Why Acceptance is Key to Inner Peace
There isn’t a formula for true happiness, except perhaps, an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings.
Part of the real beauty of life is its unpredictability. Nothing is permanent, everything changes, and anything can happen… which makes it an exciting, hopeful, optimistic, and constant adventure.
A lot of things can happen – both good and bad - that will help you grow and transform who you are, which has a significant impact on your life.
The BIG problem that we (as people) need to overcome in truly understanding and embracing this reality, is our extreme reluctance for change; our deeply rooted refusal to accept what has happened, especially when it's something we don’t want, agree with, or something that doesn’t align with our goals, values, beliefs, expectations, or even human rights.
Sometimes the forces are completely against you, and you keep trying to hang in there…trying to hold together something that was but no longer is. You might be doing everything you can to create change and improvement, thinking that people and situations will change in time - spending a pile of money with that intention, and wasting a lot of time on the wrong people who you believed to be the right people.
Yet the reality is that no matter how much time, effort, money and energy you throw at it, you can’t change any of it if the universe is against it all and against your actions. Why? Because the one constant in life is that things always change. For better or worse.
The truth is, when you’re trying to change the unchangeable, you’re already off the rails and have lost control. Despite the fact that everything around you might be completely backward, and you know that, your refusal to accept it and persistance in trying to ‘fix’ or ‘correct’ it all are foolish.
Imagine putting all your energy, time, money, and effort into things that won’t change? That’s madness and it’s also exhausting, painful and useless. What a waste of time. What a waste of life.
For this reason you need to cultivate the ability to truly accept whatever comes and embrace it. You will stop wasting time and stop wasting your precious life. Taking on this accountability is incredibly important to your future.
Develop the habit of looking at whatever happens through an acceptance mindset instead of relentlessly fighting the constant resistance of monsoonal waves.
Of course, life will bring many challenges, such as the death of someone you love, relationship breakdowns, power struggles and all sorts of other crazy stuff that goes on from those who desire to make life (which is fundamentally simple) to be as complicated as possible.
It’s not easy to accept, embrace and cope with all these problems when you’re suffering and wishing those things would have never happened in the first place.
By cultivating acceptance in your life right now, you’ll likely cope with future crises in a different way and view them from a different perspective. You will accept instead of resist and you’ll do it with lightning speed; determined to not waste a second more of your precious time.
I’m naturally a fighter - it’s in my make-up, my blood. And let me tell you, that inner wiring brings so many benefits in life to get things on my terms. I protect what needs to be protected; achieve what others don't achieve; survive what many wouldn’t survive. I’m proud of my fighting instincts – they’re the reason I’ve survived and thrived beyond so much.
Yet I have also learned through experience that there is only so far you can push this fighting spirit. There is only so far you can fight without it becoming a waste of your time, energy and emotional reserve. I am and will always be a fighter, but I carefully assess and select where I put that spirit to best use these days.
The reason I do this is so I can use my time and energy to reap the greatest benefits for me, as opposed to being a waste of my own resources when it’s used on the wrong things and people. I also focus on the outcome I want to achieve, rather than any other motives or agendas – which is how I’ve always been wired.
For things that aren’t worthy of your time or effort, it’s good to receive what happens with acceptance because if you fight and resist it, you will generate turbulence in your mind.
By accepting things as they are, it’s the way you can make your life flow smoothly instead of roughly.
Yes, acceptance is a choice—a hard one most definitely, especially for a fighting spirit like me, but a choice nonetheless.
There are two ways out of a problem: accept what’s happening or assess whether it’s changeable or can be improved and act accordingly based on that assessment (either accepting or addressing / fighting back accordingly).
The assessment is critically important, because you might end up fighting against something that’s unlikely to change (which could have been foreseen with some prior thought). That would just make you miserable and have you struggling against the universe; being overcome by forces far bigger than you.
Learning to accept things as they present themselves, is a helpful tool in all aspects of life. It’s a skill that has to be developed and mastered, because intuitively as people, we don’t always accept things as they present themselves.
An example of this is that we will keep seeing the best in others and believing some people are kind and decent, when their behavior and actions are completely the contrary.
Yet we keep clinging to our expectations, our desires, our past recollections, and our hopes to believe they are fundamentally good people, and so we keep putting ourselves through their hell because we don’t want to believe the reality.
Whether it’s a family loss, a missed opportunity, a relationship break down or a sudden change (or upheaval) in your life or expectations, being able to accept things that are out of your control will help you maintain inner peace and happiness. This is incredibly important to your emotional health and wellbeing.
Acceptance is the key to convert momentary happiness to enduring happiness. It helps you move from feeling happy to actually being happy.
Practicing acceptance prepares you to live in this changing world, where you never know what’s going to happen next. Acceptance is a form of empowerment and one of the key components of adaptation.
Let me clarify that acceptance is not at all related to weakness and is definitely not conformity or mediocrity. Heck no. Ordinarily, those words don’t even work their way into my vocabulary.
We simply need to learn how to identify when it’s time to persist and when it’s time to accept.
Finding the lesson or purpose behind every challenge will help you embrace it instead of fighting it.
Try not to judge what happens to you. Sure, for the easier and more transparent problems, you might find the possible (logical) reason that might help explain it, which enables you to assess and address it with acceptance or attention. However, for the more complex problems, you won’t understand the ‘why’ for a long time.
In fact, you might never know. That’s a long time to wait or live in a state of uncertainty and misery simply because you won’t accept it and keep trying to instinctively fight and fix something that is meant to be broken.
The important thing is not to understand why something happened. Our understanding can wait, but our obedience can’t. In this way, when something unpredictable happens, instead of complaining and over-thinking it, choose to live with it. Find ways to adapt.
I know it’s hard to practice acceptance when you deeply wish things were different. Especially when it’s a HUGE thing in your life. But the truth is, sometimes you can’t change your reality, even when you try with all your might. Events, people, and circumstances simply won’t allow that to occur whether it’s right or wrong.
So, instead of staring at the closed door in front of you or getting exhausted, despondent, distressed, and bruised as you try to break it down, why not turn around and see how many windows are open and what exciting adventure you will pursue next. This way of thinking takes time and practice so don’t feel bad if it’s difficult to put into practice at first.
Always remember that life is short and that you are important too. Think about what you’d like to do with your life. Think about what legacy you would like to leave behind, and work hard on achieving things that are positive and transformational so you don’t live with the regret of wasting any more time on doors that are jammed shut by circumstances beyond your control, and people who refuse to do anything different.