Why does acceptance make a big difference?
An addict will never be able to overcome their addiction if they don’t accept that the problem exists. Acceptance is the very first step. We can apply this concept to our personal growth because we are basically addicted to non-acceptance. This act is not very mindful at all. But things don’t have to be this way; acceptance truly is the start to experiencing the present moment just as it is. No stress, no judgement, no issues.
A lot of us experience daily stress that stems from whatever our current life situation is. And some of that stress is totally justified. We are only human, after all. However, a great deal of our stress comes from our resistance, and our need to control what is out of our control. Sometimes we get frustrated because things aren’t going according to our plans. And we refuse to accept where we are until everything is “perfect.”
This is such a huge roadblock that we put in front of ourselves. When we feel like we are losing or have lost control, we just need to let it go. This is a sign from the Universe, it’s time to rethink and move on. Resistance puts a lot of unnecessary strain on our emotional bodies. Which is ultimately just a waste of our vital energy.
Accepting the present moment as it unfolds can help to rid ourselves of perfectionism and limiting beliefs. Also, acceptance helps us to be more grateful. Instead of wishing things were different, we are content with the way things are. Constantly yearning for something we don’t have in this moment robs us of all the blessings that are right in front of us.
Taking Responsibility for What We Manifest
Acceptance is understanding that we are completely responsible for where we are right now, and not beating ourselves up about it. When we accept the present moment as it is, it ceases to become something that stresses us out. We are no longer trying to force it to be something that it is not. This is true no matter what the situation involves; people, places, actions, decisions, etc.
The present moment is a direct reflection of our inner worlds. As within, so without. So if everything around us seems chaotic, then we must be feeling some amount of inner chaos. The opposite is also true. If we feel calm and serene within, our present moment becomes calm and serene. Our perception is very powerful, and determines what manifests in the physical for us. Not everything is within our control, but our outlook and reactions certainly are.
Manifesting is the deliberate act of co-creating your own reality with the laws of the Universe. Even if there’s no conscious effort to manifest something specific, manifestation will still occur. The sooner we can realize that our present moment is a result of our manifesting abilities, the sooner we can manifest something better.
Blame has no place here. No one else is responsible for what we experience. Statements like “they did this to me” imply that everyone else controls our lives. Is that really what we want? I’m sure that all of us would much rather take responsibility for our manifestations over admitting that we don’t have anything to do with what happens to us. The late Louise Hay covers this topic of blame in greater detail in her book You Can Heal Your Life. I recommend reading that book for many reasons, especially if you feel like you’re struggling with the concept of blame.
What acceptance is and is not
Acceptance is looking around and being completely open to the experiences the present moment is giving you, no matter what it is. Release all judgment towards the present moment, as well as any limiting beliefs on how it “should” be. I guess you could say that acceptance is a sort of mild surrender, but only to the present moment. There’s a fine line here. We are not surrendering because we are powerless, or because we have no say in the matter. We are surrendering to the present moment for the sake of inner peace. Resistance starts to dissolve as acceptance takes over.
“Accept–then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. This will miraculously transform your whole life.” – Eckhart Tolle
Acceptance is not about becoming a doormat and allowing people to trample all over us. Or just sitting back and never standing up for what we believe in. Understanding what the truth is, but repressing or pushing it away is the opposite of acceptance. And like stated above, accepting the present moment does not mean there is nothing we can do to make changes. Believing we are completely powerless only leads to more devastating circumstances. What we believe we are, we become.
How To Accept The Present Moment
Imagine you’re standing at the base of a tall ladder that leads to a beautiful rooftop patio, and you want desperately to be on that rooftop. You could kick, scream, and pout on the ground in front of the ladder all you want, but that will never get you to the rooftop. You must first accept where you are starting from; at ground level. Only then, after you come to terms with where you are RIGHT NOW, will you be able to ascend the ladder and climb to the rooftop.
I realize this may seem like an impossible, silly, ineffective thing to do. If this is new to you, then you’re bound to be feeling a tad skeptical. I can practically read your mind: “How can I accept the present moment if I don’t like what it is?” An excellent and common question. Here is a little list of questions to consider:
1. Why don’t I already have what I want, and why do I want it?
Taking responsibility for what you manifest. The first rule of manifesting is getting very clear on what you’d like to manifest. If you truly want something and you don’t have it now, there is a reason. Somewhere along the line resistance ruled over acceptance. Pinpoint exactly when that happened, reflect upon the experience, and then learn from it.
2. What blessings do I have right now that I may be taking for granted?
The core of acceptance is gratitude. Bask in these blessings until you feel fully satisfied with what you have. No matter how terrible the current situation appears to be, there is always something to be grateful for. And if you truly can’t come up with any blessings, then it’s time for a perception shift.
3. Where does my resistance stem from, and how could I overcome it?
Your resistance is probably coming from some sort of limiting belief. “If I don’t get promoted to management then I will never be happy at my job again” is an example of this. Don’t purposefully pigeon-hole yourself, because you could become cut off from all the abundance the Universe is trying to send to you.
Accepting the present moment is just a fancy way of describing the practice of meditation. It’s very important that we eliminate our judgment and expectations in order for us to feel truly liberated. Even if you hate what your life has become, make the choice to accept where you are today. Then look around and see how drastically different the world seems.
Related Article: Gratitude, Acceptance, and Non-judgment
What is the next step after acceptance?
Action! Everyone has a goal to build a life they love. For most of us, this will take ample amounts of time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, as the saying goes. And just like my ladder example from earlier, we cannot get where we want to go without realizing where we are now. Within the here and now is the ideal time to ACT. Acceptance is the foundation on which we can rebuild and take action. Remember, accepting the present moment doesn’t mean we are powerless to change it. Quite the opposite, actually.
“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” — Carl Rogers
After we accept where we stand, we can move forward. If we never accept where we stand, we will remain stuck there. We can find lifelong balance if we consistently make the conscious effort to embrace the present moment. This is a simple idea that can be really hard to bring into our lives sometimes. But that certainly doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. Things that are easy for us to do are not intended to be lessons. So if it’s difficult for you to be happy in the here and now, then this is a golden opportunity to grow (if you choose to see it that way).
Thank you for reading! If you have anything to add, please feel free to do so in the comments below. What does “acceptance” mean to you?