I used to think of acceptance as a finality. To accept something was to let go. To release. That once you accepted, there was no longer a need to mull over or dwell. That what ever it was you accepted no longer had an impact on you. You became bigger than what it was that was keeping you. You rose above it.
But I am learning that acceptance has space to be something much more than a conclusion to move on from. I am uncovering its many layers. There is no finality in acceptance. There is only an ongoing unfolding. Acceptance does not require you to have to let go and be done with, never needing to return. Acceptance is more like a dear friend or lover. Warm, kind, and with an earnest desire to see you flourish. Acceptance is gentle. It does not judge you. It greets you at the door and invites you back in, no matter how many times you have left. It does not mock you for your pride when you announced your acceptance. It does not laugh at your premature triumph for being ‘bigger’ than that problem, person or situation. In fact, it celebrates each one of your courageous efforts to accept.
I have found that my desire to accept, be it uncertainty, anxiety, adjusting to change, or inevitable loss, has always been accompanied by an expectation. “You just have to accept what’s happened’ they said or ‘Just let it go.” And if I struggle to? If I need more time or if I choose not to? Then what? Have I not done enough? Have I not tried hard enough? We only need to do our best. We only need to be open to the process of acceptance. There are no rules or regulations. There is no timeframe. You are not required to act immediately. All that acceptance will ask of you is that you be courageous and keep listening to what it is your heart, mind, and body need – at that point in time.
When we let go, what we really do is let go of the layers. Let go of the façade. Let go of the delusion of an ideal. An expectation. We shed. Acceptance literally means ‘the act of receiving something’. This something for me, is love. Pure love from the arms of acceptance that keeps teaching me everything I need to know to navigate my way through it all. It reminds me that it is ok to return to acceptance, again and again. I do not always have to let go. I can unfold. I can be gentle. I can take joy in the process and stop treating acceptance as a milestone I must reach. Acceptance is never forceful. It is compassionate. Acceptance will always be there, by your side, with open arms and a warmth that embraces you whole and makes you feel like home.
Much love to you,