Perspectives: Acceptance
Riddles (& Formulas)

September 18, 2011 Print version       Other articles by this author

Acceptance is hard...Until it's NOT. Acceptance is challenging...except when it's NOT.
The moment I allow it into my space, my thinking, my being, it [miraculously] shows up in all other areas of my life. Although I know I'm hardly alone in any of this, I choose to make "I" statements here because they are most effective.

There are things that I've fought against & experienced lots of difficulty accepting ABOUT myself so it makes perfect sense that I've found such a hard time "being" accepted by others. My body, my [sometimes] dark & brooding demeanor, my ramblings, my process, my candor...are ALL things I've felt were what was "wrong" with me. I've spent the majority of the 36 years of my existence on this earth shifting, bending, changing, & transforming for many reasons which did not serve me. Until today that is...

I realize now that in many situations & instances I've made things a lot more difficult than necessary. This has not been by accident however. Even the "detours" I've taken have led me exactly where I need to be in terms of my consciousness, & ways of being. What I understand now is that acceptance is a pathway to clarity. As I navigate my way through life as well as through the process of accepting things I don't particularly understand or agree with, I gain a sense of clarity & an even greater amount of peace/resolve.

The more I think about it, acceptance really does become a lot easier to wrap my mind around.
I liken it to an equation or a formula, if you will---which can be simple & other times can confuse the hell out of me. Acceptance (for me) is about surrender. Surrender is about relinquishing control. Relinquishing control is about trust. Trust is about willingness. Willingness is about acknowledgment. Acknowledgment leads me right back to the place where I usually begin which is at a standstill. When laid out as such, parts of it make sense to me & still...some of it doesn't.

Whether we're talking about being accepted by others or by one's's pretty much the same formula. What I realize now is that in many of the instances where I've made things more difficult for myself than need be, it has primarily been because I didn't allow myself to be still &/or silent enough to simply "let things be". I've developed some very useful skills over the years as an adult, one of which is the ability to fight. As much as I know at my core I'm someone who doesn't enjoy fighting or arguing, I acknowledge that many of my attempts at "defending" myself (from hurt, judgment, loss, pain, & most of all "being misunderstood") --- though well intentioned, have ALL been [exhausting] exercises in futility.

One thing that is particularly interesting to me is that acceptance is a word which is used not only in reference to matters such as addiction, but also when talking about grief. Both grief & addiction strike a chord with me because if I'm really being honest with & about myself...I've experienced my share of both. When I refer to addiction (or perhaps dependency is a more appropriate word), I'm willing to admit that I've not only gotten familiar with things being difficult, but have also come to expect it (or rather, have subconsciously become dependent upon it). Thus, when viewed in this light...much of the inner & outer turmoil I've experienced makes sense.

There is a fine line between work (and activity) that is focused; determined, driven & work that is a struggle. As I grow, I realize that I've become an expert at the "art of the struggle". Perhaps what led me to this initial examination of acceptance in the first place is the realization of the fact that things don't have to be as difficult as they are in many cases.

Whatever the case may be, I now understand that the work of acceptance is ongoing. It also need not be hard (except when it IS). Of course there are things that are harder than others to accept or come to grips with, but even those things are par for the course & thus a part of the never ending "process". My goal now (as I begin & end with ME) in whatever I experience is to welcome ALL of it, fight less with myself, with others, with circumstances, & ultimately with life. I know that a large part of what I'm dealing with here is OLD & is determined to hang on, in many cases for dear life...(for fear of being abandoned ---ANOTHER DISCUSSION TOPIC ALTOGETHER) or for fear of the "unknown".

All of this leads me right back to the aforementioned "formula"; Surrender = Control = Trust = Willingness = Stillness & Silence= Acceptance"----all of which eventually (in one way or another) almost ALWAYS result in CLARITY, PEACE, & RESOLVE.