Accepting something or someone for who they are or what it is, can be an access point to the present moment, freedom and unconditional love. Being in a state of acceptance is not about being resigned to staying in an unhealthy relationship or circumstance. True acceptance is, however, about being at peace with whatever the situation is, or how someone is behaving.
I recently fell while snowboarding and injured myself. I had severed my Achilles tendon, and had to undergo surgery to repair it. The situation called for me to not put any weight on my foot for 6+ weeks followed by an additional 6 to 8 weeks of crutches and using a walking boot. Immediately, I became concerned about all the money going out and not as much money coming in, the recovery period, etc.
As soon as I noticed the fear and resistance to the circumstances, I knew I had to make a choice in how I was reacting. So, I chose to accept the injury and my current situation. I started to listen and look for the message the injury had for me. Simply stated: If someone falls in the mud, they can get angry about falling in the mud and stay stuck in it or accept that they fell in the mud- maybe even laugh about it, and start the process of getting out!
It was almost immediately after making a conscious choice to accept my current situation, that things started to change. Coming from the perspective, “my injury was a blessing in disguise,” the care, assistance and love literally came flooding in. The situation gave me an opportunity to slow down and do some deep self-care that continues to transform my life.
Asking ourselves the following questions can help lead to a deeper understanding and acceptance.
Are you trying to change someone into what you would like him or her to be?
Have you been wishing a situation to be something different than what it is?
When I find myself negatively judging others, I quickly look for the deeper message and how this person could be a mirror for me. Recently, I had sent an email to a friend and did not get a response. I thought, “She doesn’t appreciate my work and effort. She doesn’t appreciate me.” Again, I noticed the thoughts and that I was growing more upset about the situation. I decided to investigate. I wrote down what I thought of her, ”she is being judgmental; she does not appreciate me or my work.” I turned the thoughts back to me. I am negatively judging myself, her and my work. I quickly saw this as an opportunity to sit quietly and do some yoga for my mind. I got in touch with feelings of appreciating all my hard work and my efforts. I also got in touch with feelings of appreciation for this particular friend and all I have learned from having her in my life. I released the negative thoughts and thanked them for sharing. A day later, my friend responded to my email and expressed her appreciation.
I am not suggesting that once we do our work, people and situations will magically show up exactly how we want them to. I am suggesting, that once we find true acceptance of other people’s actions and the situations we find ourselves in, we open ourselves up to unconditional love, versus having expectations of people acting how we think they should or needing circumstances to be a certain way. The art of acceptance is a process that helps me create a life I love everyday.