Harnessing the Power of Acceptance
Every day, we are faced with things in our lives that we can control, as well as those that we cannot. Acceptance in life means being mindful in your daily practices, rooting yourself in the present moment to unlock greater life satisfaction. It’s a simple concept, but sometimes accepting life as it is is hard to put into practice. Let’s look at the power of acceptance and how you can benefit from harnessing this powerful form of active mindfulness.
What is the Power of Acceptance?
Life acceptance is the practice of embracing the present and observing moments without feeling the need to take action or change anything. This active mindfulness allows you to release judgment, bringing peace to your days. This type of blissful surrender is not to be confused with disempowering defeat: you can still fight injustice, for example, while accepting life.
Often in life, things are out of our control, like the actions of others. Accepting the present moment, situation, or feeling is a way of centering yourself, staying grounded, and releasing control of an outcome. By harnessing the power of acceptance, you allow yourself to become empowered and train yourself in the powerful skill of quiet observation.
Why Is It Important to Accept What Is?
Acceptance asks us to sit in the present moment. But sometimes, the present moment isn’t easy to accept — life can be painful physically, mentally, or emotionally. While the path to acceptance can be complex, there’s an easy way to start practicing: focus on the temporary nature of pain and fixate on a positive aspect of the present. For example, if you’re having a disagreement with a friend, focus on the temporary nature of frustration and take a new approach: what can you learn from someone else’s perspective?
Accepting your thoughts and emotions is the first step to changing them and starting to create a positive thought pattern. Accepting the bad feelings will allow them to pass more quickly while helping you understand where they’re coming from. Repressing negative thoughts or distracting yourself will only prolong the unease.
The most important lesson about the power of acceptance is this: You must start with your inner world to change your outer world. Self-acceptance will lead to accepting others for their authentic selves, too. The power of acceptance doesn’t just benefit you — the compassionate nature of this mindfulness practice benefits those around us as well.
So what happens when you don’t accept things as they are? There are a few outcomes of resisting acceptance, and they all affect our lives in a negative way. For example, resisting acceptance may cause you to feel stagnant. Wishing things were different is exhausting and depletes your energy. Resisting acceptance of things outside your control can also lead to stress and struggle (that ultimately has no resolution).
Not accepting what is can prolong feelings of depression and hardship, similar to the effects of being in denial. Denial is the first stage of grief. Acceptance is the last stage of grief. Before coming to acceptance, you may experience bargaining, anger, and depression (not necessarily in that order). The power of acceptance is recognizing that it’s okay to go through those stages — it’s all a part of the journey.
Why Harness the Power of Acceptance?
The power of acceptance is embodied in its ability to keep your life moving forward, rescue you from destructive habits, and promote compassion and empathy for others.
Acceptance of what is can lead to the release of suffering (feelings of frustration and anger) and allow you to be more open to positive experiences. For example, a rescheduled flight will be incredibly frustrating at first, but it could be the reason you meet the love of your life. Not getting the job you hoped for could get you a job that’s a better fit. Acknowledging that you feel disappointed in a result grants you the space to grieve, which is necessary to move forward and be more open to the positive.
Besides feeling more content overall, accepting what is also replaces confusion with clarity. Accepting a loss of any kind means acknowledging that it happened, and that it cannot be changed. This means you’re operating from a place of objective truth, which allows feelings to be processed in a healthy way.
Striking the balance between going against the grain and practicing acceptance is a lifelong dance for most of us. It’s okay if you don’t achieve it immediately. Some tools to help you include:
- Anything to help you stay present and centered, like stretching or breathing exercises
- If you need to exercise control, do so in a low-stakes way, such as writing a short story or journaling
No one can practice acceptance for you, only you can make the necessary changes to start living a life of peaceful mindfulness. Remember, we can either resist a wave, or we can ride it.
Wear a Reminder on Your Wrist
Finding acceptance in life’s twists and turns is a superpower you can cultivate every day. It’s the key to a long, happy life. So how can you actively practice the power of acceptance? Wearing a positivity bracelet is a physical reminder to slow down, be present, and go with the flow. Touching the bracelet on your wrist, or moving it from one wrist to the other, reinforces the practice of acceptance. Plus, a portion of each Rastaclat sale goes toward Seek the Positive Foundation to inspire humankind. Start practicing mindfulness today!