Acceptance vs Giving Up

I have a hard time with acceptance and from what I can tell I'm not the only one.  I think that it is particularly hard for people of western cultures because we are so performance driven.  Society teaches us that we should dominate nature, situations, and the people around us -  mold the world to fit our desires.  We are taught that anything else is weakness or giving up.  I believe that more accurately this is denial and denial comes with a high price - frustration, stress, and anger for starts.  For me it almost cost me my sanity.  I have a situation in my life that I refused to accept for a long while .  I would not allow it to be true because it wasn't the way that I wanted it to be.  The situation didn't fit my mental blueprint of how things should be.  I found myself behaving in ways that I wouldn't normally behave.  I couldn't sleep.  All because I wouldn't accept the reality of the situation.

Acceptance does not mean giving up.  Acceptance is the place to start.  It is ground zero - reality - the foundation to build upon.  I've begun to accept my situation.  It's not what I want, but it is what it is.  I hope that the situation develops, but for now I'm facing the reality of life. There's a lesson in there for me and I need to learn what life is trying to teach me.  After that maybe it will change and maybe it won't.  I'll have to accept it either way.

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p.s. - If you have any tips or resources to offer that help with acceptance, please leave a note in the comments.

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  1. Looking at my ability to parent helped me accept my parents' failures. That improved my relationship with them.

    Accepting a nearly 50% pay cut as reality helped me learn the difference between needs and wants.

    Some lessons are harder than others but they all have something to teach us about ourselves. Looking for the lesson can help you get through.

    1. Thank you for your words Linda. Still trying to fully comprehend the lesson.

  2. Accepting can lead the way to understanding, and understanding can lead the way to healing. Denying the situation or trying to ignore it prevents both of these things.

    In my own life, I denied and tried to ignore so much about myself, because I was ashamed of it. I had habits I didn't like, that I wasn't able to change, no matter how much I tried to muscle myself and fight against them. When I stopped fighting and learned to take a deep look, I was able to see where my mind was misunderstanding myself and those around me on a subconscious level. Seeing those misunderstandings was the first step in clearing them up. I needed to stop judging myself in order to change my habits.

    In my relationships with others, I always had a hard time accepting that relationships grow and change--that they follow an ebb and flow. I interpreted the other person's actions as meaning something about me, as being a reaction to something I've done. In essence, I was taking responsibility for their behavior. And yet, everyone is on their own journey, and we never know what is truly going on in someone else's mind. All we can do is seek to understand, and to realize that it is not about us.

    The biggest tool to help with acceptance is self-love, understanding, and self-acceptance. I hope that helps in your situation.

  3. Acceptance is an internal acknowledgment. The trick is to accept things you naturally shrink from. So here's a comparison. Think of it like walking out the door and it's a perfectly temperate day. You'd probably think to yourself, "Ah, nice." And then move about your day. That light Ah accompanied by muscle relaxation and a gentle smile is acceptance. Now, truly get there with pain.