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Acceptance is a Sign of Strength [and the Only Logical Way to Live]

by | Jan 29, 2019

I’ve struggled with the concept of acceptance for a long time. It’s only recently that I’m starting to finally get it.

When I initially thought about acceptance, I equated it with giving in or giving up. I felt in order to accept, I had to give up my power and bend to the will of others. If you hear the phrase, “Just accept it,” it usually is accompanied with, “Get over it, there is nothing you can do about it anyway.”

I realized those beliefs go along with a victim mentality. Thinking that things happen to me and the only way I can exert power is in my reaction.

This morning I’m sitting in a coffee shop writing away. The cafe is a beautiful new space with lots of tables and comfortable chairs. It was built to accommodate many more people than those here today.

After sitting here for 30 minutes, someone sits near me and begins to watch a video. I can’t quite make out the words of the video, but I can certainly hear it and it bothers me.

After a few minutes of being upset, I think, HAH! This is perfect! I’m writing about acceptance and here is a person bugging me. What an amazing example. What am I going to do about it?

What options do I have?

  • I could ask them to shut off the video or use their headphones.
  • I could sit here and stew about how rude they are and how much I’m suffering.
  • I could pop on my headphones and drown out the noise.
  • I could see the distraction as a perfect lesson for me to better understand and write about acceptance.

The wonderful part is I can choose how I react. I can see the distraction as something I can choose to address. I don’t have to automatically react. By being present, I can take a moment and choose my reaction.

A big switch in my thinking is understanding that nothing happens to me randomly.

It’s a big adjustment in thinking, but one that’s essential to understanding the strength and power of acceptance.

If you can begin to accept that you have a role to play in your experiences, you are not a victim. You are simply seeing the results of your thoughts, beliefs, and feelings.

If you can do that, there is no other logical response to what happens other than acceptance.

I’m not saying it is an easy or automatic reaction. Many of us have been conditioned to react to the outside as an intrusion.

We see the equation as:

Something happens  -> We react

 

But the equation is:

We think, believe, and feel -> Something happens  -> We react

As I was sitting listening to the obnoxious video player, it would have been just as easy to ask them to shut it off or to put on my headphones. But since I now realize their arrival wasn’t a random event, I can react as if I had something to do with it.

I’m learning that I can choose my reaction and it empowers me.

It takes practice, but it’s well worth it.

By the way, the person with the video left a long time ago.

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