“And acceptance is the key to all my problems. When I am disturbed it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation-some fact of my life-unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.” (A. A. Big Book, 3rd ed, p 449)
Acceptance as defined by The World Dictionary “is the act of accepting, a favorable approval, the short version. It is the act of taking something offered.
Acceptance is the opportunity to create a shift in your belief, attitude and emotional state of being. When you view the world through our history, we see what supports our beliefs. The world is defined by our experience. We see and hear only half the story.
Life experiences do not come with an instruction manual. From birth to death, we are bombarded with difficulties and simplicity. Which we choose is up to us. As children we learn from the adults in our world, other children bring their experiences into the mix. Without outside influence to help make sense of what happens, it is easy to develop beliefs that bring chaos.
Children learn what they live. Remember that poem? Author Dorothy Lae Note, Ph.D. Children Learn What they Live (© 1972). When met with criticism, hate, jealousy, love, and joy, a child develops a way of life to support the emotions provided.
Children left to their own way of thinking internalize life experiences. Without information to the contrary, children begin to believe events are their vault. Simply stated, “it would not have happened if I was a good boy/girl.” Abuse is my fault, I was not good enough.
Enough of these life experiences and children grow up with little joy or peace. Life skills required for coping with stress, disappointment, and the zillion other daily happenings, are not developed. Every occurrence is translated to a personal attack of some sort. Reasoning is distorted.
Developing an alternate view regarding self in relation to the world is a learned skill. Desire is required before setting out on this path. One must want to change beliefs about self, then the world.
Acceptance means allowing others to be who they are without imposing personal beliefs upon them. You cannot know the other side of the story. All you can know for sure is the other person acted in a manner that created a reaction in you. Now, this is a simple statement and does not encompass all of life’s circumstances, including violence. This discussion is about daily life, being cut off n the freeway or check out line, for instance.
If you are in a violent relationship, you need to reach out and get help. Find a safe way of leaving and rebuild your life. Get help, you do not need to stay. Your belief system will be challenged.
Acceptance of a person, place, thing, or situation does not mean you remain. Acceptance is about bringing peace to self, freeing up those mental resources required to effect change. When you are stressed, fearful, obsessed about a situation, there is no room left to consider alternatives.
Practice acceptance of the person who cut you off on the freeway, you will reduce your blood pressure, and possible avoid an accident. Not to mention your drive may become more enjoyable. Instead of hating something, accept it as necessary part of life, or a temporary situation.
Try it out on everything and person that irritates you. No more name calling, that is not practicing acceptance. Tell yourself, “It is what it is for now.” Depending on the situation, devise a series of questions that may assist you in creating a change.
For all situations, no matter what, acceptance that it is exactly as it should be at this moment, is the key to unlocking a moment of peace.