Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequence of any misfortune. – William James
All philosophers, saints and seers; all religious texts emphasize on the importance of acceptance in a person’s life. One who choses acceptance choses improvement over his current situation. As it is only after we accept that we are able to head towards the next steps.
Next steps? – Closing a particular chapter of life forever, looking for a suitable solution after recognizing the problem or making peace with what can’t be altered or improved.
Though acceptance is a simple practice which carries power of affecting one’s life to a great extent, it is not very popular. The reason being that most of the people see acceptance as a sign of losing or giving up.
Kids grow up listening to tales of brave warriors and kings more than the stories of kindness and learning that bruises are part of life. No wonder that over time bravery for them becomes synonymous with fighting. And the very word ‘acceptance’ contradicts with this deep held belief.
It is hard for people to accept that they have some problem with their behavior or life. Rather when confronted they switch to the denial mode and go on fighting the truth, thereby deteriorating the situation.
To understand this better let’s consider following two cases.
Case 1- A person having anger issues but not accepting this behavior of his.
Every time such person gets angry and creates a ruckus, he blames others or some external factor for it. He blames others for creating such situations in which anger is the sole necessary solution. Such attitude will only worsen things for him. However, the correct approach to this should be accepting the fact that one has anger issues and he needs to work towards its improvement with the help of measures like anger management techniques or self-behavioral watch etc.
Case 2- Past tragedy e.g.- death of dear ones, huge monetary loss.
Many a times we don’t let bygone be gone. We repeat it over and over in mind. Unaware that every time we relive that unpleasant memory it creates similar feelings, thereby releasing similar hormones it had at the time of actual incident. Leading to depression, stress and several other health issues. In such cases acceptance of the fact that certain things are irreparable and beyond our control, and moving on is the only solution. This can make our life much easier compared to fighting reality and calculating possibilities that the said event shouldn’t have occurred, how it could have been avoided or why it happened.
In recent times with mental health being much talked about, people are gradually becoming aware about the term ‘acceptance’ and its practice. Daily affirmations work great for beginners. Though their effectiveness is definite, yet as affirmations work over deep-rooted feelings the results often take time to be fully noticed.
For a more sorted life it’s important that we learn and teach the coming generations that true acceptance, be it of self or of any element beyond our control, isn’t a trait of weakness rather it needs a lot of strength and perseverance.