Acceptance and Why it is Necessary NOW
The concept of acceptance was introduced to me years ago when I was studying Buddhist philosophy and practicing vipassana meditation. Over the years lessons on acceptance constantly show up in different ways teaching me what it is to accept. There have been numerous life events that have challenged me and my ability to accept including; divorce, the death of my closest friend’s 15 year old daughter, job issues, break ups with friends and lovers. You get it and I am sure you probably have your own list of life events that have challenged you and your ability to accept life on lifes’ terms. But the lessons I am learning now due to the Corona Virus have been something I never would have imagined. So here are a few things I learned about acceptance and why I believe it is so important now.
Acceptance does not mean that I like or want this situation.
Having acceptance does not mean that I like something or that I want it. But if I am resisting and rejecting I am causing my own suffering especially if it is something that is out of my control like the Corona Virus. Of course I am doing what I can to protect myself and others such as washing my hands frequently, social distancing, and taking care of myself. It doesn’t mean that I like the anxiety, the chaos, or the injustice that is happening throughout the world. But I am allowing the feelings to come up as necessary and acknowledging what I am feeling. I am making space for what is happening and giving myself permission to experience without judgement or shame.
Acceptance is a process and requires effort by me.
Remember that accept is a verb, which means it’s an active process to accept and one that must be practiced consciously. Often people think that by practicing acceptance you won’t be able to make a change or you are taking a passive stance. You can accept your emotions and acknowledge their impermanence, and accept your behavior one day and know you can change it tomorrow. It takes time to change the brain, every time you practice acceptance towards something, you are creating new neural pathways which is what changes your thinking. It’s natural to go back and forth between feelings of acceptance and feelings of resistance. Be gentle with yourself and remember it is a process. Allow yourself the experience, and notice your internal critic getting quieter.
Acceptance doesn’t mean that it will be this way forever.
Having to accept what is happening with the Corona Virus today does not mean it will be like this forever. It is easy to get caught in fear and anxiety without remembering that nothing is constant except change. Try to focus your acceptance on the present, as well as having a realistic hope for the future. There is a fine balance between accepting the present, without resistance and the desire that things will change, holding on to the hope and knowing that it will change.
We can all agree that COVID-19 is here and “We can make it through this”. We are being called to embrace the inevitable future and to create a new society. The world is in this together, things are changing every day and you continue to educate yourself. Wash your hands, avoid unnecessary contact with others, prepare the best you can for how to take care of yourself and your loved ones. Acceptance means you are no longer resisting the reality of the situation, and this is necessary.
Please contact me if you want to schedule a free consult with me especially if you are struggle with accepting this difficult situation.