An unknown author once wrote that absolutely nothing happens in our world by mistake. Understanding this, recognizing it as a simple truth of life, can be an incredibly liberating step on the path to acceptance.
Simply put, acceptance is the ability to give in to the reality of a situation, without attempting to alter it. Typically, the concept of acceptance is associated with something difficult or uncomfortable, whether it is an occurrence external to ourselves, or the most important acceptance of all: self-acceptance.
Whether one is struggling to accept some event that has transpired or an aspect of their personal life, a crucial first step to happiness is embracing life on life’s terms.
Essentially, acceptance means that one cannot resist or struggle, but also, one cannot merely tolerate. Acceptance requires a removal of negativity and resistance. When you truly accept something, you believe it is the appropriate circumstance.
Self-acceptance, for example, emerges when we accept every aspect of our individual selves, unconditionally. This means acknowledging limitations and imperfections as inherent and necessary.
These characteristics are just as valuable as those we consider positive, and must be accepted equivalently, as they help comprise the whole self. And in practicing self-acceptance, we cannot pick and choose.
Psychologist Robert Holden writes in his book, Happiness Now, the level of happiness we can accept, receive and enjoy, directly correlates with our level of self-acceptance.
Teaching ourselves to enjoy the happiness that self-acceptance brings, makes us better equipped to accept the world around us, events and others as they are.
Acceptance is a concept explored in psychology, as well as many religions, all of which seek to remove judgment, the opposite of acceptance. Buddhists, for instance, believe all life is suffering, and the acceptance and acknowledgement of that suffering leads to enlightenment.
On the other hand, judging this suffering as unfair can foster anger or even rages, which are obviously not positive emotions. This acceptance is a learned, practiced concept, however, and it may take some time to adopt it fully into your own life.
Remember, when you are upset in some way by a situation or person, your actions and feelings are the only ones you can control.
Accept that life is happening as it should, and transcend those feelings of frustration and sadness and find the serenity within.