Acceptance

Issue 2. November 25, 2022

If you’re constantly pissed off, like if the barista gets your coffee order wrong or at traffic on the
higher, you might need to learn acceptance.
That was my problem for most of my life. Once I started to understand that lack of acceptance
was my problem, things began to change. I came to understand that it wasn’t the coffee order or
the traffic – it was my thinking was the source of all my problems.
It became clear that my difficulty was because, deep down, I had a belief that these things
SHOULD NOT BE HAPPENING!
That thinking IS the problem!
We don’t get to decide if something SHOULD or SHOULD NOT be happening. What we get to
do is decide what we’re going to do about something that actually IS happening!
Acceptance means focusing on what is actually happening, not what you think SHOULD BE
happening. It means being in the present moment.
“You cannot solve a problem by condemning it.”
When you get pissed off that you got the wrong coffee or that there’s a lot of traffic, you’re
condemning these “problems.” But the problem is actually your thinking.
Acceptance doesn’t mean you have to like it. You don’t have to like the fact that you got the
wrong coffee order of that there’s traffic.
Acceptance means to stop resisting and stop avoiding, being really present.
Perhaps you’re like me and you’ve heard all these sayings before…
“Don’t take a snowstorm personally, put on boots.”
“Better to put slippers on your feet than to carpet the world.”
“You can pave the road or you can wear sandals.”

You can focus on the world around you – or – you can fix yourself, fix your thinking. If you
resist the situation, then you can’t do anything about it. But if you accept it, then you can be at
peace and be present.
A couple of areas in which acceptance has been really profound for me are emotional acceptance
and self-acceptance.
Our emotions build on each other. If you feel worried, then get angry that you’re worried, those
emotions combine and your worry is multiplied.

But…. if you feel worried and accept that you’re worried, then you only have the original feeling
without adding additional emotion to it. So if you’re worried, just be worried. It will pass.
Emotions are energy and they will morph and change.
The most important kind of acceptance for me has been self-acceptance. Remember, you can’t
change something by condemning it.
You’re never going to beat yourself up into being a sane, rational, functional mature person. If
you accept that you have certain traits or you did that thing instead of fighting it, it will allow you
to face reality and work toward the kind of life you want. Starting right now, in the present
moment.

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