Acceptance is a ‘willingness to tolerate a difficult situation we may suffer or be subjected to’. An ability to accept a belief, theory, or change willingly, enthusiastically, or wholeheartedly. From a psychological point of view acceptance is a person's submission to the reality of a situation, recognising a development or situation without attempting to change it or protest it. Acceptance, like endurance is ‘the ability to endure an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way’.
Unfortunately, many of us are finding it incredibly challenging to remain positive, enthusiastic, and accepting during these recent difficult times. We are being forced therefore to somehow condition ourselves to accept what is happening and then learn to respond in an appropriate way. While this is difficult it is beneficial if we can acknowledge that life is merely a series of phases, one phase following another - knowing that these difficult periods will inevitably be replaced by new and different circumstances. Although we may be feeling overwhelmed thinking there is no end to the ongoing drama in which we find ourselves, we can take comfort in accepting that ‘this too shall pass, eventually.’
When we take responsibility for the things we can change, we can more easily surrender to the things we cannot, remembering all the while that this phase will, without doubt, give way to another. Rarely do we get through life unscathed; even the most successful and wise people among us experience pain and sadness in their lives.
Would we wish to turn back time and undo what is? Perhaps in the current climate of extreme lifestyle changes and forced isolation we might. Would we change anything about our own life circumstances? Perhaps under the current conditions we would. Many people are indeed feeling frustrated and less accepting, wishing they could return to their life as they once knew it.
Would I change my circumstances, well no I wouldn’t! I see life as the most precious gift we will ever have. We come to this world alone and we leave alone and what’s in between are challenges we must face. Bad things can and do happen, and I have experienced my share, but bad things have a time limit as do the good things.
Of course, we all make mistakes. But our mistakes don’t make us bad people. Fortunately, I have gained wisdom and empathy from my own experiences and have, I hope, become a better person for them. I’ve found that pain is like a door – once you move through it you find a strength you never knew you possessed. It’s often about resilience and acceptance and having the faith in your ability to move through that door.
Therefore, if we want to move forward with our life, we can’t afford to let our bad choices or experiences dictate our future. How then, you might ask, do we weigh the misery of our mistakes against the joys we gain from some of our better choices? Perhaps it is simply that we must embrace and accept with gratitude the outcomes of all life’s experiences, the good and the bad, and have faith in our ability to in love and light, accept what the universe gifts us.