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Acceptance as a practice

Updated: Mar 19


I know it's hard, it isn't easy to accept so much of what affects us. It's not easy to sit with the discomfort of things as they are at times. As westerners steeped in capitalism mentality we have been programed to keep wanting more, to change what can be changed, to refuse and rebel against what doesn't feel right or doesn't serve whatever purpose and goal we may have. It's such a deeply set code that it guides us with little questioning or examination.


I'm not saying this internalized programming to not accept things as they are is wrong, or that it isn't useful. In fact, I would say that it exists in part due to evolutionary survival strategies that have kept this species going this far but also has been a requirement in creating change across time. Resisting acceptance may be rooted in our survival, but the maintenance of this resistance has also been extensively utilized and manipulated by agendas that serve systems other than ourselves. I often hear people tell me that they fear accepting things may keep things as they are, perpetuating whatever situation they may feel stuck in. In my experience, accepting things as they are, not in a deterministic way, but with curiosity, usually allows things to shift, change.


When you hear the word acceptance, what comes up for you? is there a part of you that resists? just observe and follow it to see what it's linked to, what aspect of you is it protecting, what does it fear would have to give up if it accepts? Depending on the cultural and family narratives we grew up with, acceptance as a practice can be highly problematic. As you can see, implementing acceptance may require some practice.


I invite you to think of acceptance as a tool that can help to see your current reality in a more expanded way. What if acceptance was not seen as a threat, or as a compromise to your autonomy, or as a 'giving up' but as a neutral point of reference that can let you see the situation from different points of views, different angles that can create more space to a seemingly constricted situation. This takes practice of course and some trust in your ability to sustain the discomfort that it can create.


Here's an exercise to try, the next time you find yourself in a situation that feels difficult, uncomfortable, notice the initial reaction, observe it, find the way it affects your body, what is tight, what is pressured. Let that observation be a way of accepting, a curious way of noticing without judging it, without making it bigger or hiding it. Next notice the emotions that come with that experience and the narrative that accompanies that emotion, observe it, find the most neutral way to stay with it all. Notice the discomfort and sit with it, watch it rise and fall, see it through and release it, connect with whatever emotion is there and meet it with acceptance, help it move through. Meet the narrative without attaching yourself to it, find the neutral space that comes with hearing it and give it space so it dissipates. Keep finding the neutral space that leads to acceptance in all situations, build on the acceptance, keep expanding it and let it take you towards trust in your ability to accept the difficult moments of life.



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