world and even if we are fully aware that our resistance and friction to reality does nothing else but adding up to our unhappiness and misery, and that no obstacle of difficulty can ever be solved by fighting what something actually is and trying to change it, such deep level of acceptance can really seem far-fetched at times.
And still we know that the main road to happiness is found when we cease resisting whatever is beyond the power of our desires and ability to control reality. Instead of letting ourselves become unnecessarily miserable and unhappy by resisting and fighting things that can’t be changed, why not to accept them as they are and learn from them?
By accepting what we cannot change, having the courage to affect and change the things we can, and acquiring the wisdom to be able of differentiating between them, one of the greatest keys to reach the purest form of happiness is found.
Happiness and love will never forsake us and are always willing to enter our lives; we just need to learn to accept them.