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The art of acceptance


In the field of self-help, the dialogue of perseverance dominates. You are often encouraged to make your dreams come true and not let anyone hold you back, to always fight your corner and take what you can and want to from life. While all of this is positive and most certainly should be preached to every corner of the Earth, we need some room to talk about acceptance.

In the midst of such overwhelming aspiration lies difficulties and changes that can only be overcome once you accept them. Life isn’t linear, often moving in mysterious ways, and there is a point where everyone must learn to accept the bad with the good, the successes with the failures,[Why does failure come before success?] and the acts of contrition with the injustices. The art of acceptance can be learned in three phases:

The art of surrender

A challenge to acceptance is the need to be in control. [Be brave! How to  step out of your comfort zone] The truth is you can have a tried and true method for dealing so many aspects in life, from trivial situations to the more serious, and something can still go wrong or stop working. Surrendering to the possibility of this is ultimately productive. While accepting that bad things happen can sound like giving up, it is actually the gateway to improvement and a willingness to adapt. Let go of your need for control, and there’s so many more opportunities to learn that you’ll open yourself up to.

The art of embracing change

Change is the biggest bugbear of people the world over. When you reach a period of comfort and stability, only for change to come and undo that comfort and stability, it can be hard to accept.[Feeling low or upset? How to change your life around]  In this case, acceptance can be good for your state of mind. Not accepting change can make you stubborn, bitter and self-pitying. You are not unique or alone in dealing with change, and good things can come out of it if you go along with it.

Furthermore, change isn’t something that happens to you, but also something you can cause yourself. The popular mantra ‘I accept the things I cannot change and change the things I can’ is enduring for being a simple yet truthful summary of life. There may have been times where making changes yourself was necessary for you but impacted others unexpectedly or indirectly, and sometimes people make choices that affect you but are ultimately for a greater good. Accept change by accepting your responsibility and power when it comes to change.

The art of going with the flow

The greatest gift of acceptance is peace of mind.[5 ways to lead a peaceful life]  Freeing your conscience from thoughts about a given topic that doesn’t actively concern you, and instead accepting all the decisions, events and outcomes, will be better for your mental health and well-being. A lot of things we struggle to accept are situations we have opinions on but don’t affect our lives. Don’t take on the worries and responsibilities of other people in your mind and give yourself a break. Instead, focus on yourself.

Acceptance as a word sounds passive but it could be the most influential choice you ever make. The ability to view life and its challenges as something to consciously accept grants you the freedom to then live life. Take every struggle or obstacle you face with an open mind and focus on the power you have in your day-to-day life – that is the art of acceptance.


This article was contributed by Pink Moods.