I’ve been thinking of acceptance this week. There are so many different types of acceptance. There’s Social acceptance, self acceptance, conditional, expressed and implied acceptance. I’m sure you could even come up with more types. This week, what I’m thinking about is acceptance of your present moment.
I was challenged to consider what acceptance means and feels like to me.
When I first was asked to consider acceptance this week, I immediately thought of the act of giving up. If I’m accepting a situation, then doesn’t that mean that I’m done trying to change it? This was my original connection to the word acceptance, but I thought a little more about this and came up with a yes, no, maybe answer.
It’s so clear, right?
If I accept my current situation, then in a way it’s an acknowledgement of what is happening right now. Maybe I like the current situation, or maybe I don’t like the current situation. What I came to realize was that liking or not liking what is happening right now really isn’t related to accepting the current situation.
This led me back to my initial reaction of acceptance. Is it really giving up? When I think more about this, then I realize that I can accept my current situation and still attempt to change it.
Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation.
What it really means is acknowledging what is happening right now. When I can acknowledge my current situation, then I can make better choices about whether I want to change my present circumstances or not. A lack of acceptance actually closes off my choices because I’m in denial of what is happening. There’s no need to change something if it’s not really happening, right?
There are so many chances to practice acceptance.
As I’ve gone through this week, I’ve been presented with many chances to practice acceptance. Life is funny that way. When you’re ready to learn a lesson, then you’ll be presented with many opportunities to learn it.
Anyway, this week I’ve been given situations that I found to be unacceptable at least when they were first presented to me. What I found was that when I couldn’t accept the situation my body had an immediate reaction. I felt upset, tight, closed down and not willing to listen to alternatives. There was a disconnect between what was happening in my reality and what I wanted. This meant that I couldn’t really move forward on a path that would take me where I wanted to go because I hadn’t accepted the situation as it currently was. In one instance after considering the situation for several hours, I found that I could finally accept what had happened. Only then was I able to figure out where I wanted to go next on my path. Until I could accept, I was stuck in the moment.
In contrast, I’ve also had unexpected situations happen this week that I was able to accept pretty quickly. When that happened, the reaction of my body and mind was quite different. I felt an ease in my body and a willingness to be open to the new situation. As I accepted what had just happened, I was immediately able to figure out my next move on my path forward.
The difference between accepting and not accepting for me this week was quite profound. For me the most interesting part was noticing how I dealt with different situations and how my body reacted to the different situations. I found acceptance to be very much easier on my body, and I felt able to move forward much more easily.
Can you accept nonacceptance?
Their might be times when you just can’t accept your present circumstances. That doesn’t make you a bad person. It just gives you a chance to notice how you’re reacting. Maybe it’s something that you’ll never be able to accept. Or maybe, with time, you’ll be able to accept and move forward again. In the meantime, can you accept your nonacceptance of the situation? It’s something to think about.
Acceptance is up to you. It can simply be a decision that you make.
As always, I’m going to recommend that you notice your body as you think about acceptance of any situation. Pay attention to how your body is reacting. Is it tight, upset, and closed down like mine was when I had difficulty accepting something? Or, is it open to what has happened and filled with ease as you look for what needs to happen next? Learn to bring your body into the conversation. It has a lot to say when you’re ready to listen.
Yoga therapy can help you listen to the messages that your body is sending to you. If you’d like to learn more about how yoga therapy can help you to experience acceptance with more ease, than sign up for a free chat. Let’s talk about bringing more acceptance in your life.