December 2      

Today's quotation:

Acceptance is not submission; it is acknowledgement of the facts of a situation, then deciding what you're going to do about it.

Kathleen Casey Theisen

Today's Meditation:

It's kind of funny how you can tell a person that they need to accept a situation, only to have them become belligerent and say something like, "There's no way I'm going to accept this!"  The truth is, though, that we have to accept things that actually are reality-- we don't have to like them, and we most certainly can do everything we can to change a situation that we don't like, but until we accept that things are as they are, there's absolutely nothing that we can do about anything.

Accepting something simply means acknowledging that something is as it is.  It doesn't mean that we approve of it, and it doesn't mean that we're not going to try to do something about it.  If I'm failing a class, then I can't do anything to change that situation until and unless I acknowledge and accept the fact that I'm failing.  If I get laid off (and it has happened), railing against the situation and denying it won't help me a bit.  But once I accept the fact that I am, indeed, jobless, then I can work towards doing something about the way things are.

I think that the change that Katherine talks about below comes from our perception of the situation.  We're likely to deny something, or that something has a hold over us, as long as we don't accept something as it is.  But once I accept something exactly like it is, my perception changes-- it no longer has any hold over me, and I can deal with it much more effectively when I'm dealing with something that I perceive accurately.  How can I improve something that I don't even see clearly?

I want to keep working on my ability to accept things as they are.  I want to work with my students as the people they are, good and bad, and not try to deal with them as I wish they were (though there's something to be said for treating them as the people they are going to grow into being, but that's a different topic!).  If something bad happens in a relationship, I need to deal with that something from a place of acceptance, not denial, if I want to work towards fixing it.  When I accept life as it is, I can move through life without facing the closed doors that my denial tends to create.

Questions to consider:

What does acceptance mean to you?

How easy is it to deal with situations that you don't accept as reality?  Why might you not be able to accept them?

What kinds of changes might things undergo when we accept them exactly as they are?

For further thought:

Everything in life that we really accept undergoes a change.

Katherine Mansfield

more thoughts and ideas on acceptance



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