The many faces of acceptance could be clumped into 5 groups (although there could be other variants).
All of them have one particular kind of acceptance at heart.
First, these are the five:
- Accepting loss.
Dealing with grief or trauma has five stages – denial, anger. bargaining, depression, acceptance. I should say stereotypically it has these five stages. Even when dealing with the death of a loved one, these stages are sometimes bypassed or so brief they are hardly noticed.
- Accepting your childhood.
What happened and how it played out. Whether it was shit or good or however you perceive it, it happened and couldn’t have happened any other way. This means not using it as an excuse to do or not to do something in the present.
- Accepting a present situation.
Not resisting your immediate surroundings. Whether you are stuck in traffic, hungry, thirsty, around people you don’t like, feeling overwhelmed by love you feel, whatever is in front of you. This means being able to focus on your breath.
- Accepting help from others.
Not trying to do everything yourself. Knowing that no person is an island. We are inter-dependent beings. This means dropping the fear that you will owe someone something if they help you. And the feelings of unjustified guilt that someone will say to you,
“You are not enough. You are not doing enough.”
- Accepting others.
Denying the inclination to try to change others, to mold them the way you think they should be or how you would like them to be. To “fix” them. It’s sometimes just a faint urge to expect or hope someone will change.
If you have an open heart for someone – as they are – it gives you the power to love them completely or the gumption to leave them.
Accepting yourself is the nucleus or heart of these different faces.
All your flaws, doubts, mistakes and great leaps of faith.
Loving yourself means you…
Take care of your body…
Take care of your health…
Take care of your mind.
Be kind to yourself and others.
We know all this.
We could give all the right “advice” to someone else.
It takes courage to actually practice it for ourselves, though…
even when we don’t feel like it.
Sometimes it feels difficult to gain traction after we’ve made mistakes or some not-so-great decisions.
Don’t dwell on it.
Learn from mistakes, sure. But don’t think that you are those mistakes.
It’s possible to strip that down to its bare minimum.
During meditation, we all have thoughts. They come and go.
That’s all they do.
They distract us from our breath.
With just a little bit of mindfulness, we can experience the fact that we are not our thoughts.
In that space between our thoughts, is acceptance.