Acceptance is one of the most used words in personal and spiritual growth. Everything starts with it, and everything seems to finish with it. It is also one of those words that are so frequently misunderstood. My personal experience with it was quite a journey itself!!
It's a common belief that acceptance leads to deeper understanding, but I am not really sure that we properly understand its meaning. Otherwise, I would ask you, why are we repeating mistakes, why are we resistant to change, why it's so difficult for us to transform? And somebody may think at this point, why is change even needed if we are in acceptance. And exactly here is where is meaningful to bring some light!
Let's try to clear the air a bit. Think of how you, but it's a common we, grew up. Think of what acceptance meant in your childhood. Think of a situation, where you were not in a position to argue or choosing something else. Did you feel free to do what you wanted, or it was more of an imposed decision that you couldn't actually debate about. Now think, that somebody on the outside, without explaining you nothing about the process and understanding of your situation, says to you, try to accept it. Think of what would you say to this person, try to visualize what would your physical reaction be like. Would you be happy and allowing or would you punch his face and fight?
I made this example on purpose, very specifically, because out of my experience acceptance meant many times, til I did properly understand the meaning of it, and I will come to that soon, being forced almost hopelessly into a situation I wasn't able to change. Alias, victim mood. Familiar with that? Because it was like that when we grew up! Maybe not all the time and not in every situation, but. We were not able to leave, or to fight back, how would we survive otherwise?
So, what happened was, we picked up a link between acceptance and hopelessness, victimhood, impossibility to make our own choice. Now, we are grown up adults right? But did we change our settings, did we ever update our files or is it that in our brain Wiki, we still think that it means the same? How can we get out of it? How can we evolve in our comprehension?
First thing to do is to recognize that we are holding that incomprehension, that we believe that accepting means to swallow and to be silent, live in hell and just "accept" that's no way out.
The Second thing to do is to realize that we are the ones who still choose to believe that and to act out of it. WE ARE THE ONES. Now, in the adult age, no one is telling or can tell us nothing about what to do, how to behave. Nothing that we can not choose on our own! We have our own circle of people, we live our life, we may be married or in a relationship, we might even have children, but we are still choosing that behavior in our situation . So bringing attention to ourselves and recognizing that we are the one choosing is the second step.
The Third thing to do is to realize that acceptance is maybe more about TAKING RESPONSIBILITY than everything else! It means to realize that with the choice we make we create our outcome. And, if the outcome is not what we wanted, we have to admit, that is the consequence of our choice. That we are the one who participated in it. Now, this can be quite a difficult step, because when everything is fine nobody basically bothers, but when it is not, we might find ourselves in a situation where we realize that we made a mistake. And taking responsibility not only means to admit it, means to deal with the consequences of it. That's the step that brings us out of our victimhood.
Forth thing to do is to realize that we are human beings, that grow through missteps so to say, and be gentle and loving with ourselves even though. Becoming aware that the previous description is a process that we might have to repeat many times before we get freed.
And last but not least. The changing process, that is actually called spiritual evolution, and it's definitely not meant in a way of changing because something is wrong, can only take place when the previous steps are mastered. That is being in acceptance.